Former minister of Education Oby Ezekwesili Thursday called on the Nigeria Police to immediately release Imo women protesters.
The over 100 Igbo women were arrested in Imo State last Friday for protesting against the continued disappearance of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
"Pls is @AsoRock ‘s @NGRPresident @MBuhari aware of this UNCONSTITUTIONAL act of his staff, the IG @PoliceNG against the #ImoWomenProtesters? Remanded in JAIL until early September for PROTESTING? WOMEN JAILED FOR PROTESTING?? A GUARANTEED RIGHT? This is UNACCEPTABLE.#EndThisNOW," Ezekwesili tweeted on Thursday.
Kanu was first arrested in October 2015 for demanding separation of Nigeria from Biafra and was later granted bail in April 2017.
The pro-Biafran separatist group leader went missing in September 2017, when his Umuahia family compound was invaded by men of Nigeria Army.
The Nigeria government has since dismissed the claims by Kanu's family members that he was being held in secret by the military and said Kanu was “hiding” somewhere.
Ezekwesili expressed concern that the women were not granted bail as prescribed under the law but will be remanded in Prison till September especially as the magistrate made it clear in her ruling that her court had no jurisdiction to entertain the case.
"@PoliceNG, how in the world did you put this level of blight on our Democracy with this saga of the protesting Imo women? I read that “the Magistrate says her #court lacks jurisdiction, adjourns till 3 Sept for attorney general’s advice. #Women remanded in #prison.” Wow. How?" she said.
"How can Governor of Imo State under whose leadership the State Attorney General functions not have seen the INJUSTICE of this UNCONSTITUTIONAL action of the @PoliceNG against the #ImoWomenProtesters?"
"Since the Magistrate court is within Imo State Government jurisdiction, is it safe to assume that the magistrate is seeking the advice of the State Attorney General? Is it then fair that those #ImoWomenProtesters will be in prison UNTIL early September?For WHAT OFFENSE precisely?"