By Egufe Yafugborhi & Akpokona Omafuaire
WARRI—AKPERHE community in Ughelli South Local Government Area, Delta State, was agog yesterday, following the release of the last three of four of the community’s indigenes arrested by men of Operation Crocodile Smile.
Those released at 1.45p.m. yesterday from custody of the Military Police at the 3 Battalion, Effurun Barracks of the Nigerian Army, Uvwie Local Government Area, include Vincent Ekeke, Henry Koko and pregnant Rachael Abbah.
Madam Amrevweatefa Odada, a septuagenarian, was released last Sunday.
The community had been thrown into panic and anger since August 31, when the Army arrested Rachael at the Ughelli residence of her husband, Gabriel Ogbudje, wanted for alleged involvement in militancy and, thereafter, forced Rachael to lead them to Akperhe, Ogbudje’s hometown in Ughelli South council, where they raided the extended family compound and left with Madam Odada, the suspect’s mother and two extended relatives.
Following outcry by the community and relatives of the detainees, who saw the military authorities’ action as a violation of their human rights, Madam Odada was released on August 4, on alleged health grounds by the army.
Goddy Akpojotor, elder brother to Henry, one of the freed detainees, said: “The three others were released to us yesterday unconditionally. Akperhe has been in jubilation and celebration since.
“We thank Vanguard for its consistent focus on our cries, which led to their release.”