HURIWA Asked Army to Free A Man Arrested During His White Wedding

HURIWA Asked Army to Free A Man Arrested During His White Wedding

Civil Rights Advocacy group: Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has demanded the immediate release from military incarceration of Mr. Peter Chibuzor Agwu picked up from inside the church during his white wedding because a fugitive the Nigerian Army is looking for shared his wedding invitation on the social media of Facebook.

“It is absolutely inappropriate and unconstitutional that thirteen days after his arrest, the Nigerian Army has continued to detain one Peter Chibuzo Agwu, a man who was arrested in a church in Abia State during his wedding.

 It was reported on December 21, 2023, that some operatives of the Nigerian Army arrested Agwu inside the Zion Glory Gospel Church along Okporoama Umuezela Road, Old Umuahia Abia State during his wedding.”

“HURIWA recalled that the media  had also reported that the man was arrested because someone allegedly on the military wanted list shared his wedding invitation on Facebook. On December 22, 2023, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, had confirmed the arrest of Chibuzo, adding that his arrest was in connection to a kidnap case that the Nigerian Army was investigating.

He however, revealed that a preliminary report had shown that Chibuzo was innocent and was not involved or had any connections with the incident and promised that he would be released as soon possible from custody.”

The Rights group in a media statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko said it is totally unacceptable and grossly illegal on the part of the Nigerian Army that Mr. Pter Chibuzo Agwu  had remained in solitary confinement at the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu State. The Rights group said the Army shouldn’t be lawless and become a willing tool for the wanton violations of Rights of citizens as if Nigeria is a banana Republic.

Citing media reports, HURIWA stated that Mr. Chibuzo’s bride, who spoke with a prominent USA based online medium on Thursday, lamented the emotional trauma she and her mother-in-law were going through since her husband’s arrest.

She said she and her brother-in-law had been going to 82DV of the Nigerian Army in Enugu every two days from Umuahia with attendant cost hoping that they (the Army) would release him before now.

“Last time we came, a lieutenant that is in charge of the case told us that the case is out of his hands and that he is waiting for his commander to sign and then their GOC (General of Commanding) will sign before they will release him.” 

According to them, she said “They are still holding him because those who were supposed to sign for his release haven’t signed. I don’t know what is happening. What will it take to sign? He was arrested on December 16, 2023 – today is making it 13 days he has been in detention without committing any offence.”

On how she has been coping, the distressed wife said “All I am asking is for them to give me my husband. He didn’t do anything and they have confirmed he didn’t do anything. I am depressed with the entire situation. It is very bad that an innocent man will be subjected to such suffering and humiliation from the government agency that is supposed to protect him. I am not even talking about the embarrassment, the wastage, and everything. My concern now is to let them release my husband.”

HURIWA affirmed that the distressed new bride added thus: “Now my aged mother-in-law is not coping either. How would she be coping, someone the son was arrested on his wedding day and hasn’t seen him for upward of 13 days and still counting on an unknown offence? We are praying that her son will be released soon before she dies. She is not coping and I am feeling faint-hearted.

“I have not heard or seen this kind of treatment in my life is only in the movies that you hear this kind of thing. And after everything the person didn’t do anything and you disgraced him like that and yet still kept him in detention. I don’t understand. The treatment can only be done to slaves and we are not one.

“We have been spending money going to 82DV of Nigerian Army, Enugu on top of the trauma. I have been squatting with someone in Enugu. I just came back with my brother-in-law to Umuahia two days ago, now we are still going back to Enugu tomorrow.

“Every day we are coming to Enugu we spend each person N10,000, together that is N20,000. Then the money we spent on city transport wasn’t included. Where is the money yet we did not even do the wedding. I don’t know whether they are going to render an apology after everything – the emotional stress, the shame, the stigma, and the waste.

“Now 25th December, the Christmas had gone. Do they also want me to celebrate New Year without my husband? It is unfair, inhumane, and unjust. Let them do the right thing,” She pleaded.

HURIWA stated that alongside other human rights groups operating in the South East of Nigeria, they  will jointly sue the Chief of Army Staff and the Chief of Defence Staff if within 7 working days the detained innocent citizen of Nigeria is not freed with profound apologies just as the Rights group said it will be sending a petition to the offices of Chief of Army Staff and the Chief of Defence staff on the continuous lawless detention of this Nigerian citizen just as the Rights group accused the Nigerian Army of using primitive and archaic methodology to abduct a citizen in lieu of another wanted citizen. 

HURIWA said: “The Nigerian Army should be told that the criminal act of hostage taking and wrongful arrest of innocent citizen Chibuzo because his wedding card was shared on the Facebook by a fugitive, is an intolerable abuse of the constitutionally guaranteed human rights of citizen Peter Chibuzo Agwu and he should be freed immediately. We think too that the military has continued to violate the human rights of Nigerians because too many abused citizens simply regained freedom and never press charges over their unlawful and arbitrary arrest and detention.”

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