Police Destroy Own Station To Rope In Right Activist, Group Alleges

Source: thewillnigeria.com

BEVERLY HILLS, February 16, (THEWILL) - The Ijaw Peoples Development Initiatives weekend alleged a fresh twist in the case involving a human right activist who was charged alongside 29 others for alleged breach of peace at the Ebrumede Police Station in Delta State.

National Coordinator of the group, Comrade Austin Ozobo, alleged on Friday that police have purportedly destroyed their own station to incriminate the activist of the arson charges.

"The police in Ebrumede Police Station on Wednesday, 12th February, broke down parts of their building fence and set some parts ablaze to cook up arson charge against him (Ogedegbe); all to sentence him as was directed by the superior authorities in the state," the group alleged.

Ozobo who claimed he witnessed the protest which culminated in the arrest of the activist said that no part of the police station was damaged as at when the protest took place on Monday.

Omemiroro Ogedegbe and 29 others were charged for unlawful assembly, riotous assembly and attempt to burn the Ebrumede Police Station of which they were remanded in Okere Prision by Chief Magistrate O.

Oforkeya of Magistrate Court 1, Effurun, near Warri.

He argued that if the activist had destroyed the police station as claimed by the police, would the police had allowed him to be rushed to the hospital where he was later arrested in the hospital bed.

"if all these charges were true, why didn't they arrest him right on the spot ? Why did they allow him to be taken to the hospital if he actually carried out the act? "Is it possible for the police to watch an unarmed civilian break down their fence and burn part of the station in broad daylight without them firing the person to death?," he asked.

"His (Ogedegbe's) arrest is politically motivated.
The truth is that he committed no offence.
All the count charges level against him were targeted to discredit him.

Omes has not done anything wrong against the law.
He only followed his client to the police to complain.

There was no act of violence during the protest.
He was even tear-gassed and hospitalized.
So why should the police try to turn the case against him? "When the police invaded the hospital where he was admitted, they brutalised and arrested sympathisers who came around to share feelings with him .

"Barr Ogedegbe was picked up while being placed on a drip.

He was denied of his right to medical care.
Barr Omes was not arrested in police station as it being alleged by the police.

"If he had rioted as alleged by the police, he would have being arrested in the police station not in his hospital bed because when the police invaded the hospital they clearly tell him that there is directive from above to bring him death or alive.

"All these are happening because the judiciary is not truly independent in this country.

This is the reason why some people are suggesting that judges should also be elected by the people and not appointed .

"As it is now, for the fact that the judiciary has been appointed by the executive arm of government, it tends to only fulfill the interest of the executive which is unacceptable.

" Ogedegbe's travails started when he led some protesting Okada riders to Ebrumede Police Station over the alleged seizure of their tricycles and motorcycles by the police along Alegbo/Okoribi road in Uvwie Council area.

The protest turned sour when the police shot and tear-gassed the protesters in a bid to disperse them.

Ogedegbe fainted as a result of the impact of the tear gas and was hospitalised .

He was later arrested by the police at the hospital and was charged alongside 29 others.

The case comes up for hearing March 4.
Meanwhile, it was leant that the activist was granted bail Friday.

Though his bail conditions were still hazy when filing this report, source said some persons had influenced his release from prison custody.