The Senator representing Benue South Senatorial District, Comrade Abba Patrick Moro calls on the Nigeria Police Force to produce his constituent, Bernard Ogbu, reportedly in custody for over three years.
Many newspaper reports including the OHR reported earlier this week that 43-year-old Ogbu has been in the custody of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Abuja for over three years without trial or bail.
Ogbu, who hails from the Igumale community in the Ado Local Government Area of Benue State, was arrested on March 3, 2019, at his residence in the New Nyanya area of Nasarawa State. To date, the police authority has neither disclosed any criminal allegation against him nor released him to his family.
In a press statement shared by Ameh Comrade Godwin, the special assistant(SA) to the Senator, the Senator laments that Bernard Ogbu’s wife developed depression and other health complications as a result of the prolonged detention of her husband and died last year, leaving behind four young children.
An Abuja-based legal practitioner, Barrister Napoleon Otache, last week raised the alarm on behalf of the family over Ogbu’s continued detention in a petition to the Presidency and other agencies saying the SARS operatives also confiscated Ogbu’s personal belongings during the arrest and the operatives have also converted the belongings to their personal use.
Senator Moro strongly condemns the unprofessional conduct of the police for refusing to charge the suspect in court within 48 hours as stipulated in our law.
The Senator calls on the police authority to immediately produce Ogbu alive, with public apologies and adequate compensation to assuage him of the torture, the inhumane and degrading treatment he is being subjected to at the hands of the SARS operatives since 2019 till date.
Senator Moro believes that under Nigerian laws, no amount of suspicion is strong enough to earn a human being incarcerated indefinitely without trial in a competent court of law.
He, therefore, calls on the police authority to expedite action and resolve what is now an obvious misuse of state power on the part of the police institution and provide answers to the questions being asked by the family.
When OHR reached out to Mr. Napoleon he said the continued detention of Mr. Ogbu without access to his family and lawyer is a gross violation of his fundamental rights. “ His family was not informed of the reason for his arrest and nobody including his lawyer has been allowed to see him. The last time anyone set eyes on him was on the 4th of March 2019. He told NOHR