An Abuja-based lawyer and human rights activist, Pelumi Olajengbesi, said on Monday that the arrest of Uche Nwosu, a son-in-law to an ex-governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, in a Gestapo style by the police is shameful.
Olajengbesi said this in a statement on Monday, condemning the Nigeria Police Force for conducting its operations like kidnappers and unknown gunmen.
According to him, the action of the police threatened the ideals of democracy and the Force hierarchies should do all to bring the erring officers to book.
The statement titled, ‘Nigeria Police Force Gestapo style arrest of Uche Nwosu is an embarrassment to Nigeria Justice System’, read partly, “The Nigeria Police Force’s conduct in the forceful arrest and apprehension of Chief Uche Nwosu is shameful, unprofessional and smacks of obstinate hooliganism, and hereby stands strongly condemned. Their mode of arrest has all the markings of kidnappers and ‘unknown gunmen’, leaving more questions than answers in the struggle to unravel the latter menace.“As a rule of operation, men of the Nigeria Police Force are not only required to properly identify themselves before effecting an arrest but must be backed by the force of law in the form of a warrant of arrest properly executed. In the arrest of Chief Uche Nwosu who interestingly is a former gubernatorial candidate in the state of his arrest, police officers dressed in muftis stormed the victim’s church where they reportedly shot sporadically scaring churchgoers and put lives and limbs in danger as many scrambled for safety.
“The very nature of the arrest of Chief Uche Nwosu who was neither declared wanted by a competent court nor proven to be evading arrest betrays the political struggle between the state governor and Chief Nwosu’s father-in-law, Senator Rochas Okorocha. But by continually lending itself as a tool of political oppression in the power struggle that has consumed Imo State, the Nigeria Police Force is advertising itself as a ‘touts for hire’ agency, consumed more by subservience to the abuse of power and clout than by a sense of commitment to the law and due process and this is a truly regrettable state of affair.
“The bastardization of the law and due process by the Police Force represents a great threat to the ideals of democracy that we claim to uphold and it is one that is frequently understated. We must now consider drastic actions beyond token disciplinary actions against a few errant officers to a complete overhaul of the Force without regards or favour to any.”
Masked security operatives had abducted Mr. Nwosu during a church service on Sunday at his hometown, Eziama Obieri, in the Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo State.