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Police whisk Uche Nwosu away from church premises

By Charles Ogugbuaja (Owerri) and Ernest Nzor (Abuja)
27 December 2021   |   3:55 am
The Imo State Police, yesterday, revealed that the candidate of the Action Alliance (AA) in the 2019 Imo State governorship election, Uche Nwosu, was arrested and not abducted, as earlier reported.

Uche Nwosu

Uzodimma behind arrest, Okorocha alleges, nobody is above law, says gov’s aide HURIWA berates police over arrest
The Imo State Police, yesterday, revealed that the candidate of the Action Alliance (AA) in the 2019 Imo State governorship election, Uche Nwosu, was arrested and not abducted, as earlier reported.

Commissioner of Police (CP), Rabiu Hussaini, therefore, urged members of the public to disregard the media report that Nwosu was abducted.

A statement issued by the Imo Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Michael Abattam, confirmed that Nwosu, who is son-in-law to former Governor Rochas Okorocha, was arrested, stressing that the command was committed to ensuring the safety of life and property of Imo people.

He, however, did not give details of why he was apprehended, adding: “This is to inform the general public that Uche Nwosu was not kidnapped but was arrested by the police and the Imo State Police command is aware of the arrest and presently, he is in police custody.

“This is to refute the earlier report that he was kidnapped by unknown gunmen. Hussaini assured Imo people of the command’s commitment to ensure the safety of life and property during the Yuletide season and urged members of the public to always shun fake news.”

It was earlier reported that gunmen abducted Nwosu from the St. Peters’ Anglican Church, Eziama-Obaire, Nkwerre Council of the state, after his abductors shot sporadically, overpowered his security details, forced him into the booth of their vehicle and sped off.

Nwosu, his family members, relations, friends and associates were in a thanksgiving service for his late mother, Jemaimah Adaeze Nwosu, who was buried last Wednesday.

BESIDES, Okorocha has accused Governor Hope Uzodimma of being behind Nwosu’s arrest, saying he (Uzodimma) deceived the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alkali Usman Baba, to apprehend his son-in-law.

He maintained that the governor had been after him and his family members since he assumed office.

“Uzodimma deceived Abuja for the arrest of Nwosu. He is responsible for the arrest. He is using distraction to cover up his non-performance, but that can’t work. It is either Uzodinma is the IGP or the governor of Imo State. I don’t even know the whereabouts of Uche Nwosu,” he said.

But in sharp reaction, Special Assistant to Uzodimma on Print media, Modestus Nwankpa, said the police arrested Nwosu and not Uzodimma, insisting that nobody was above arrest.

ALSO, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, advised that Okorocha should have allowed the law to take its course before his allegation.

His words: “If Nwosu is arrested, Okorocha should wait and see why he was arrested, but he is talking incoherently and that will not save him. He should wait for the law to take its course.”

MEANWHILE, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the Imo State Police Command over the way and manner in which Nwosu was arrested.

The group said the police acted like armed terrorists or kidnappers just, as it urged the Police Service Commission (PSC) to investigate what it described as “unprofessional conduct of the operatives of the Imo State police.” 

In a statement issued by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of Media, Zainab Yusuf, stated that the fact that the police shot sporadically in the vicinity of the church is an unpardonable desecration of the sanctity of the church. 

It said the reckless and lawless manner displayed by the police in the church premises will make it impossible for citizens to separate terrorists from law enforcement agents, because under a democracy the operatives of the law enforcement agencies were bound by rules of civility and law based approach to law enforcement.  

It argued that the method adopted by the police violated the Nigerian Police Act 2020 in which several provisions mandate the police to treat citizens with dignity and to respect their constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights, as enshrined in chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. 

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