Samson Okpetu, frontline lawyer and activist has decried the unlawful arrest of F.E.A Ozekhome over a leadership crisis in Iviukwe community, Agenebode, Edo state believed to be fueled by the Edo state deputy governor.
According to Okpetu, in May this year, the 83 year old Ozekhome was arrested by the police over the crisis and was detained for days before being charged to court.
Ozekhome was later granted bail and has always presented himself for trial to commence but the prosecutor have not shown any diligence in prosecuting the case.
“That notwithstanding, Ozekhome has never jumped bail and no warrant of arrest was issued against him but one Ayoola Ojo, the DPO of Agenebode, sent his officers to Lagos to arrest Ozekhome for the same purported offence which the court has already granted him bail.
“The general public may also wish to know that one Peter Okpetu was recently arrested by the same Ayoola Ojo and taken to Benin City, Edo State since on the 4th of November, 2022, notwithstanding that a pending fundamental human right suit is already before the federal high court in Benin, Edo State”.
“To further show the abuse of power, the police officer in charge of Peter Okpetu’s case went to obtain 14 days detention order, when investigation has already been concluded and some alleged suspects charged to court. When the family of Peter Okpetu sought for his administrative bail, the Commissioner of Police directed that he should be taken to court.
“On 14th November, 2022, while Peter was being taken to court at Auchi where the matter is still pending, on getting to Ekpoma, Edo State, the police officer escorting him received a phone call on instructions from above to return Peter back to Benin and he is still in custody.
“Information available is that Ozekhome and Peter are being detained because they refused to attend the several meetings the deputy Governor of Edo State called in order to resolve the leadership crisis in their community. To the best of my knowledge, I find it strange that not attending meetings has become an offence”, Okpetu stated. ENDS