Nnamdi Chude, an influencer who was arrested and held by the police at the Anambra State Criminal Investigation Department in Awka, shares his experience of being in custody for six days.
His detention followed a petition by Emeka Offor, an oil magnate and entrepreneur, who accused Chude of defaming his character.
Chude was detained in various police facilities, including the CID in Awkuzu and the Force Criminal Investigation Department in Abuja, before being released on Friday. He confirmed that his arrest was due to a tweet he had made on March 13, which Offor had found offensive.
“Some officers from the Anambra State cybersecurity police unit picked me up in Onitsha during the elections on Saturday, and drove me to the defunct Awkuzu SARS (now Anambra CID) in Awka.
“Immediately we got to Awkuzu SARS, I was thrown out of the vehicle boot; the officers beat me to a stupor before an officer pleaded on my behalf. The officer told them that he was informed that my case was a civil matter and not a criminal one. So, I was left alone, before the officer who pleaded on my behalf offered me a space to sleep at the counter instead of the inhumane police cell.
“The next day, I was covertly transported by road to Enugu airport, where I was flown here (FCID, Abuja). My back, arm and shoulders are strained and bruised as a result of being thrown out of the vehicle boot and the beating by police officers in Awka.
“When I got here (FCID, Abuja) I was informed that my arrest was ordered by the IG following a petition written to the police by Emeka Offor alleging defamation of his character. According to the petition, which was shown to me by the police, Mr Offor claimed that I defamed him in my March 13 tweet where I wrote that Tinubu called him to beg (Peter) Obi to accept the election result. When I got here, they were asking me to provide evidence to back my tweet but I couldn’t.
“However, I was supposed to have been released earlier on Wednesday after my lawyer perfected my bail condition, which required a Level 16 civil servant to stand as surety for my release, but I was later informed that an executive order came from the IG asking the FCID to detain me further. I was asked to apologise to Mr Offor and I have apologised to him over the tweet.”