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IYC frets over abduction of youth by police

Published by The Nation on Sat, 20 Feb 2021

By Simon Utebor, YenagoaThe Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide has expressed anger over the alleged arrest/abduction of Mr Kingsley Joseph, an Ijaw youth from Bilabiri community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State by the police.The IYC in a statement on Saturday by its spokesman, Ebilade Ekerefe, alleged that since Joseph was apprehended by operatives from Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID) about two weeks ago, he had been denied access to his family, friends and lawyer.Ekerefe said: The attention of the IYC has been drawn to the arrest/abduction of one Mr. Kingsley Joseph, an illustrious Ijaw son from Bilabiri community in Ekeremor LGA of Bayelsa State by officers of FCIID led by one Inspector Bonze Palasou since February 8, 2021.He was seized alongside one Chief Jack Angila from Ezetu town in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.Since the date of the arrest/abduction, Mr Kingsley Joseph has been denied access to family members, friends and even his counsel till date.It has become so worrisome as available intelligence report points to the fact that Joseph has been chained on both hands and legs and subjected to the most dehumanising conditions which have led to his health deteriorating.Read Also; Fresh mass abduction from school hostel sparks outrageThe alleged officers of the FCIID have deliberately refused to allow his lawyer access nor state the crime upon which he was arrested.It is pertinent to note that under our laws, particularly Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, entitles anybody to fair hearing no matter the gravity of the offence committed.Ekerefe said the IYC was further informed that Joseph is being moved from one detention centre to another, noting that he was first detained at the Area Command Cell at Opolo and later moved to Azikoro Town Police Station in Yenagoa and now to an unknown location in Warri, Delta State.He added: This is a case of gross violation of his fundamental human rights as enshrined in the Constitution.The IYC frowns vehemently on this naked violation of Josephs rights and admonishes the police authorities to desist from such unethical and illegal actions capable of replaying the recent mass actions arising from these condemned acts of the police.While we applaud the continuous discharge of their obligations as security personnel, such actions must be guided and be within the ambits of the law. Anything done in gross violation will only lead to unforeseen and unpredictable reactions by the citizens.Ekerefe, therefore, called on the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to intervene immediately, order the immediate release of this illustrious son of Ijaw nation and allow the due process to be followed strictly.He warned that given the volatile nature of the Niger Delta region, it would be unwise to act in a way capable of thwarting the fragile peace already existing in the region.The spokesman said the call had become necessary as Ijaw youths would no longer tolerate police brutality, indiscriminate arrest of Ijaw youths for exploitative purposes which had become the order of the day in Ijaw territories.
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