Tuesday, 16 August 2016

‘Release or charge detained Ijaw activist to court’

Factional President, Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, Elvis Donkemezuo, has asked the government to release the detained Niger Delta activist, Daniel Ezekiel, or charge him to court if it has evidence of commission of crime against him.

Donkemezuo said in a statement on Tuesday that until he (Ezekiel) was convicted of any crime, he is presumed innocent and therefore should not be denied his fundamental human rights.

He said, “Our attention has been drawn to the unlawful ‘abduction’ and detention of an Ijaw youth, Niger Delta activist and social commentator, Daniel Ezekiel by men identified to be Nigeria security operatives over yet-to-be-disclosed offences.

“Ezekiel, who hails from Egbema community in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State was reportedly arrested by security men around 8pm on August 3, 2016 in Warri.

“According to family sources, he left his home after receiving a call from a strange lady known simply as Precious and has neither been seen nor heard from since then.

“His family and friends are alleging that he has been arrested by the Department of State Services due to his vocal stance against the unlawful arrest and detention of 10 youths from Gbaramatu Kingdom.

“It is our view that if the government has evidence of commission of any crime against Daniel Ezekiel, then he should be availed his right to legal representation to respond to such charges in an open court rather than lock him up in secret.

“We, therefore, demand that he should be charged to a court of competent jurisdiction to determine his guilt or innocence. Otherwise, he should be released immediately.”

He said all efforts to reach Ezekiel had proved abortive as no one had been able to ascertain his whereabouts.

Donkemezuo said the IYC was in full support of any sincere efforts to rid the Ijaw nation and Niger Delta region of crimes and criminality, adding that such campaigns should be carried out within the ambit of the law.