30 out of 53 Obigbo women abducted  by Army released after 4 months detention in Army and DSS dungeons

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike

ONITSHA (Sundiata Post) – Human rights group, the International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law (Intersociety) has confirmed that 30 of the 53 from Obigbo, Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State abducted by soldiers of the have been freed after four months of captivity in Army and dungeons in various parts of the north.
According to a statement made available to Sundiata Post by Intersociety, the were freed late evening of Wednesday, 4th March 2021 following perfection of their bail conditions given by an Abuja magistrate court on Monday, 1st March 2021, during which the court stopped them from being returned to dungeons and ordered that they should be transferred to Correctional Custody pending the fulfillment of their bail conditions.
The group said efforts were being made to get the remaining 23 freed today (Friday) alongside 22 other abductees (20 males and 2 females)) who were granted Court bail last week Friday, 27th Feb 2021.
It said while the 53 Obigbo were arraigned by following exposition by Intersociety and others, of their secret captivity by Army and , the 22 abductees (20 males and 2 females) whose abduction and detention were never made public by and Nigeria Police Force, were hurriedly arraigned by Police on Monday during which they were all granted bail after over four months of captivity in Army and Police dungeons.

The statement reads: “It must be vividly recalled that the 53 Obigbo women were abducted mostly at night (on their way home from work and other lawful social activities) by soldiers between last week of October and third week of November 2020 in Obigbo and environs located in Rivers State, South-south Nigeria and secretly transported, outside public knowledge and the laws of Nigeria, to ’s Mogadishu Barracks in Abuja where they were beastly and inhumanly treated including being tortured, starved, degraded and serially and severally raped, from where they were transferred to DSS facilities in Abuja after months of secret captivity at Mogadishu Army Barracks. Their captivity in the Mogadishu Barracks is believed to have lasted for more than three months. The abducted women were not only violently dispossessed or robbed of all their personal belongings in their possession at the time of their abduction, but also forced to wear a set of underwear throughout their four months of captivity in the Army and DSS dungeons.

“By the existing laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria including Decided Cases (Case-Laws), the Armed Forces Act of 2004 and the 1999 Constitution, the Nigerian Army or any other branch of the Armed Forces of Nigeria lacks power or is disempowered from arresting, detaining, investigating and prosecuting civilian citizens not subject to the Armed Forces Act of 2004. 
“By the Nigerian Security Agencies Act of 2004 and other laws referenced above, governing the conducts of DSS, the Service is disempowered from usurping the core duties of the Nigeria Police Force such as investigation, arrest, detention and prosecution of civilian citizens or their discharge and acquittal. DSS is also disempowered by the referenced laws from accepting civilian citizens abducted or illegally arrested and held for months by any branch of the Armed Forces particularly the Nigerian Army for purpose of incarcerating them further and unlawfully without trial. The Nigeria Police Force as lawful or authorised investigating, arresting, detaining and prosecuting authority, is barred from holding civilian citizens without public knowledge and trial outside the constitutionally prescribed periods.

“With the release of 30 of the 53 Obigbo women and hopeful release today of the remaining 23 and 22 other abductees lately held by Nigeria Police Force, the total number of freed Obigbo abductees will by the end of today (5th March 2021) hit 283. This is out of total of 419 names of the Obigbo abductees located. In other words, 136 located names are still in Army and DSS dungeons including 110 at the Nigerian Army Commando Base in Suleja-Bida axis in Niger State and 26 in DSS dungeons at Abuja. Between 150 and 200 names and persons of the Obigbo abductees are yet to be located and are strongly believed to be languishing in different secret Army dungeons in Northern Nigeria including Niger State, FCT, Kaduna and Zamfara States. Scores are mostly likely to have been tortured or raped to death by the Army and they include late Miss Victoria, raped to death at Mogadishu Barracks and Citizens Okechukwu Anyanwu, Kingsley Iwuagwu and Chijioke, killed or tortured to death in the captivity of the Nigerian Army in far away Niger State, Northern Nigeria.”

The statement was signed by principal officers of Intersociety namely Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chinwe Umeche, Obianuju Igboeli and Chidimma Udegbunam.

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