By Jimitota Onoyume
PORTHARCOURTâ€”The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) has called on the Police in Rivers State to immediately release the duo of Mr. Faka Tamunotonye Kalio and Stanley Adiele Uwakwe who have been in their custody since May 10 this year.
Describing the action of the police as a flagrant abuse of the rights of the detainees, South-South Zonal Chairman of the rights group, Mr. Karl Chinedu Uchegbu, who spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt, said if the police had any reason the detainees should not enjoy their rights to freedom, it should charge them to a competent court of jurisdiction as required by the constitution.
The group warned that should the police fail to release the detainees, it would explore all lawful steps to ensure that the flagrant violation of their rights were brought to an end.
According to the group, since the arrest, the detainees had been subjected to all forms of mental and physical torture, and have been denied access to their families, lawyers, and even doctors.
The worst of all, according to the group, was that families of the detainees had not been informed of the reason behind the arrest, stressing that this was contrary to section 35(3) of the nationâ€™s constitution which states that any person arrested or detained shall be informed within 24 hours and in a language he understands of the facts and grounds of his arrest or detention.
The body noted surprisingly that the police had continued to ignore a High court order that the detainees be released pending the determination of the matter.
Also calling for a public apology for the illegal arrest and detention as prescribed by the nationâ€™s constitution, the CLO also demanded the police to pay a modest compensation of N50 million to each of the detainees upon their release for the alleged trauma its action had caused them.