Wednesday, November 2, 2016 12:52 pm
A human rights group, Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA), has secured the release of 10 labourers, who were arrested by the men of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), on allegation of being illegal dredgers.
The 10 men were arrested on October 20, 2016, Iyagbe, a riverine community in Amuwo Odofin, Festac Town, Lagos, by men of Lagos State command of NSCDC, for allegedly dredging sand without permission.
Those arrested and detained by the Corps are: Alaba George, Afeez Idris, Jamiu Soliu, Bethel Gabriel, Amos Adeyemi, John Oko, Festus Fagboye, Dare Bode, Sulemon, and Akinbami Adekunle.
In securing the release of the detained suspects, HURMA led by its National coordinator, Comrade Buna Olaitan Isiak, and Barrister Olalekan Matti, the group’s legal adviser, alongside the detainees’ parents and families, stormed the Alausa office of the Corps last Thursday, after they had been in custody for about 10 days without any charge filed against them.
On the dredgers’ release, Comrade Buna said: “We heard that some indigent Nigerians who were struggling to survive were arrested by operatives of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps. Their families, who are of ages, came begging for our intervention, as they could not meet the bail condition for their sons and husbands.
“Immeditly, we wrote a petition to the Commandant of the Corps, Lagos State Command, demanding for immediate and unconditional release of these labourers, or better still, they should be charged to court instead of keeping them indefinitely.
“We succeeded in getting them released, after we pressed it on the Commandant, that they should be released.
“However, our investigation revealed that the detainees are just mere labourers, carrying sand from boat to the land for licensed contractors.
But to our suprise, we learnt the Corps insisted on not releasing the poor labourers or taking them to court, despite meeting the bail conditions as stated by its legal department.
“We were also informed that each of them was told to pay some millions of naira, before they could be released, and this is what provoked HURMA’s intervention and subsequent request for immediate and unconditional release of the detainees.
“However, despite their release, we are determined to take the Nigerian Civil Defense Corps to court for detaining the suspects for such a long period of time”, Comrade Buna stated.