Release Ofehe Unconditionally, ERA/FoEN tells Nigerian Police

The detention of Niger Delta activist, Sunny Ofehe by the Bayelsa State Command of the Nigeria Police allegedly in connection with the abduction of some Dutch nationals is a throwback to the military era when activists were framed and their rights violated at will, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has said.
ERA/FoEN position is premised on the fact that the grounds for Ofehe’s arrest were not made public. What is known however is that last weekend he was kidnapped by militants in a speedboat together with three Dutch nationals and a Nigerian while making a documentary about oil pollution in the Niger Delta.
Ofehe and the Nigerian were released by the kidnappers last Monday (May 5), but werere-arrested by the police. He was reported to have sent a Short Message Service (SMS) from the police station in Yenagoa were he was being tortured.

Media reports indicated that detained along with Ofehe are Femi Soewu, Chairman of Dodo River Rural Development Association, Berry Negerese, and a community youth after they were interrogated over the abductions at Letugbene waterfront in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

After their interrogation, they were allegedly taken away on the orders of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Criminal Investigation Bureau (SCIB).
ERA/FoEN Executive Director, Godwin Ojo said: “We find this action by the police quite disturbing.  Such happenings can only remind us of the era of military repression when human rights activists and peaceful agitators for change were arrested without cogent reasons and kept behind bars for long periods. This is totally unacceptable”

“We suspect that the arrest of Ofehe may actually be in connection of his long-running battles with Shell that he has continued to expose for the company’s ecocide in the Niger Delta. Without a verifiable reason we expect the police to release Ofehe and others unconditionally. Anything short of this is the violation of their rights”

Philip Jakpor
Head of Media

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ERA has recently received information that a group calling itself the "Niger Delta Coalition in the Diaspora" is still engaging itself in activities and communications giving the impression that it is linked with Environmental Rights Action (ERA).

This group issues out communications using ERA's headquarter address and mail box. We have never had any ties with this group and any views, comments or opinions expressed by them is not endorsed or authorized by any member of management or staff of ERA.

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