Omoyele Sowore, the Nigerian human rights activist, has again questioned the Nigeria Police over the continued arrest, detention, and mistreatment of 21-year-old Glory Okolie, who has been illegally detained for about 70 days.
Glory was arrested by the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the police in Imo State on June 17, the same day she took the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.
Sowore and a group, Behind Bars Human Rights Foundation, have noted that officers of the IRT subsequently turned Glory into a maid in their custody, washing and cooking for them.
A belated statement released by the police on Sunday, August 22, through the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Aremu Adeniran, accused Glory of "complicity in the series of deliberate and well-coordinated attacks on security formations, other critical national infrastructure including INEC offices and killing of security operatives in the South-Eastern part of the country".
It continued, "The suspect, a native of Umutanza in Imo State, was arrested following ongoing investigations and implementation of special operation, Operation Restore Peace, to amongst other things, break the information, drugs and arms supply chain to the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed wing, the Eastern Security Network in the South-East region.
"Police investigations revealed that Gloria Okolie is a member of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)/Eastern Security Network (ESN) in Imo State who worked closely with one Benjamin Uzoma Emojiri a.k.a Onye Army, one of the ESN commanders earlier declared wanted by the Police for his lead roles in planning, coordinating and executing the attack on the Imo State Police Command Headquarters and Imo State Headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service.
"Her arrest and the revelations from her confession assisted the Police in the arrest of Onye Army, a major breakthrough in the quest to restoring law and order in the South-East region."
Sowore, however, said on Sunday it was "obvious that this belated press statement was designed as a ruse to cover up some police atrocities!"
He noted that if Glory was as dangerous as the police had claimed, "why was she detained and used as a beast of burden to cook and help police officers wash their clothes at Tiger Base in Owerri, Imo?"
He said, "FreeGloryOkolie: After using Glory Okolie as beast of burden, abused by Nigeria Police Force officers and unlawfully detained for over 70 days, and upon realising that the world has taken notice of her unlawful detention and abuse by police officers, the IGP of Police caused this 'earthshaking' press release to be issued to demonise Glory Okolie. The first few questions to the IGP are these:
"Why was she detained and used as a beast of burden to cook and help police officers wash their clothes at Tiger Base in Owerri, Imo if she is so dangerous?
"Why not issue this release since her arrest 70 days ago?
"Why wasn’t she charged to court since her arrest when the law says you have no right to detain beyond 48 hours?
"Why was the fellow who exposed her unlawful detention also detained?"