As Veteran actor Chiwetalu Agu breathes air of freedom

Abiodun OBA

A kingpin of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Uchenna Chukwu, has been arrested by the police in Imo just as veteran actor Chiwetalu Agu breathes air of freedom in Enugu state.

The police spokesman in the state, CSP Mike Abattam who so, confirmed  in a statement issued in Owerri on Friday, stated that the IPOB champion was arrested at Ehime-Mbano Local Government Area of the state.

Abattam added that the police also killed an IPOB member who joined other members to frustrate the arrest of the kingpin.

He said Chukwu, aged 34 years, played a major role in the killing of police officers and burning of police stations in Imo and had long been declared wanted by the police.

He explained that following credible information the police stormed his shop at Ehime Mbano area to arrest him.

“The suspect raised alarm alerting members of his gang, picked a cutlass and rushed at one of the police operatives and attempted chopping off his head but was overpowered, disarmed and the cutlass recovered.

“While this was on, the already alerted members who came in their numbers to rescue him engaged the police in a gun duel and in the process, one of them was neutralized while others escaped with bullet wounds,’’ he stated.

He added that one locally-made double barrel pistol with two expended cartridges; two live cartridges and charms were recovered at the scene.

Abattam also stated that the suspect was presently undergoing interrogation and had made a useful statement to the police.

He said the police were working in synergy with other security agencies to arrest other members of the terror group especially those that escaped with bullet wounds.

 

Meanwhile, Nollywood veteran actor Chiwetalu Agu has breathed the air of freedom from the custody of the Nigerian Army.

The Senior Special Assistant on Military Affairs and Inter-Governmental Relations to the President, Steve Eboh, confirmed the release from the Army Barracks in Enugu.

He thanked the High Command of the Nigerian Army for their cooperation and understanding in the matter.

The National President also commended the efforts of the leadership of the pan Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo for their collaborative efforts on the matter.

However, the National President debunked the earlier statement credited to him on the arrest of the veteran Actor.

Emeka said he has not made any official public or private statement on the matter since Agu was arrested.

“The public is hereby advised to disregard the report which trended on social media on the matter,” Emeka stated.

The Nigerian Army had arrested Nollywood actor, Chiwetalu Agu, on Thursday for “inciting members of the public and soliciting support for the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)”.

The Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, said the veteran actor was picked up for questioning after he was spotted in a well-known attire of the proscribed group.

“Though he attempted putting up some resistance when troops made effort to take him into custody, he was not assaulted or subjected to brutalization,” the statement read in part.

“While the NA recognizes the inalienable rights of the citizenry to freedom of movement and expression as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is apparently a violation for any individual or group to incite the public to cause mayhem or break down of law and order.

“It is, therefore, pertinent to state that while exercising such freedoms, it must be done within the confines of the law, bearing in mind the imperative for peace, and national security.”

The army further emphasised that IPOB remains proscribed, noting, therefore, that any individual or group seen to be projecting and advancing the cause or activities of the group is viewed as brazenly challenging the constitutionality of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“More worrisome was the fact that considering the prevailing security situation of the region, coupled with the ongoing Exercise Golden Dawn, his action could be a tacit endorsement and support for the proscribed group. We have all witnessed the activities of the group take a violent dimension in recent times.

“Chiwetalu Agu has clearly demonstrated uncharitable disposition to negate peace and security in the region, hence, he is taken into custody for preliminary investigation.

“It is important to once again place on record that the allegation that he was brutalised is false and should be disregarded accordingly.

“While the NA would not allow IPOB and its sponsors to hold the region captive and allow the security situation to degenerate, it is instructive to restate that national interest supersedes any parochial consideration. Individuals or groups who fan the embers of violence are warned to desist or face the consequences of their actions.

“The ongoing Exercises are on course and will rid the region of all forms of criminality”.

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