IROROBEJE family of Afiesere community in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, yesterday, protested alleged unlawful arrest of its son by soldiers of the 222 Battalion, Agbarha-Otor, over an allegation that he was attempting to blow up pipelines.
In a protest letter by the head of the family, Abodi Irorojebe, and others, they described the allegation against Mr. Richard Irorobeje, as a mere fabrication levelled against him by his enemies.
He said Mr. Richard Irorobeje had been in detention for over a week for a crime he knew nothing about, saying the community had done its findings and saw that it was a false allegation.
Narrating the incident that led to his arrest, the father said: “At about 8:30p.m. last Friday, Richard Irorobeje was standing by his car at his Afiesere office, a little distance from the oil pipeline, when one Godbless Chadere confronted him, asking what he was doing there.
“Richard, out of anger, rebuked Godbless and the next thing he heard was that they were looking for him with soldiers. They came the next day and arrested him through the help of four community youths.
Community steps in
“Before his arrest, Mr. Richard Irorobeje had earlier reported the incident to the community leader, who in turn, had promised to summon a meeting to address the issue.
“But after his arrest, the community heads called an emergency meeting, where it was discovered that the allegations against Richard Irorobeje were lies and the community resolved that those, who handed him to soldiers should go for his release or face the anger of the community.
“After the emergency meeting, the community President General, Mr. Victor Otumemine, with his executive and other community elders also met with the Commanding Officer, 222 Battalion, Lt. Col. Saka Jimoh, for the release of Richard Irorobeje, saying the allegations were lies.
“After the visit to the CO, 222 Battalion, he promised to release Richard Irorobeje the following day and advised them to maintain peace.
“Therefore, we were all surprised when information got to us that he has been transferred to Bayelsa.”