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DELTA: Inhabitants Boil As Community Chains Persons Accused Of Theft For Days

Indigenes, especially the youth, are said to be currently living in fears at Ikpide-Irri a riverine agrarian community, Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta state following the introduction of a crude way described as unlawful and unconstitutional of treating persons who allegedly committed theft, SaharaReporters has gathered.

Speaking to newsmen, some Indigenes of the community who pleaded not to be mentioned, described the current way of dehumanising and treating indigenes who allegedly committed theft in the community as worrisome.

It was gathered that, few weeks ago, a youth, simply identified as Onome, allegedly committed theft and was taken to the community’s town hall where he was dehumanised, chained with a key to a window protector for three days until his family paid a fine and begged for his release.

SaharaReporters was also told that last week Thursday, another indigene, Diamond Agbolu, accused of theft was allegedly taken to the community’s town hall by the leadership of the community and was chained with a key to a window protector for three days and at the moment the whereabouts of Diamond are not known.

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A family member of Diamond, identified as Oghenemaro, allegedly that “Diamond, our son was accused of stealing and the leadership of the community, summoned him Thursday to pay a fine for stealing, an accusation our son said he was never part of. The community chairman and his cabinet, rather than following laid down rules in the community, took our son to the community town hall and chained him to a window protector from Thursday night to Saturday afternoon that our son’s whereabouts are not known.” 

Oghenemaro who displayed the pictures of where their son was chained with key in the town hall for days stated that “The community leadership is fully in support of this kind of unlawful, unconstitutional and inhumane treatment, dehumanisation of Indigenes. We are calling on the community leadership to provide our son for us because we don’t know if he has been killed.

“The community leadership is known for unlawful detention of indigenes who committed theft even if they are innocent. The leadership operates private cell in the community town hall. As we are talking, our son has not been seen or found and we don’t know what has happened to him, so we are demanding from the community leadership to provide us our son.”

Contacted as at the time of filling this report, the community secretary, Austin Agbaga, said he was not aware of the development as he was not based in the community even as he condemned the act saying, “This has never happened in our community before, we have laid down rules we applied in situations like this not be chaining people and lock them up for several days.”

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