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Amnesty International Condemns Abia State Police for On-Air Arrest

by KINGSLEY OYEMA

Amnesty International, a prominent human rights organization, has strongly criticized the Abia State Police Command for the on-air arrest of a suspect during a live television program. The incident occurred on “Youth Rendezvous,” a program hosted by Grace Onyekachi on ABN television in Abia State.

During the live broadcast on Wednesday, officers from the Abia command forcefully arrested the show’s guest, Udensi Donald, prompting widespread condemnation and concerns over the violation of citizens’ rights.

In an official statement posted on its official X account, Amnesty International expressed its disapproval of the police action, citing a clear disregard for the right to freedom of expression and media freedom. The organization called the incident a demonstration of a lack of adherence to due process of law.

“The invasion of the studios of ABN TV/Radio Umuahia Abia State by the Nigeria Police and the arbitrary arrest of a suspect who was participating in a live programme ‘Youth Rendezvous’ is condemned by Amnesty International. This incident clearly demonstrates total disregard for the right to freedom of expression, media freedom, and the due process of law,” the statement read.

In response to the incident, the Commissioner of Police for Abia State, Kenechukwu Onwuemelie, expressed regret for the unprofessional behavior exhibited by his officers during the arrest at the ABN radio and television studio in Umuahia.

Additionally, the State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Maureen Chinaka, issued an apology for the incident in a Facebook post on Thursday. The statement acknowledged the unprofessional conduct of the police officers involved in the arrest and emphasized that preliminary investigations indicated a breach of professional conduct.

The statement read, “The Abia State Police Command wishes to address the recent incident involving the arrest carried out by some police personnel at an online radio studio in Umuahia.  ⁠Preliminary investigations into the incident indicate that the police officers who made the arrest, conducted themselves unprofessionally.”

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