The Biafra Independence Movement and the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) have accused the police of indiscriminate arrests and extortion of their members in the South-East.
This came as a team of attorneys for a pro-Biafran group led by Dr. Destiny Nnagbo criticised the recent police detention of a clergyman and seven others in Anambra State’s Ifitedunu area.
Mazi Chris Mocha, MASSOB‘s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, published a statement on Friday alleging that the Police Tiger Base was responsible for the indiscriminate arrests and extortions of its members in the South-East.
MASSOB’s spokesman went on to say that once the Special Anti-Robbery Squad was disbanded, Tiger Base had become another “money-making machine” for the Police Force, and that innocent individuals were being arrested without being charged in court.
He said, “Chief Chukwueke Amadi was arrested alongside his son, Uchechukwu, on April 20, 2023, at his Ngor-Okpuala family house for an alleged membership of Indigenous people of Biafra, the allegation which both of them had denied.
“Amadi and his son, Uchechukwu, were detained for about two weeks. They were released after the men at the Tiger Base Shell Camp in Owerri, the Imo State capital, collected N300,000.
“Also, Jude Egwuchukwu was arrested at Orlu near the local government secretariat, Orlu, for allegedly belonging to IPOB, the charge which he also denied in a useful statement to the IPO.
“Egwuchukwu was transferred from Orlu Area Command’s cell to Tiger Base, Shell Camp, Owerri. He was also freed on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, after Massob coughed out N150,000.
“In all of these detentions without trial, the investigating police officer would always confide in us that their office was not ready or willing to release our member or charge them to court.
“In Enugu, Paul Asadunwagu was arrested at Nsukka by soldiers. Nwagu was later moved to the State Criminal Investigation Department, State CID, Enugu, and at the IPO, a policewoman, Elizabeth Maduekwe, demanded the sum of N150, 000 as the only condition to effect his release or risk prolonging detention.”
However, when reached by phone for comment on the development, Anambra State Police spokesman Tochukwu Ikenga refuted the claims.
“There is no such report before me and no formation known as Police Tiger Base at Akwuzu in Anambra State Police Command, please,” Ikenga added.