Falana Denounces Detention Of Ex-EFCC Top Shot, 28 Soldiers

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2008 - By Simon Ateba
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Human rights activist, Femi Falana, has condemned the illegal detention, for over two weeks, of Mr. Ibrahim Magu, a Deputy Superintendent of Police and former Head of the Electronic Governance Unit of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, by the police.

Falana also condemned the illegal arrest and detention of 28 soldiers who have been kept at the military barracks in Akure, Ondo State, since 5 June, after they peacefully protested over the non-payment of their legitimate entitlements. The soldiers had gone for a Peace-Keeping Mission in Liberia, but returned to Nigeria without their entitlements.

“Mr. Ibrahim Magu has been detained for over two weeks at the pleasure of the Inspector-General of the Police, Mr. Mike Okiro. Like the detained soldiers, Mr. Magu has not been charged to court for any criminal offence whatsoever.

“Whenever ex-governors, ex-ministers and other influential Nigerians are detained, the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua administration is ever anxious to insist that the rule of law be followed by having them arraigned in court within 48 hours, no matter the degree of the offences levelled against them.

“Since there is equity before the law, the detained soldiers and policeman ought to be released or charged to court forthwith if detaining authorities have established a prima facie case against them,” Falana said in a statement made available to P.M.News

It was reported, last year, that a detachment of Nigerian soldiers which had previously joined the United Nations Peace Keeping Operation in Liberia, returned home without pay. Throughout the seven-month duration of the programme in Liberia, the monthly salary of 1,048 US Dollars per person was paid by the United Nations. But the money was withheld by a powerful cartel in the Nigeria Army.

It was learnt that unlike their counterparts from other countries in the UN Contingent, Nigerian soldiers had to fend for themselves. When the soldiers returned home to demand for their entitlements, they were asked to report to the military formation in Akure, Ondo State.

It was futher gathered that when the soldiers got to Akure, they were abandoned for two weeks, so, they staged a peaceful protest which led to the arrest of 28 of their leaders.

Some of the detained soldiers include, Sgt. Oliver Akwara, L.Cpls. Musa Salisu, Ibrahim Yusuf, Chukwudi Onwukanjo, Innocent Egbuna, Ptes. Kelechi Anukam, Olanihun Yetunde, among others.

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