By Jonathan Ugbal
Martin Obono, a lawyer and rights activist in Nigeria who was arrested on Friday by the Police in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city after he tweeted about the force’s handling of a rape case has been released.
Obono was released after a few hours in detention at the Zone 7 command of the Nigerian Police Force in Abuja for allegedly “inciting the public” against the force, according to his statement thanking those who reached out.
“I was detained for requesting reforms in our criminal justice system. I was asked to sign a bail bond saying I incited the public against the Nigerian Police based on my quest to reform the justice system because my clients who were raped and sexually assaulted were not treated fairly. I want to put it on record that I did not agree to the bail bond and if at anytime this issue ever comes up, I am ready to defend it in court,” Obono wrote on Facebook, Friday evening.
The police is yet to respond to questions as to why he was arrested.
But, SaharaReporters and PREMIUMTIMES had earlier reported that it was due to a tweet from June 2, 2020 where he expressed his dissatisfaction over the handling of a rape case.
“Five days ago, my clients reported a rape case. The suspect used Police to turned the case on its head and got the Ladies detained the girls in same cell with men. I was livid. It didn’t end there, they asked them to bring a level 14 civil servant, C of O to surety their bail,” Obono had tweeted.
“I managed to get them out without those stringent bail conditions. You now see why women don’t come out?,” Obono added.
I managed to get them out without those stringent bail conditions. You now see why women don’t come out?
— M. M. Obono (@martobono) June 2, 2020
An increase in reported cases of rape has pushed the conversation to the front burner in Nigeria especially on social media.
For instance, in Cross River on Monday, a 73 year old retired Army Captain was arrested for defiling his four-year old relative. There are fears the case may be compromised just like that of an aide to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River who was recommended for prosecution by the state’s Attorney General but was reappointed by Mr. Ayade.
Several players in the Nigerian civic space were on hand to receive Mr. Obono including convener of Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju, Ndi Kato among others.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.