Friday, 20 August 2021

Policemen Detain, Enslave ESN Member’s Girlfriend

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has ordered investigation into the alleged unlawful detention of a 21-year-old lady, Glory Okolie, who was arrested by operatives of the Intelligence Response Team in Imo State.

It was gathered that Okolie, who was apprehended on June 17, 2021, could be released on Friday following a public outcry generated by her story, which went viral on social media on Wednesday.

She was reportedly apprehended to track down a suspected member of the Eastern Security Network said to be her boyfriend.

A rights activist and Director General, Behind Bars Initiative, Harrison Gwamnishu, posted about Okolie’s unlawful detention on Facebook and how she was allegedly turned into a ‘maid,’ washing clothes and cooking food at the IRT office in Owerri, before she was later moved to the unit’s headquarters in Abuja.

Cash transaction slips of N220,000 allegedly collected by the policemen from Okolie’s relations were also attached to the post.

The post read in part, “21-year-old Miss Glory Okolie, who enrolled for the 2021 JAMB exam, has been in police detention since 17th June, 2021 till date. She left the house and never returned.

“Since 17th June, her family had searched for her in hospitals and mortuaries but couldn’t find her. Ending of June 2021, a young man who was freed from the IRT office Tiger Base, Owerri, told the Okolie family that he saw Glory in the custody of IRT officers cooking and washing clothes for them.

“The family immediately went to the IRT office and requested to see Glory and bail her out and till date, it’s been one story or the other. The IRT officers allegedly continued to extort the family and denied them access to see Glory. Our team launched an investigation and discovered Glory has been transferred to Abuja and tagged an IPOB/ESN member.”

It was learnt that the IG formed a committee on Wednesday following the uproar that trailed Okolie’s detention.

Gwamnishu told our correspondent on the phone that his team members were at the IRT office on Thursday and met with the Head of the unit, DCP Olatunji Disu, who recently took over from DCP Abba Kyari, who was suspended after being implicated by an international fraudster, Ramon Abass, aka Hushpuppi.

The activist stated that the police could not link Okolie to any offence other than being a girlfriend of a suspected ESN member.

He said, “The office is cooperating with us. The current head of the unit said he just resumed and that the IG commissioned a committee to look into people arrested for IPOB issues after the Glory story went viral. The committee is already profiling the suspects. They are many; they are more than 100 and they are interviewing them. We learnt the committee will give a report tomorrow morning and we were told to come and pick the girl by 11am.”

The Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, did not answer our correspondent’s calls and had yet to reply to a message sent to him on the case as of the time of filing this report.

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