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HURIWA berates Uzodimma over alleged arbitrary arrest, detention of Imo youths



The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has chided Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, for announcing that over 400 persons are being detained in relation to a spate of attacks in the state by unknown gunmen.

HURIWA urged the governor to provide access to human rights groups and lawyers to ascertain the veracity of the claim even as the group alleged that hundreds of innocent youths of Igbo extraction were plucked off the streets and arbitrarily detained for many weeks without trial.


In a statement, yesterday, in Abuja, National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, alleged that the Imo State governor spoke like a governor without a mandate of the people, saying that if he has the mandate of the people, he should know that a government could not continue to keep citizens in detention ad infinitum and beyond constitutional limits.

He insisted that the detainees are innocent in the eyes of the law until a contrary determination is made by the competent court of jurisdiction.

Onwubiko, therefore, warned against arbitrary detention of innocent persons in the eyes of the law beyond the constitutionally stipulated timeline.


He said: “We ask the Imo State governor to publish the names of the 400 detainees and inform Nigerians of the status of their prosecution because of the groundswell of allegations of human rights violations perpetrated by soldiers and police in the guise of clamping down on the so-called unknown gunmen on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari with active connivance with Governor Hope Uzodimma.

“In reference to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Section 35 (1), every person shall be entitled to his personal liberty and no person shall be deprived of such liberty.

“Any person who is arrested or detained shall be informed in writing within 24 hours (and in a language that he understands) of the facts and grounds for his arrest or detention.)

“Any person who is arrested or detained in accordance with subsection (1) (c) of this section shall be brought before a court of law within a reasonable time.”


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Hope UzodimmaHURIWAImo
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