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Whereabouts of 3 Bayelsa indigenes arrested by soldiers remain unknown 15 months after •Families lament

By News Express on 19/08/2017

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•Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. TY Buratai
•Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. TY Buratai

The families of three men arrested by soldiers at Ibelebiri community in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa on Friday lamented dearth of information on their whereabouts and called on the authorities to make known their whereabouts.

They lamented that one year, three months after the men were picked up they are yet to hear anything from them.

The three were arrested by soldiers, according residents in the Ogbia community in May 2016.

According to indigenes, some armed men dressed in military uniforms had stormed Ibelebiri community in Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa at about midnight, picking up three persons after the operation.

Thirty five-year-old Bobanimibofa Clinton, Ebikeme Mathew, 37 and Bobayenimibofa James, also in his 30s, were arrested and taken away by the military without any clue to their offence or the formation where they came from.

Mother of Ebikeme Mathew, Madam Celina Mathew said life has been very frustrating since the disappearance of her son as she has to battle with stroke in addition to feeding his five children.

She stated that she had experienced one tragedy too many with her husband, an Inspector in the Police, allegedly killed in Isiokpo, Rivers state by fellow policeman on special duty some years back.

Wife of Mathew, Mrs Celestina, maintains that her husband is an innocent man who was arrested unjustly.

For the spouse of Bobayenimibofa James, Mrs. Tari James, the family is still at a loss on the whereabouts of her husband, one year three months after he was picked up.

Mr. Tubokeyiba Clinton, elder brother of Bobanimibofa Clinton appealed to the authorities to take them to court if they had committed any crime saying that the incident clearly smacks of human rights abuse by the military.

Chairman of the council of chiefs of Ibelebiri community, Chief Godpower Ogoli, wants government to ensure that the whereabouts of the three arrested persons are made known.

Community members said from further findings that were told the three men were taken away by the Nigeria Army Intelligence Corps during the one hour operation and whisked to Abuja, though their whereabouts remain shrouded in secrecy.

The military authorities have kept mute on the incident despite several efforts to get a response on the allegations levelled against the suspects raising concerns on their wellbeing.

Source News Express

Posted 19/08/2017 01:00:22 AM


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