Arrest of Austin Okai: Impunity Taken Too Far – Group

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A pro-democracy and good governance group, Concerned Nigerians, has condemned the alleged arrest of popular blogger and convener, PDP National Youth Frontiers, Mr. Austin Okai by the security operatives believed to be from the Special Anti-robbery Squad, SARS.
Mr. Okai was reportedly picked up and whisked away to Lokoja on Sunday, April 9, 2017 by the security operatives after he was allegedly trailed to an eatery on Abacha Barrack road in Utako area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), where he had gone to eat with some of his friends.
However, in a statement signed by its Convener, Prince Deji Adeyanju and made available to newsmen, it called for the unconditional release of Mr. Okai, saying the arrest is an impunity taken too far.
“We have received reports of the arrest and detention of Mr. Austin Okai, a well known critic of the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, by officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police Force.”
“Mr. Okai’s arrest, detention and subsequent transfer to Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, has been confirmed by the Officer in Charge of SARS in Abuja. Mr. Okai was arrested by a SARS team led by ACP Kolo.”
“We condemn Mr. Okai’s arrest and detention in its entirety. Mr. Okai’s arrest is the latest chapter in a series of attempts to clampdown on free speech in Nigeria.”
“There are concerns over Mr. Okai’s safety and wellbeing. A few weeks ago, he was attacked and physically assaulted by political thugs. This arrest shows a probable link between that assault and the current government of Kogi State.”
“We call for Mr. Okai’s unconditional release and an end to the absurd persecution of real and perceived political enemies.”
“We also call for governments all over Nigeria to show greater respect and regard for the rights of the Nigerian people as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Reports also indicate that Mr. Okai is being allegedly interrogated on his sources of information about Kogi State. The reports not yet proven also alleged that Mr. Okai’s arrest was on the orders of the Kogi state Governor, Yahaya Bello who feels that someone was selling them (the governor) out by giving Mr. Okai classified information he writes about on the social media.

Credit: Vanguard

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