A court in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria, has freed 114 women detained by the Nigerian police after protesting for the release of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu, according to news site Premium Times.
On August 18, over 100 women between the ages of 20 and 80 were manhandled and detained by the police over their protest for the release of Nnamdi Kanu.
Following their unlawful arrest and detention, there has been huge calls for their release on social media by human rights groups including global rights group Amnesty International.
It was gathered that the women were released after a directive ordering their release by Nigeria’s Department of Public Prosecution (DPP).
A human rights lawyer who was present at the court, Sam Amadi, confirmed the release of the women following a directive given by the Imo State Director of Public Prosecutions.
“Yes, they have been released. The DPP gave a directive for the case against them to be struck out, earlier today and we took it to the magistrate, along with the detained women. The court ordered the immediate release of the women. All them who came to the court were released from there.
“Only about 12 of them who were not in this prison are expected to be released from the Okigwe prison where they are held. The case has also been struck out,” Mr Amadi said.
Also the legal council who represented the women, Ifeanyi Ejiofor confirmed their release to newsmen.
Meanwhile, presidential hopeful and leader of Takeitback had earlier on Friday, condemned the arrest of the women demanded their immediate release
“We strongly protest the unjust detention of over 100 Nigerian women in Owerri, Imo State, and are outraged at the biased treatment of Nigerians in their own country,” the movement said in a statement by its Director of Media and Communication, Rachel Onamusi-Kpiasi.
“Nigerians are slaughtered mercilessly at an increasingly disturbing frequency by herdsmen and the present government neither speaks nor acts. There have been zero arrests of the perpetrators and no compensation for the surviving victims. Boko Haram has decimated the North with scant retribution save for the present government swelling their coffers in ransom money.
“But women – our mothers, wives and sisters – who carried out a peaceful protest and caused neither harm nor disturbance to civic peace are quickly rounded up like cattle.”
“The government’s disregard of the fundamental human rights of her citizens, as well as the reports of starvation of the arrested women since their incarceration points to a disrespect for human life and well-being. Carrying IPOB memorabilia can never be sufficient justification for this gross miscarriage of justice.
“The TakeitBack Movement fundamentally believes that all Nigerians have a right to peaceful protests. We also believe that raising questions about the restructuring of Nigeria is an inalienable right.
“Again, we ask, where is the justice? While men, who have maimed and killed hundreds walk around free and unfettered, our mothers from the South-east are in prison for raising a flag. We demand the immediate release of these women,” their statement read.