Lawyer and Human Rights Activist, Inibehe Effiong has lambasted the Nigerian Army over the “illegal” arrest of veteran Nollywood actor, Chiwetalu Agu.
Abacityblog reported that the veteran actor was arrested yesterday at Upper Iweka Onitsha, Anambra State – in a viral video, Agu was arrested by the Army for wearing a Biafra regalia. He was subsequently taken to military base, 82 Division Enugu for interrogation.
Chiwetalu Agu’s arrest has elicited reactions online as well meaning Nigerians and celebrities condemned the military action and how they manhandled the 65 year old actor.
Reacting, Mr. Effiong said the arrest of Agu is illegal and unconscionable. This is even as he called on the Nigerian Army to release the actor and apologize to him.
“The harassment and arrest of celebrated Nollywood actor, Mr. Chiwetalu Agu, on Thursday, 7th October, 2021 by the Nigerian Army is illegal, unconscionable and unwarranted.
“The actor has not committed any criminal offence known to law”, Mr. Effiong said.
ARMY PARADES CHIWETALU AGU
The Human Rights Activist cautioned the The Nigerian Army to stop ridiculing itself before the international community.
Reacting to a statement released by the Military that the actor committed an offence over his attire which they said it’s an incitement.
Mr. Effiong said; “Supposing without conceding that the dressing of the legendary actor amounts to “incitement” as claimed by the Army, it is the Nigeria Police that should have responded. There is no evidence of incitement against him. Nothing was inscribed on the said cloth to incite the public.
“Is the Army suggesting that wearing clothes with certain colours or identifying with certain colours amounts to inciting people to violence or that any colour identical to the Biafran flag is inciting? – he asked.
Mr. Effiong further stated that the Army has no right to arrest any citizens except when Police has been overwhelmed.
“The military has no power in a constitutional democracy to arrest citizens; except in special and exceptional circumstances like during war, state of emergency, insurrection or riot. Even at that, it has to be shown that the Police has been overwhelmed. That is the purport of Section 217 of the Constitution which limits the role of the Armed Forces to defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria and acting in aid of civil authorities.
“Is Nigeria at war?
“What did Chiwetalu Agu do that overwhelmed the Nigeria Police Force to warrant the Army stepping in to aid the police in arresting him?
“Wearing a cloth with colours similar to the Biafran flag is not defined as an offence under any written law in this country. It is IPOB that was proscribed, not Biafra.
“A significant portion of the Nigerian population sees Biafra as an idea. No government can kill an idea that people are emotionally attached to by deploying the military. History has shown that the best way to defeat an idea is by propagating a superior and more persuasive idea.
“The very idea of telling citizens what colour of cloth to wear is not only ludicrous but offensive. We are not in Communist China or North Korea.
*It is a sad commentary that the Buhari regime is working day and night to turn Nigeria into a police state.
“If the military authority has a movie role for Chiwetalu Agu, they should approach him with respect with their offer and desist from making a mockery of the security situation in the South East.
“The attack on Chiwetalu Agu is a painful reminder that the Buhari regime is ruling Nigeria with the mindset of the civil war.
“The Army should apologize to the iconic actor and pay him adequate compensation for subjecting him to harassment and public humiliation.