PRESS STATEMENT

ARREST AND INCARCERATION OF BARRISTER TIMIPA OKPONIPERE BY
AGENTS OF THE RIVERS STATE GOVERNMENT

NIGER DELTA CIVIL SOCIETY COALITION
PRESS STATEMENT
ARREST AND INCARCERATION OF BARRISTER TIMIPA OKPONIPERE BY AGENTS OF THE RIVERS STATE GOVERNMENT:
The Niger Delta Civil Society Coalition is wary of the continued and brazen disrespect of the fundamental rights of law abiding citizens exhibited by government and security agents in Rivers State. We are acutely worried about what is becoming a pattern of silencing all dissenting voices whose views are contrary with official positions of government.
Not mindful of the democratic privileges that we are required to enjoy, agents of the Rivers State government on Thursday December 7, 2006, arrested Barrister Timipa Okponipere whose whereabout is still unknown.
In a statement by Hon Magnus Abbey, Rivers State Commissioner for Information and suggestive of a plot to keep him out of circulation, we have been told that Barrister Timipa Okponipere�s campaign against corruption in Rivers State was aimed at blackmailing the government, especially now that the Governor is a Presidential aspirant of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.
We wish to recall that upon his arbitrary arrest, Timipa Okponipere was on Friday morning at about 6.am driven in an ash coloured Mitsubishi bus with registration number AV 139 PHE to his residence, and his father�s house and office where valuable documents including over 3000 published works on the Corruption Perception Index in Rivers State, were carted away by
7 armed plain clothe security officials.
We take serious exception to the continued incarceration of Timipa Okponipere, contrary to his constitutional rights and freedoms. We therefore and urgently call on the Rivers State Government and all its relevant personalised security agents to take the appropriate legal steps if Mr. Timipa Okponipere is found wanting under the law, or set him free forthwith.
Signed:
Anyakwee Nsirimovu
Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.
Bariara Kpalap
Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) Patterson Ogon Ijaw Council for Human Rights Patrick Naagbanton Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development
(CEHRD)
Steve Obodoekwe
Journalist Committee for Media Rights and Democracy Karl Uchegbu Civil Liberties Organization, South-South Zone Emem J Okon Niger Delta Women for Justice

M. C. Wahurulo
Niger Delta Women�s Human Rights Program Sampson Ikonwa Ikwerre Movement for Democratic Development

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