Monday, October 15, 2018

‘I was manhandled from Kaduna to Abuja’ — released BudgIT staff recounts ordeal

‘I was manhandled from Kaduna to Abuja’ — released BudgIT staff recounts ordeal
December 06
20:42 2017

Moses Motoni, a project tracking officer at BudgIT, civic technology organisation, has recounted his ordeal in the hands of the police.

Motoni was arrested on Tuesday in Kaduna by policemen suspected to be attached to the special anti-robbery squad (SARS).

His arrest had triggered criticism in the media but he was released on bail less than 24 hours.

Speaking at a press conference not long after his release, Motoni said he was “manhandled” while in the hands of the police.

“At first, I was not told why I was arrested. They just told me they are taking me to SARS office but they didn’t say where. So I didn’t know where we were going till we got to the SARS office,” he said.

He said the police officers handcuffed him through their journey from Kaduna to Abuja.

“It was not fair; wasn’t fair at all,” he said.

“I was manhandled. While in the van, I was handcuffed at both legs and hands for the two hours thirty minutes journey from Kaduna to Abuja.”

Oluseun Onigbinde, co-founder of BudgIT, described Motoni’s arrest as an affront to democracy and fundamental human rights.

Onigbinde called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the national assembly to ensure the respect of the rights of every Nigerian.

BudgIT had blamed Sani Mohammed, senator representing Niger south, and Faruk Muhammadu, lawmaker representing Bida/Gbako/Katcha constituency in the lower legislative chamber, for the arrest.

The organisation said the lawmakers were irked over its sensitisation of citizens on constituency projects in Bida, Niger state.

While announcing Motoni’s release, the police had denied reports that he was arrested by SARS operatives.

“Mr. Moses Motoni was not arrested by SARS operatives but by a police team on the case of inciting public disturbance reported against him which occurred on the 1st and 2nd of December, 2017 at Gbako, Tandzun and Bida villages on federal constituency project,” the police had said in a statement.


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