This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Kidnapping - NBA Bails Out Human Rights Lawyer

Warri-based human rights lawyer, Mr. Cassley Omon-Irabor, who was arrested two days ago by the Delta State Police Command over alleged complicity in a case of ransom kidnapping in the state, has regained his freedom albeit via a bail bond reportedly secured by his professional union, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

Omon-Irabor, a popular public affairs commentator, especially in Delta and Edo States, whi is also the National Chairman, The Human Rights Defenders Organisation of Nigeria, was accused by the police to have attempted to bribe security agents to secure the release of an unnamed notorious kidnapper in the state. The lawyer was subsequently whisked away to the police headquarters in Asaba, bound in chains and handcuffs; where he was paraded before newsmen on Thursday by the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba.

But Omon-Irabor, who was yesterday seen in his office apparently attending to his legal business along with several of his support staff, following his release, politely rebuffed all entreaties by THISDAY to comment on the manner of his arrest, although he indicated much that he had a harrowing experience during his arrest and hurried arraignment before a court in the state capital.

He simply told THISDAY that it would be unwise for him to make any comment before the news media not only because "it would be prejudicial" but more so since the leadership of the NBA has taken it up itself to defend him and ensure that he got justice in the end.

He said he would speak out to the whole world at the appropriate time, after the case would have been disposed of.

Meanwhile, the state police spokesman, Mr. Charles Muka, a deputy superintendent of police (DSP), told THISDAY on phone yesterday that he did not know the condition of Omon-Irabor's bail bond.

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