In what appears to be victimization. Intimidation and suppression of the justice system, a Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Rivers State have raised alarm over alleged plan by some security operatives who sneaked into port Harcourt to whisk a port Harcourt based lawyer Jeff Geoffrey Ikechi Esq and Ekele Onuah by the Nigerian Police back to Abuja.
The duo has been in police holding facility (detention) for over two months on tromp up charges and the Nigeria police refusing to send them on trial to answer for whatever crime they have allegedly committed.
Lawyers Watch for Justice International Initiative(LAWJII) in a joint press briefing with, Human Right, Social Development and Environmental(HURSDEF),Civil Liberties Organization(CLO) Global Rights Foundation for Peace, and Civil Rights Council(CRC) ,decried the gross disregard for rule of law, abuse of court process, unlawful arrest and detention of Geoffrey Ikechi-Jeff and Ekele Onuah both of whom have been unlawfully arrested and detained by the Nigerian Police Force since 17th and 19th days of February,2020 respectively.
Addressing newsmen on behalf of the CSOs, Gbenga Oladapo of LAWJII lamented human rights abuses meted to Geoffrey Ikechi-Jeff Esq and Ekele Onuah who were arrested and taken to Abuja at the instance of one Dandison O. Onuah, Christain Ile and other collaborators for daring to accept the request by their Family in Ubima,Rivers State for Ikechi –Jeff to represent them as the Community Liaison Officer(CLO) to All Grace Energy Limited/Wester Ord Oil and Gas Limited(joint venture)
Gbenga of LAWJII chronicled the unlawful arrest and detention of Geoffrey Ikechi –Jeff as follows:
His arrest and detention at Elele Divisional Police headquarters on the 9thday of September 2019, transfer to State Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) and subsequent transfer from SARS to State Criminal Investigation Department(SCID) where he was granted bail by the Deputy Commissioner in charge of SCID.
The group explained that Geoffrey Ikechi immediately after his release filed an action in court for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights with suit number PHC/3741/2019 and dated 31st October,2019 which is presently pending in the high court of Rivers State before honourable Justice W.A Chechey
The group revealed that on the 17th and 19th days of February 2020 respectively the duo of Geoffrey Ikechi Jeff and Ekele Onuah were both arrested and detained in Force headquarters Abuja and were later remanded at Keffi prison on 24th February,2020 based on the order obtained from Magistrate court 1, Karu LGA in Nasarawa state.
He said the remand order was quashed by the same court who granted same on the 11th day of March,2020 and declined jurisdiction to handle the case.
‘’that Geoffrey Ikechi Jeff and Ekele Onuah was again remanded based on another remand order obtained from upper Area Court,New Karu Nassarawa State where they were transferred to SCID,Port Harcourt on 21st day of March,2020 and are about to be transferred back to Abuja by the Police Officers from the Federal Capital Territory who was said to have sneaked into the state despite the shutdown by the rivers state Government shutting down borders
The group also decried the abuse of court process and lack of due diligence in the investigation of the case by the Nigeria Police Force and is calling on the Executive Governor of Rivers State, the Inspector General of Police, The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, The National Human Rights Commission, Civil Society Organizations and all well-meaning Nigerians to promptly intervene in the matter to ensure Justice is served.
The group demanded the immediate release of Geoffrey Ikechi-Jeff Esq and Ekele Onuah and concerned Police officers to be called to order.
When contacted the rivers state police command denied knowledge of the matter.
The police public relations officer of the Rivers state police command Nnamdi Omoni told our correspondent in a telephone interview that he is not aware of such matter and promised to investigate and get back to our reporter as at press time