Police rearrest traumatised lady over raise allegation of IPOB link

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Less than a week after Gloria Okorie was freed from prison detention, she has been rearrested by policemen attached to Shell Camp Police Station in Owerri, Imo State.

The lady had already spent approximately 10 months between police and prison detentions before this latest re-arrest.

Okorie was arrested in June 2021 and granted bail by the court in March 2022.

The Executive Director of Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre, Okechukwu Nwanguma, was miffed by the rearrest of the traumatised lady.

Okorie was rearrested on March 31, 2022 at 4 pm when she went to a bank to make a withdrawal.

Nwanguma said he had to reach out to the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Shell Camp Division, Owerri.

He told him thus: “RULAAC is reaching you concerning the information we just received that one Gloria Okorie was arrested today when she went to a bank in Owerri.

“Recall that Gloria only just last week regained her freedom after she was arrested on June 17, 2021, by the IGP’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT) and was granted bail by an Abuja High Court after more than seven months in unlawful detention.

“We understand that she went to the bank to access her account, apparently, her account had been flagged and this has not been removed.

“So the bank alerted the Police and she was picked up in the morning.

“Her uncle said he has provided the police with documents from the court, including her bail order, but the DPO refused to release her, even after he spoke with the IPO in Abuja and he advised that they should release Gloria.

“We request that you order her release and save the poor girl from further trauma.”

The different groups, still working frantically, had also reached out to the Commander in charge of the IRT, Tunji Disu.

They informed Disu about the arrest and detention of Gloria at Shell Camp Police Station, Owerri, just days after she regained her freedom after she had fulfilled her bail conditions.

The group further reached out to the Acting Force Spokesman, Muyiwa Adejobi.

Adejobi provided the phone number of the Imo State Police Public Relations Officer, Michael Abattam.

He was reached, but urged the group to call him back in two hours because he was otherwise occupied.

Nwanguma told our reporter that Okorir was released the same day following demands from different human rights organisations.

It will be recalled that Okorie, after spending 155 days in police detention, was arraigned on a 12-count charge bordering on terrorism.

Although she pleaded not guilty, she was remanded at Suleja Correctional Center.

Okorie’s legal representatives, Deji Ajare, Nanpon Wuyep, Samuel Ihensekhien Junior and four others applied for a bail application, which the police opposed with a counter application.

Okorie was arrested on allegations of being a spy girl for the Indigenous People of Biafra.

The Police alleged that her bank was where money from donors and sponsors of IPOB were sendin donations.

The 21-year-old was arrested while on an errand for her parents.

She and the commercial cyclist, who carried her on that day, were arrested.

The police never reached out to her parents to tell them that Okorie had been arrested.

The frantic parents, worried sick that something terrible had happened to her, ran from pillar to post searching for her, including going to police stations and mortuaries.

They had already given up hope when the cyclist, who had been released by the police, went to tell them that Okorie was in IRT’s detention facility at Abuja, sweeping, cooking, and doing the laundry for the police personnel.

Outraged human rights activists and lawyers had swung into action, working round the clock to secure her bail.

All legal overtures made by lawyers and activists toward securing her release from prison were blocked by the police.

Eventually, she was granted bail on March 23, 2022.

There are speculations that she could have been violated by the police personnel.

As of now, Okorie has not opened up about her ordeal in the IRT detention facilities for months.

The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, sitting in Abuja, fined the Federal Government of Nigeria the sum of N1 million for delaying the hearing of the suit on the enslavement of Okorie by Operatives of the IRT.

The court adjourned the case until April 24, 2022.