Falana frees man detained by Army 8 months over Facebook video

June 17, 2021
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Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has helped secure the release of one Emmanuel Odaudu who was detained by the Nigerian Army Special Investigation Bureau in Abuja for over eight months because of an old Facebook video.

Odaudu regained his freedom after eight months in underground cell following his released on Friday, June 11, 2021.

Falana, who described Emmanuel’s detention by the military as illegal and unconstitutional, had said:

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“Our law firm is taking up this matter and we are going to demonstrate through this case that the Nigerian Army has no power under the law to arrest a civilian without transferring him/her to the police in line with the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.”

Emmanuel’s mother, Helen, had lamented that her son’s ordeal started when he was in the Army, explaining that he was detained over an old video posted on Facebook, where he was seen rapping while in uniform.

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She also said that efforts to secure his release after he was arrested in their hometown of Otukpo, Benue State, proved abortive.

Helen, who spoke to PUNCH Metro on Tuesday, said though the case against her son was still ongoing, he had been released from detention.

The joyous mother stated, “My son has been released, but when I went to see the lawyer representing us from Falana and Falana Chambers, he said the case is still on and that the Army is not withdrawing it.

“He was released on Friday, June 11, 2021. I was very happy when I saw him; it was like a dream come true.

“I appreciate God, my special thanks goes to PUNCH Newspapers, the Falana and Falana Chambers and every other person, who stood by me during my trying period.”

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