Gov Ugwuanyi Wades In, As Group Condemns Detention Of 76 Enugu Farmers In Abia | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Gov Ugwuanyi Wades In, As Group Condemns Detention Of 76 Enugu Farmers In Abia

Posted: Mar 30, 2016 at 3:38 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Emmanuel Nzomiwu ENUGU
Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN), a human rights group, has condemned the arrest of 76 farmers from Awgu in Enugu State and their detention in Umuahia, Abia State, following a clash between Awgu youths and Fulani herdsmen.
This is just as Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Enugu State Governor, has promised to do everything within his powers to effect their release.

A disagreement on March 17, this year between Fulani herdsmen and local farmers of Ugwuneshi community over the destruction of their farmlands and crops by the herdsmen, assumed a new dimension when military men invaded the community, arrested and took 76 members, mostly farmers to Umuahia, Abia State. Those arrested were arraigned the next day in court and remanded in prison custody where they had been since then.
Independent reliably gathered that they are currently in detention at a Federal Prison in Afara, Umuahia Abia State.
Olu Omotayo, President of CRRAN, described the procedure for detaining the farmers as “wrong”, saying the Magistrate Court in Abia State lacks jurisdiction to remand a person for an offence he committed in Enugu State.
Omotayo urged the Chief Judge of Abia State to direct the police to follow the right procedure.
“We are also calling on the Chief Judge of Abia State to sanction the Magistrate that made the remand order. It is not within the jurisdiction of a Magistrate Court in Abia State to remand somebody for an offence committed in Enugu State. To us, the conduct of the Magistrate is judicial rascality and the Chief Judge should take necessary disciplinary action against him,” Omotayo said.
Also, Mazi Bismarck Oji, a former National President of Ohanaeze Youth Wing, has condemned the role played by the Police and Army in the Awgu saga, saying that they acted beyond their limit.
Oji who is the Executive Director, Centre for Advancement of Literacy and Leadership (CALL) said it was wrong for the army to come into Awgu and abduct 76 citizens including women and take them to another state – Abia State – for a kangaroo arraignment.
“One wonders how the Magistrate in Abia State got jurisdiction over an incident that happened in another state.
“We are calling on the Inspector General of Police and Chief of Army Staff to quickly investigate the matter and unravel the circumstances surrounding the whole sordid affair,” Oji said.–