Police detain Port Harcourt-based lawyer for 1 month without trial

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The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) in Rivers State has condemned the continuous detention of Jeff Ikechi Geoffrey, a PortHarcourt based lawyer by the Nigerian Police in Abuja without trial.

The Chairman of the CLO, South-South branch, Comrade Karl Ugchegbu Chinedu said the continuous detention of Ikechi without trial is unlawful.

The detained lawyer, an indigene of Ubima in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State was
arrested in Port Harcourt on Monday, February 17, 2020, by Policemen from FCID, Abuja on the orders of one Mr Dan Dyson.

He has since remained in incommunicado in police detention.

According to the CLO, “We fear that he may be subjected to cruel and subhuman treatments as he is denied access to his family members, lawyers and others. We are also worried about his safety as the said, Mr Dan Dyson.

“He was said to have boasted that Ikechi Jeff will either back out from his position as the community liaison officer, CLO/family representative of All Grace Energy Ltd/Western Ord Oil and Gas Ltd, an oil servicing joint venture operating in their community or be killed”.

CLO alleged that the lawyer is being subjected to torture, cruel and inhuman treatment by
the police in a desperate bid to force him to relinquish the position of CLO/family representative of the aforementioned All Grace Energy Lta/Western Ord Oil and Gas Ltd, a position assigned to him by his community.

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They also gave the names of the officers who partook in the arrest the lawyer as Mr Joseph with phone number, 07031288107 and Mr Emmanuel with phone number, 07068777115.

“Ikechi Jeff was first arrested on September 11 and detained at Ubima Police Division on trumped-up charges of cultism. He was moved to the notorious SARS at Rukpokwu on September 12 and to SCID ON September 13, 2019. He was later released on the orders of the Deputy Commissioner of Police when it was found out that he was wrongly accused.

“It was also gathered that after his release, Policemen from Abuja stormed Port Harcourt and whisked him away to Abuja on trumped-up charges of forging the signatures of his family members who sent a letter to the company removing Dandyson as the CLO.

“The continued detention without trial of Jeff is unlawful, unconstitutional, illegal, an affront to rule of law, a violation of his fundamental rights to a fair hearing, the dignity of the human person, personal liberty, safety, movement and freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment as enshrined in chapter 4 of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria and other human rights instruments to which Nigeria is a signatory.

“It is shameful and worrisome that the Police has allowed itself to be dragged into the issue that is ordinarily a family issue that can at worst be settled in a court of competent jurisdiction.

“We call on the Inspector-General of Police, IG, to prevail on the DIG and AIG at the FCID, Abuja to release Citizen Jeff unconditionally without further delay.

“We also call on human rights groups and the international community to prevail on the IG of the Nigeria police force to do the needful and ensure Jeff is released immediately.

“However, if the Police have any reason not to release him, they should charge him to a competent court in Port Harcourt where the fair hearing would be guaranteed”.