Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Distressing watching police officers humiliate Labour Party chairman Abure: Obi

“This act is undesirable and unequivocally intolerable and must be condemned by any decent and civilised mind,” said Mr Obi.

• February 22, 2024

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general elections, Peter Obi, has expressed dissatisfaction at how the Nigeria Police operatives handled the arrest of the party’s national chairman, Julius Abure, on Wednesday.

Mr Obi, in a statement on X, said that there could have been a better way to handle the arrest of the party chieftain to “show we are … in a democracy.”

He said, “Like many Nigerians, I observed the distasteful national television news reports detailing the humiliating arrest of the national chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, in Benin City, Edo.

“Throughout my roles as a private individual, public figure, governor, and presidential candidate, I consistently advocated for the paramount importance of upholding the rule of law in any sane society.

“I firmly believe that, as citizens, we are all duty-bound, irrespective of our status in society, to respond to invitations from properly constituted authority.”

The ex-Anambra governor added, “My stance on this matter remains unwavering but does not explain watching the distressing image of our national chairman lying on the ground in the name of arrest.

“This act is undesirable and unequivocally intolerable and must be condemned by any decent and civilised mind within the context of our present civic landscape in Nigeria.”

Regarding the circumstances surrounding Mr Abure’s arrest, Mr Obi noted that it “is crucial to emphasise that while constitutional authorities must be allowed to execute their statutory functions, officers must adhere” to due process and established arrest procedures.

He urged the security officers to “embody civility, decorum, respect for the dignity and rights of citizens, and, above all, the presumption of innocence. It is crucial to emphasise that as a leader within the Labour Party, Mr Abure represents, both personally and statutorily, as the incumbent chairman of the LP, the face of political opposition in Nigeria.”

Mr Abure and some Labour Party members who were arrested by the police on Wednesday in Benin City have, however, been released.

Also, after the arrest, Tijani Momoh, spokesperson for Zone 5 Police Headquarters, Benin City, said Mr Abure was arrested over a petition in a case of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit dangerous harm.

Mr Momoh had on Wednesday, while briefing journalists, said the police did not assault the Labour Party national chairman in the process of arresting him.

The police spokesperson said some persons tried to prevent Mr Abure’s arrest, which led to an altercation between them and police operatives. 


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