Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, led by Mr. Eric Omare, has called for the urgent release of about 50 Niger Deltan activists allegedly arrested and detained without trial for over a year by security agencies in the country.

Noting that spokesperson of Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative, IPDI, Mr Daniel Ezekiel, was recently released by the Department of State Services, DSS, after a year and three months in detention, IYC spokesperson, Henry Iyala, said that the security agencies, especially DSS, have continued to violate the human rights of the detainees.

He stated that the council had written the United Nations Human Rights Council, High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland, Mr. Zeid Al Hussein, Africa Commission on Human, Peoples’ Rights and the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC of Nigeria, urging them to wade into the continued detention of the activists.

Iyala gave the names of some of the Niger Deltans in detention as Alex Odogu (IYC spokesman, Abuja Chapter), Michael John, Gabriel Ogbu, Justus Golubus, Joshua Golubus, Norway Suku, Felix Mieminiye and John Fortune.

He said: “The IYC states that the continued detention of these Niger Deltans without trial amounts to a violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria on fundamental human rights.

“These international instruments and local laws guarantee citizens’ rights to personal liberty and obligate security agencies to charge anybody that is arrested in suspicion of having committed an offence within 24 hours or a reasonable time.

“The IYC states that most of the Niger Deltans in detention have spent more than a year in detention without trial. In some cases, the courts have made orders for their release, but the relevant security agencies refused to obey the order and release them on bail,” he added.

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