Charles Ekeocha, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations Officer, 6 Division Nigerian Army, said the detention of Saifu Ahmadu, a driver with Guardian Newspaper, was not deliberate.
Mr Ekeocha told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on Thursday that Mr Ahmadu was detained alongside others during an operation by the Army in Oyigbo and some parts of Obio/Akpor LGA.
He said the army was doing some operation in the area because of what happened some days back.
“They accosted him when was coming out in the morning, according to the person that told me about it,” he said.
“They took him just like they were taking some people in the area, but I vouched for him and asked them to release him, and he was released.”
According to Mr Ekeocha, unintentional actions do happen along the line of business as nobody tried or intended to witch-hunt him.
Mr Ahmadu said that he was accosted alongside others by 6:00 am while walking down from TAP Road, Iriebe in Obio/Akpo LGA, to a junction where he could board a vehicle to work.
“I came out around 6:00 a.m. to walk down to Eleme Junction because of the curfew in the area, but when I got to TAP junction, I saw a large crowd of people stranded.
“I noticed that people were raising their hands to walk across to the area the Nigerian Army was, but unknown to us it was a trick for them to arrest people.
“As we were walking with our hands up, the army officers started hitting us with their sticks, and when we got to trailer park junction, they ordered us to lie down,” he said.
Mr Ahmadu said they laid down for over 30 minutes at different spots even in drainage channels before they asked them to sit up.
“I saw over 500 people laying down, among were pregnant women, market women, and others that were heading to their workplaces.
“I was there until around 2:00 p.m. when I approached the officers that I am a driver with Guardian Newspaper, even at that they refused to listen.
“It was their boss, one of the officers I approached, that ordered them to let me go,” he said.
Some residents of Oyigbo LGA, pleading anonymity, said they were under serious panic because of gunfire.
They pleaded that the Federal and Rivers Government should call the military to order to avoid recording loss of human life.
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