The Nigerian Army has confirmed on Thursday, the arrest of veteran Nollywood actor, Chiwetalu Agu by “Exercise Golden Dawn” troops, and disclosed the reasons of his arrest.
In a statement sighted by AfrikPage, Onyema Nwachukwu, Director Army Public Relations, said Chiwetalu Agu was arrested for soliciting support for proscribed separatist group, IPOB.
“Troops of Nigerian Army(NA)have arrested one Chiwetalu Agu while inciting members of the public and soliciting for support for the proscribed Indegenous People of Biafra (IPOB)”, stated Onyema.
“Dressed in a very well known attire of the proscribed group, Chiwetalu Agu was picked up for questioning while inciting members of the public to join the proscribed group. Though he attempted puting up some resistance when troops made effort to take him into custody, he was not assaulted or subjected to brutalization.”
“While the NA recognizes the inalienable rights of the citizenry to freedom of movement and expression as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is apparently a violation for any individual or group to incite the public to cause mayhem or break down of law and order. It is therefore pertinent to state that while exercising such freedoms, it must be done within the confines of the law, bearing in mind the imperative for peace, and national security,” the statement added.
The Army insisted that any individual or group seen to be projecting and advancing the cause or activities of the group i“s viewed as brazenly challenging the constitutionality of Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
“More worrisome, was the fact that considering the prevailing security situation of the region, coupled with the ongoing Exercise GOLDEN DAWN , his action could be a tacit endorsement and support for the proscribed group. We have all witnessed the activities of the group take a violent dimension in recent times,” the hammered.
According to the Army, the 65-year-old is taken into custody for preliminary investigation, since he “clearly demonstrated uncharitable disposition to negate peace and security in the region.”
Moreover, local media reported that there were viral videos earlier Thursday showing Chiwetalu Agu being manhandled by soldiers, but the military spokesperson denied the allegations.
“It is important to once again place on record that the allegation that he was brutalized is false and should be disregarded accordingly,” said Onyema Nwachukwu.