The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), the umbrella body of youth in the Niger Delta, has raised the alarm over the continued arrest and illegal detention of youth in the region by various security agencies, particularly the Department of State Services (DSS).
According to a press statement signed by Eric Omare, President of IYC, innocent citizens are being arrested and detained without charge to court.
“The IYC wishes to alert the world that apart from Mr. Jones Abiri, there are several other Niger Delta youths who were arrested in connection with the Niger Delta Avengers inspired hostilities in the Niger Delta region and who are in the detention of the DSS without charging them to court,” Omare said.
“It is the height of illegality and against the letter and spirit of 1999 Constitutional of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for citizens to be arrested and kept in DSS detention without trial for up to two years. “
Omare said if not for the massive campaign of the Amnesty International, the efforts of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), human rights organizations, regional pressure groups and human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana to force the DSS to hurriedly charge Mr. Abiri to the Abuja magistrate court on Friday, Jones would have remaind in cell without trial .
“At the time of issuing this statement, Niger Delta youth such as Mr. Alex Odogu (spokesman, IYC, Abuja Chapter), Mr. Census Oluba, Mr. Germachy Oboko, John Fortune, Michael John, Gabriel Ogbu, Justice Golubus, Joshua Golubus, Norway Suku, Felix Mieminye and several others are still in detention. In some of the cases, like that of Mr. Census Oluba, courts of competent jurisdiction both in Delta State and Abuja have ordered for his release but the DSS refused to obey the orders of the court.
“There is nowhere under Nigerian laws where the DSS is empowered to arrest and detain citizens indefinitely without charging them to court. If the DSS has any case against the arrested Niger Delta youth, then they should be charged to court to answer for the allegations against them.
“The IYC is convinced that Mr. Jones Abiri was charged to court because of the local and international campaign for his release led by Amnesty International and Femi Falana. Consequently, the IYC call on the Nigerian government to immediately release all Niger Delta youths in their detention or charge them to a court of competent jurisdiction without delay.”
SOURCE :sahara reporters (news)