Popular human rights defender and radio broadcaster Chinonso Uba, also known as Nonso Nkwa, was released from police custody in Abuja on Tuesday after 32 days in detention.
Uba, who is also the coordinator of the Protect the Weak International Foundation (PROWIF), a human rights group based in Owerri, Imo state, was abducted on July 27, 2023 by three masked police officers on his way from work at Osisa FM radio station, a popular private radio station in Owerri, Imo state. He was then flown to Abuja and detained.
On August 16, 2023, the police arraigned him on two charges of insulting Governor Hope Uzodinma and Niger Delta militant leader Asari Dokubo. The police said in charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/367/2023 between the Inspector General of Police vs. Chinonso Uba that Uba’s offense contravenes the Cybercrime Prohibition Act.
However, on August 18, 2023, the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered his immediate release in a suit brought by his lawyer to enforce his fundamental human rights.
Despite the court order, the police refused to release Uba and insisted on a N20 million bail and a senior director with landed property in Abuja as sureties. Sources told NOHR that Uba was severely pressured while in custody to tender an apology to Governor Uzodinma, but he refused.
When NOHR spoke to the popular activist on Wednesday, he was in high spirits and expressed his gratitude to his fans and everyone who fought for his release.