Lead counsel for the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, has expressed displeasure at the prolonged detention of IPOB members by security agents.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, he alleged that while the Nigerian Army released what he termed as “Boko Haram active fighters”, IPOB members were wallowing in the custody of the Department of State Services without trial.
“Over 200 members of Bokoharam active fighters were secretly released by Federal Government and will consequently be integrated into Nigeria Army,while over 2000 nembers of defenceless IPOB members are variously held in SSS detention facilities in Abuja,and deadly Police abattoir cells for over 5 months without trial,” he stated.
Ejiofor’s claim had, however, been debunked by the Army.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, had said in a statement on Thursday that it released 1009 suspects who had been cleared of any link with the fighters.
“It is an indisputable fact that the ongoing Counter Terrorism Counter Insurgency Operations (CTCOIN) in the North-East has led to the arrest of several terrorism/insurgency suspects.
“These suspects have been held in custody while undergoing profiling and further investigations by experts from the Joint Investigation Centre (JIC) and those who are found culpable are usually handed over to prosecuting agencies accordingly, while those who are not implicated in terrorism and insurgency are cleared and released to the state government for rehabilitation before they are reintegrated into the society.
“These cleared suspects are therefore not ex Boko Haram fighters, as peddled in the reports. A total of 1009 cleared suspects, not ex-fighters, were therefore released after this rigorous process on Wednesday,” Nwachukwu stated.
Ejiofor went on to state that certain IPOB members been held were old people.
He was of the view that relevant authorities should ensure that the law is impartially applied to all section of the country.
“The worst part is that those under this classification includes our aged mothers and fathers.
“Laws applicable to the East is more decisive than the lenient laws applicable to known pronounced terrorist…,” he added.