The Nigeria police force has declined to speak on the offence committed by the 114 women recently arrested in Owerri, Imo state.
The women were protesting the “disappearance” of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) when they were picked by the police on Friday and subsequently charged to court.
Kanu has not been seen in public since IPOB had a clash with soldiers of the Nigerian army in Abia, last year.
It was gathered that they were picked close to Warehouse junction in the state capital, after attempts by the policemen to disperse them with teargas were unsuccessful.
When contacted on Thursday, Andrew Enwerem, spokesman of the Imo state police command, declined to state the offence of the protesters.
Asked why the police picked them up, he replied: “Go to Owerri prison, you are a reporter. Go to the prison and find out.”
TheCable, however, told him attempts have been made to have access to the prison authorities but the reporter was redirected to the police.
“I am the police spokesperson and not an investigator,” he said, adding: “If you ask me, I will say yes, some women were arrested, I don’t know their count charge.”
But why were they arrested? “Go to the prison and find out,” he interjected.
Some Nigerians and groups have criticised the police and called for the immediate release of the women.
Igbo Ekunie Initiative, a socio-cultural Igbo organisation, described it as “cowardly” and “primitive”.
“These innocent and unarmed women were within their rights under the Nigerian constitution, engaging in a peaceful demonstration and protest over the continued disappearance of Nnamdi Kanu,” the group had said on Wednesday.
Some have also taken to the social media to condemn the incident and warn against a clampdown on the fundamental rights of citizens. TheCable
– Aug. 23, 2018 @ 19:15 GMT |