A rights group, the Peoples Advocate for Justice, has demanded the release of a 10-year-old girl reportedly arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency. The group claimed that the girl, Success Nsikan, had been in NDLEA custody since August 17 after she was arrested in place of her guardian accused of dealing in cannabis sativa.
Our correspondent gathered that the man fled when Nsikan led NDLEA officials to his abode.
The Co-ordinator of the rights group, Courage Nsirimovu, while speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Thursday said it was against the law to arrest anyone by proxy. Nsirimovu noted that an affidavit presented by the girl’s mother contradicted the agency’s claim that she was 15.
He further said the NDLEA had demanded the survey document of a landed property as a condition to grant the minor bail, an allegation the agency denied.
Nsirimovu stated, “Success Nsikan, the female child, is 10 years old. NDLEA made a fictitious claim that the young girl is 15 years old in order to serve their purpose of detaining a minor. “We got a clear affidavit from her mother and that affidavit clearly states that Success Nsikan was born on November 2, 2012.” The activist stressed that the NDLEA should focus on trailing, arresting and prosecuting the detained minor’s guardian.
But reacting to the allegations on a radio station (Rhythm 93.7) in Port Harcourt, the Deputy State Commander of the NDLEA, Emmanuel Obumbada, said the girl was in a safe facility undergoing counselling. He also denied claims that the agency demanded money for her bail. The official she was helping the agency with its investigation.
He said, “She was taken into custody and put in the facility where underage people are kept. She is currently undergoing counselling. She will be released to a responsible adult after undergoing counselling.”