From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
An Asaba-based legal counsel, Emwanta Osifo, has protested against the alleged rearrest of an activist, Nicholas Makolomi, by the police in Delta State.
Makolomi, it would be recalled, uploaded the alleged video of SARS operatives shooting a boy in Ughelli area of Delta State.
The video went viral and eventually led to the #EndSARS protests across the country in October.
Makolomi was arrested by the police but the court declared his arrest and detention illegal last month.
Addressing newsmen in Asaba after the alleged rearrest, Osifo, of Obiora law firm, said the latest development was in utter disregard of the court and judiciary.
Osifo, who is counsel to Makolomi, described the continued detention of his client as an attempt to intimidate and silence him, and a way of concocting further negative stories to hide the police ‘inefficiency’ and the truth.
According to the lawyer, ‘the truth being that the said Makolomi actually observed and recorded an injustice being perpetrated and like what every right-thinking Nigerian citizen would do, uploaded it to bring the attention of the public to the incident of the police brutality and to alert the police to the extrajudicial and unlawful acts of those police officers.
‘Considering the present insecurities and lawlessness in the country, the baseless and unjustified act by the police to cover their inefficiency is an unnecessary distraction and mediocre, instead of facing the actual issue and truth, is totally disgraceful and unwarranted.’
Osifo alleged that what aggravated the police to effect the rearrest was the fact that Makolomi brought the attention of the police to an act of unlawful extortion conducted by one SP Nwaja, who allegedly requested for the sum of N500,000 to grant him a soft landing.
‘As a cover-up for their inadequacy or lack of discipline to investigate the extortion issue, the police cunningly withdrew the pending matter from the court and rearrested him.
‘Presently, the victim has been taken to an undisclosed location and not allowed access to his medication or any form of refreshment, being a chronic ulcer and asthmatic patient.
‘We want the unconditional release and a stop of further harassment of Makolomi and [that they] should respect and honour the decision of the Federal High Court ruling in Asaba granted November 24, 2020, which declared his earlier arrest and detention illegal.
Rearresting him will amount to double jeopardy. He has been detained since morning and now put inside a Prado SUV of one of the Deputy Commissioners of Police, who was driving to an unknown destination,’ Osifo stated.