Residents react as Delta Community Chains individuals accused of theft more than 48 hours

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

Speaking to The Easterner, some Indigenes of the community who pleaded not to be mentioned, described the current way of debauching and maltreating indigenes who allegedly committed theft in the community as perturbing.

It was gathered that, few weeks ago, a youth, identified as Onome, allegedly committed theft and was taken to the community’s town hall where he was debauched, chained with a key to a window protector for 72 hours until his family came up with proposed fine and pleaded for his release.

The Easterner was also alarmed 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 right now the whereabouts of Diamond are unknown. A family member of Diamond, identified as Oghenemaro,let media know that “Diamond, our son was accused of stealing and the leadership of the community, summoned him Thursday to pay a supposed fine for stealing, this accusation our son said he was never part of. The community chairman and his cabinet, rather than abiding by the laid down rules in the community, took our son to the community town hall and chained him to a window protector instead from Thursday night to Saturday afternoon and now our son’s whereabouts are not known”.  Oghenemaro who displayed the pictures of their son in chain with key in the town hall for days said “The community leadership is fully behind such unlawful, unconstitutional and inhumane treatment, dehumanization of Indigenes. We summon the community leadership to provide our son for us as we don’t know if he has been murdered.

“The community leadership is outstanding for unlawful detention of indigenes who committed theft even though 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 demand 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 latest development because he is 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 ought to have applied in situations like this not to chain accused people and lock them up for several days”.

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