Sunday, 19 March 2017

Again, police arrest Peace Corps commandant

Mr. Akoh, 43, was taken to a facility belonging to the police special anti-robbery squad in Abuja hours after turning himself in, PREMIUM TIMES learnt. Although the police have not officially confirmed Mr. Akoh’s arrest, PREMIUM TIMES visited the facility where he is being detained at the police command headquarters in Abuja and confirmed that the Peace Corps leader was arrested. The arrest came three weeks after the police, in a joint operation with the Nigerian Army and the State Security Service, stormed the Peace Corps head office in Abuja and arrested Mr. Akoh and several others. Millicent Umoru, spokesperson for the Peace Corps, condemned the latest arrest and demanded immediate release of her principal. Ms. Umoru said Mr. Akoh should not have been detained because he acted as a “responsible citizen” and “submitted himself to authority.” She added that Mr. Akoh’s health had become fragile following his arrest weeks ago, warning that the police would be held responsible should anything happen to him. “He came all the way from Benue State after learning that the police were looking for him,” Ms. Umoru said. “He shouldn’t have been arrested for simply being a law-abiding citizen with regards to constituted authority.” The police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, and his Abuja command counterpart, Anjuguri Manzah, said they didn’t immediately have comments about the development Sunday night. In separate telephone exchanges, Messrs. Moshood and Manzah promised to get back to this newspaper with their findings later. Authorities slammed a 90-count charge of recruitment scam, money laundering and impersonation to the tune of N1.4 billion on Mr. Akoh and his comrades last week. The Peace Corps countersued, demanding billions of naira in damages.

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