Posted by Osteen Oyibode, Asaba | 3 July 2015 | 3,108 times
Soldiers from the 19th battalion in Delta State have arrested four vigilante members who attempted to protest the killing of Benson Ogedengbe, the leader of the vigilante group in Oghara, Ethiope West Local Government Area of the state.
The planned protest was called by a group, Oghara Centre for Justice and Development. The protesters arranged banners in strategic centres in the town in preparation for the protest but they were removed by heavily armed soldiers who drove round the town in Sports Utility Vehicles in a show of force.
The soldiers took the arrested ringleaders to unknown destination, consequently provoking reaction from the aggrieved residents.
The Coordinator of OCJD and the Executive Director of Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Rev. David Ugolor identified two of the four detainees as Mr. Lawrence Eyaufe and Ejiro Efetobo.
Dressed in black, Mrs. Endurance Ogedegbe, the grief-stricken widow, who put in an appearance at the local police station with two of her children, said that she came out to be part of the march in a desperate attempt to compel the authorities to bring the killers to book.
The widow said that she was yet to figure out the reason for the militarisation of Oghara and the detention of Lawrence and Ejiro whose whereabouts was undisclosed by the soldiers.
She added that she went to the police station to find out if the detainees were in police custody as permitted by law only to be told that they were not there.
A policeman, who would not want his name in print, said that apart from the deceased car with a shattered back windscreen which is still at the premises, the protesters were not taken to the station by the soldiers and was oblivious of information about them.
Ugolor demanded the immediate and unconditional release of the marchers, vowing that the people will continue to engage in peaceful protest.
The activist demanded: “We are calling on the Nigeria Army to release the protesters. The army will be held accountable if anything happens to them. OCJD and ANEEJ will continue to work together until justice prevails. We will report to Amnesty International and the United
•Photo shows soldiers on patrol.
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