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Army releases man detained in Abuja for eight months over Facebook video

The Nigerian Army has released one Emmanuel Odaudu, who has been languishing in it’s underground cell in Abuja for over eight months because of an old Facebook video.

Emmanuel was released on Friday, June 11, 2021, following a series of reports by this medium drawing attention to his plight and the involvement of human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN.

Falana had described Emmanuel’s continued detention by the military as illegal and unconstitutional, adding “Our law firm is taking up this matter and we are going to demonstrate through this case that the Nigerian Army has no power under the law to arrest a civilian without transferring him/her to the police in line with the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.”

Emmanuel’s mother, Helen, had lamented that her son’s ordeal started when he was in the Army, explaining that he was detained over an old video posted on Facebook, where he was seen rapping while in uniform.

She also said that efforts to secure his release after he was arrested in their hometown of Otukpo, Benue State, proved abortive.

Helen told PUNCH on Tuesday that though the case against her son was still ongoing, he had been released from detention.

“My son has been released, but when I went to see the lawyer representing us from Falana and Falana Chambers, he said the case is still on and that the Army is not withdrawing it.

“He was released on Friday, June 11, 2021. I was very happy when I saw him; it was like a dream come true. I appreciate God, my special thanks goes to PUNCH Newspapers, the Falana and Falana Chambers and every other person, who stood by me during my trying period,” she stated.

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