In a fervent appeal for justice and accountability, a prominent human rights organization, Justice for All Foundation (JAF), Imo State branch, has called on the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Egbetokun Olukayode Adeolu, to intervene and expedite the release of Mr. Anthony Onyebuchi Nmezi, a detainee allegedly held illegally by the police in Warri, Delta State.
Mr. Nmezi, along with several others, was arrested in Warri, Delta State on August 27, 2023, on alleged grounds of engaging in homosexual activities.
In Nigeria, like in most parts of Africa, homosexuality is generally viewed as unacceptable, and a 2014 anti-gay law took effect despite international condemnation.
The Justice for All Foundation, in a statement signed by its Coordinator, Comrade Okoroafor
Johnson and made available to this medium, said his group as well as the family of Nmezi is deeply apprehensive over the circumstances surrounding his disappearance.
The human rights body, which has been closely monitoring the
situation, claims that Nmezi had mysteriously disappeared from police custody after his arrest, leaving his aged parents and family distressed and concerned about his well-being.
Despite efforts by his family and legal representatives, there has
been no information regarding his whereabouts or condition since his disappearance.
Comrade Johnson in the statement, emphasized the imperative for law enforcement agencies to abide by the rule of law and respect citizens’ rights, regardless of the charges leveled against them.
He urged the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Adeolu, to swiftly
investigate the matter and hold those responsible accountable for any wrongdoing.
Furthermore, the Justice for All Foundation (JAF), has urged the Delta State Police Command to provide immediate and comprehensive information about Nmezi’s arrest, detention, and subsequent disappearance.
They emphasized the importance of upholding the principles of due
process and human rights in all law enforcement activities.
Meanwhile, the distraught family of Mr. Nmezi is also pleading for justice and the safe return of their loved one. His 80-year-old father, Elder Linus Okunakeya Nmezi who spoke on phone to our correspondent on Wednesday, expressed hope that the law enforcement agencies will diligently investigate the matter and ensure his son’s prompt and secure return to his family.
Recall that police raided an alleged gay wedding in Warri, Delta state, and arrested 67 people, following what authorities said was a tipoff from a person who knew of the event.
JAF has vowed to continue advocating for justice in this case and similar incidents, striving to protect the rights and freedoms of all citizens.