Says health in danger overcrowded police cell, COVID-19
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
A Civil Society Organisation, CSO, Concerned Nigerians, CN, Friday, writes Nigeria Police Force over the arrest, detention, and immediate release of Spokesman of the Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, Ikenga Ugochinyere.
The letter signed by the Convener, CN, Deji Adeyanju, with subject ‘Illegal Arrest and Detention of Mr. Ikenga Ugochinyere by the Nigerian Police’, addressed to CP Legal, Force Headquarters, described the alleged Ugochinyere’s arrest as direct disrespect and disregard for the orders of the court, and constitutes a display of disregard for the judiciary in today’s democracy.
The group in the letter also referred to a court order of Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court that further restrained the Inspector General of Police and the Director-General of the State Security Services either by themselves or through their servants or proxies from arresting Mr. Ugochinyere pending the conclusion of the suit before it.
The letter also copied Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila; British High Commissioner to Nigeria; US Ambassador to Nigeria; and Head of Mission to Nigeria, European Union
Ugochinyere was allegedly arrested at his residence in Abuja on Thursday in Abuja, by the police.
It will be recalled on June 4, 2020, a Federal High Court setting in Abuja restrained the Police and the Department of State Services, DSS, from arresting Ugochinyere following his alleged comment on accusing the House of Representatives of bribery over the controversial Infectious Disease Bill.
The letter reads in part, “We write in respect of the above mentioned subject matter to draw your attention to the illegal arrest and detention of Mr. Ikenga Ugochinyere, the spokesman of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP).
“We are constrained to call your attention to an Order given by Honourable Justice O. A. Musa of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in the matter of Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere v Hon Femi Gbajabiamila & Ors, FCT/HC/BW/CV/120/2020, where the Court reiterated the Order of Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court and further restrained the Inspector General of “Police and the Director-General of the State Security Services either by themselves or through their servants or proxies from arresting Mr. Ugochinyere pending the conclusion of the suit before it. Find attached the court order.
“Mr. Ugochinyere’s arrest was carried out in direct disrespect and disregard for the orders of the court, and constitutes a display of disregard for the judiciary that has become all too common in our democracy.
“You will recall that upon assumption of office, and several times, since, you have stated your intention to ensure that the Nigerian Police displays respect for the judiciary by complying with all Orders of the Courts at all times.
“It is on this basis that we call on you to use your good offices to cause compliance with these Orders of Court and order Mr. Ugochinyere’s immediate release from detention.”
According to the letter the CUPP spokesman’s health is in danger following the overcrowded police cell he is being detained, especially with the rampaging Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic.
“He is currently detained in deplorable conditions in a tiny cell with as many as 38 other people. In the current situation where the entire world is worried about the spread of the novel coronavirus, these conditions present a severe threat to Mr. Ugochinyere’s health”, it added.