Juliana Francis

A coalition of civil society organizations has demanded police charge radio presenter  Chinonso Uba aka Nonso Nkwa to court after keeping him in detention for four days.

According to the coalition, Nigerian police continue to detain journalist and human rights defender   Chinonso Uba also known as Nonso Nkwa four days after he was abducted at Owerri, Imo state.

The said Nonso Nkwa, a journalist and coordinator of ‘’Protect the Weak International Foundation (PROWIF), a human rights group based in Owerri,  Imo state was abducted on Thursday, July 27 on his way from work at OsisaFM radio station by several masked men in three vehicles.

The group noted: “His lawyer said he was initially detained at the Imo State Criminal Investigative Department(CID) Owerri where he was denied access to his lawyers, family members, and personal doctor. He was later flown to Abuja on Friday where he remains in custody at the Police Force Headquarters Abuja.

“On Friday an Imo state government official admitted it was behind Mr Uba’s ordeal, and accused him of defaming the state government by accusing it of working with  Asare Dokubo, a militia leader,  to unleash violence in Imo state.

“Last month, Asari Dokubo admitted that his militia is currently active in several states including Imo state where they are currently battling the military wing of the outlawed   Indigenous State of Biafra (IPOB).

“We decry the way Mr Uba was abducted like a terrorist and call for investigation and punishment of the police officers involved.   Even if he has defamed the Imo state government as alleged, the proper thing is not to abduct him in this manner but to charge him in court.

“We are convinced that Nonso Nkwa is being targeted for his work as a journalist, his criticism of the Imo state government, and the spate of killings by both state and non-state actors in the Imo state.

“We reiterate that no journalist or human rights defender should be intimidated or arrested because of his work. The Nigerian police have too often proven brazenly willing to flout the law to intimidate the press.

“We, therefore, call for the immediate  and unconditional release of  Theodore Chinonso Uba and the dropping of  all charges against him.”

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