Concerned citizens of Etua in Delta State have decried the detention of their members by the Police weeks after their arrest.
They called on President Muhammadu Buhari, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, Director General of State Security Service (SSS), Mr. Yusuf Magaji Bichi and Delta State Commissioner of Police, Ari Muhammed Ali, to release the detainees or charge them to court with immediate effect in accordance with the law.
According to the group, it is wrong and unlawful to keep them in detention in perpetuity as every citizen is presumed innocent until the contrary is proven.
It was gathered that the police invaded the community on May 21 at about 3:00 am in a Gestapo operation, shot one person dead, four were injured, while over 15 persons were arrested.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos, a leader of the group, Mr. Evans Ufeli recalled that the affected persons were all conveyed to an unknown location as their whereabouts is yet to be ascertained.
“It is bad enough that a citizen with the constitutional right to life was extra-judicially murdered in cold blood and others with gunshot injuries, all abducted by the Police, leaving the community in utter distress.
“Etua is a very peace-loving community – a dynasty of uncommon purity with no history of criminality in Delta State, therefore we are still in shock over the Police invasion which led to the brutal harassment, intimidation, assault and death of one person, gunned down in the early hours of the morning and his corpse left on the spot in our community.
“The IGP, whilst we cannot vouch for everyone in our community, we reserve the right to be treated with some modicum of dignity, knowing that whatever may have led to this invasion still lies in the realm of allegations. If the Police go around shooting everyone on the street on the basis of allegations, the social co-existence of man will soon be defeated. This Police brutality is of bad and unsavoury taste and we find it repulsive, to say the least.
“The Etua community does not deserve this level of primitive policing that has no regard for human life and civility. We have a right to life under the laws of Nigeria and we choose to keep that life whilst we cohabit in our ancestral land – Etua. We have lived here for over four hundred years and there has never been a time in our history where strangers invaded our community at such an ungodly hour to wreak incalculable havoc of this nature,” he said.
It’s Public secretary officer, Ekpetor David noted that the matter has been reported to the police and nothing has been done, adding that their concern is to know if the affected persons are alive and know if there is any way they can assist them with food, medicines so that they will know that somebody cares for them.
Contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Bright Edafe, said: “I’m not aware of the matter.”