A court of limited jurisdiction has ordered the remand of Izuchukwu Okeke, a motorcyclist who revealed the whereabouts of Glory Okolie, a 21-year-old lady enslaved by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in their office for several weeks.
The police had arrested Okolie for allegedly being friends with a suspected member of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
She was later transferred to Abuja, despite efforts by her family members to secure his release.
After 66 days in detention, the police, in a statement on Sunday, said she was arrested for alleged membership of IPOB and for working with one Benjamin Uzoma Emojiri to attack officers and stations in Imo.
Her detention stirred public outcry as many Nigerians, including civil society organisations, have called for her release.
SaharaReporters gathered Okeke was subsequently re-arrested at his house for revealing the whereabouts of the 21-year-old lady.
He was subsequently detained and his motorcycle seized by the officers.
A source told SaharaReporters that Okeke, has been locked up at Keffi Prison, Nasarawa state on the orders of an FCT area court despite an act that removed the power of the court to determine and hear criminal proceedings in this regard.
He is reportedly remanded without a formal charge nor first information report issued in this regard.
The source stated, “The innocent bike man is named Izuchukwu Okeke. He is the okada man who exposed the viral case of Glory Okolie's whereabouts and her unlawful detention at the Tiger base unit of IGP IRT unit in Imo State.
“Because of the above, he has been held in the custody of IGP IRT unit in both Owerri and Abuja cells for more than 60days cumulatively. Information got to Harrison Gwamnishu of Behind Bars Human Right organisation, that Okeke was remanded in Keffi prison on 9th September 2021 in Nasarawa State without a formal charge or first information report charged with in that regard.
“The said area court judge sitting at Nyanya actually remanded Izuchukwu Okeke at the Keffi prison, in Nasarawa state. The said FCT Nyanya area court judge actually remanded Izuchukwu Okeke citing section 293, section 297, 24 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, and the provisions of this act, only in compulsory terms, provide for the procedure for the detention of suspect/defendant and persons pursuant to remand orders lawfully made by the magistrate court, nothing more.
“Moreso the FCT Area Court Repeal And Amendment Act 2010, section 10 and other sections have expressly removed from the FCT area court, the power to determine and hear criminal proceedings in this regard, which is in line with the decision of the FCT high court judgment in Barr Arugom Ifeanyi vs Grand Khadi area court, Cr of FCT area court, and others which FCT high court judgment per Coram, Justice B Belgore, nullified all powers of FCT area court to hear criminal proceedings.
“Ihensekhien Samuel Jnr Esq accompanied by an associate, yesterday being the 13th September 2021, went to Keffi prisons in Nasarawa State to confirm and ascertain all the above allegations, only to confirm same as true and correct, as the above mentioned Izuchukwu Okeke was remanded by the Fct Mpape Area Court judge sitting at Nyanya, FCT, Without no charge or criminal proceedings in this regard.
“This is one too much illegality by the IGP IRT unit legal unit and formation and we urge all human rights lawyers, CSOs and human rights organisations to join and speak up in this charade criminal trial of Izuchukwu Okeke.”