IPOB: HURIWA blasts police for keeping Imo girl hostage for 72 days, accusing her of spying

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has accused the office of the Inspector General of Police of attempting to frame up a girl, Glory Okolie, whose family had been looking for since June.

It was later found that the 21-year-old was held hostage by officers of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in Imo State.

HURIWA said that a Force Headquarters’ statement, where it declared the girl a terror suspect after civil rights campaigner, one Harrison Gwamnishu, had found her being allegedly converted to a maid for 72 days by the Police, was despicable, reprehensible and odious.

The rights group asked the IGP not to carry through with the “shameful plot of vendetta and frame up against an apparently distressed girl whose family have not seen for months after she was made to disappear by the police in Imo State.”

Okolie was said to have been arrested on June 17 by IRT officers in order to use her as bait to arrest her boyfriend, who is suspected to be a member of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Then, Gwamnishu, an activist and director-general of Behind Bars Human Rights Foundation, in a Facebook post, had said it was later discovered that Okolie was in the custody of IRT in Imo allegedly cooking and washing for the officers.

HURIWA described the police action as a clear case of criminal acts of human rights violations and abuses inflicted on a citizen of Nigeria on account of a mere suspicion that her purported boyfriend is a member of IPOB.

HURIWA further said that it finds the police statement, in which it stated that it has arrested ‘militants spy girl’, utterly irresponsible, insensitive, irrational and projects the Nigerian Police Force as a bunch of hostage takers.


The human rights group pointed out that Miss Okolie’s case was already public information regarding how she was illegally detained and allegedly made to work for the police in Imo State as a maid.

HURIWA said “it is disingenuous and imbecilic for the police through the Force headquarters to spew the following propaganda about the girl whose case was already in the public domain as someone being victimised by the police.”

The advocacy Group said “this act of unprofessional policing is one amongst the many reasons that the Nigerian police force has over the years self destroyed the public image of the police and has exposed the institution to International opprobrium and disgrace.”

HURIWA’s statement was signed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, where it maintained that “it was disappointing that [this this is coming] at a time some people are beginning to think that the police has eventually decided to turn a new leaf.

The group accused the police of “openly performing government magic and attempting to foist and impose a strange and utterly senseless charge on an innocent girl that their operatives [have] held hostage for over 72 days and never contacted her family nor charge her to court against the constitutional provisions.”

HURIWA pointed out that the constitution presumes the girl as being totally innocent in the eye of the law “but this Nigerian police force that is utterly despicable kept her for many months and has only just issued a lame and tepid press Statement accusing the girl of being a spy.”