From Leo's brother, Uche, earlier this evening:
From Josh Kutchinsky:Dear All,
I have just been informed that Leo Igwe has been arrested by the police in Akwa Ibom State. I got a text from his wife now and we still do not know where they too him too.
He has been campaigning in Uyo the last time we spoke a few days ago. The government of Godswill Akpabio has promised to deal with Activists who are working on the issue of abandoned child witches.
Please anyone who has a contact with Akwa Ibom State government should help as we want to send a locate Leo and send him legal representation.
From James Ibor, Executive Secretary, Basic Rights Counsel in Nigeria:I have just spoken with Uche Igwe (Leo's brother) in the
It is important that people try to make inquiries of the officials in Akwa Ibom State. I will try and provide numbers so that people can begin to make representations. Below is a press release put out by Uche.
Leo Igwe, Humanist Leader and child rights campaigner arrested by Police in Akwa Ibom State
News reaching us now has confirmed that Mr. Leo Igwe, Humanist leader and representative of International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) in Africa has been arrested by the police in Akwa Ibom State. The information reaching us is sketchy but someone has confirmed that Leo and his colleague Ernest Asuquo are currently being held at the Anti kidnapping unit at the Police Area command in Uyo. He is in communicado and has not been allowed to speak to any member of his family or his lawyers. Leo Igwe and his colleagues have been working on the campaign against child with witches in Akwa Ibom State. He has led a statewide campaign and has freed many children who were accused to be witches. A few days ago he freed a child who fled persecution and was living with a lunatic because of the accusation that she was a witch by her family.
We are outraged and we urge the Akwa Ibom State government to immediately and unconditionally release these activists (Leo and Earnest) who are helping to advance the rights of abandoned children and who are fighting relentlessly for the abolition of the inhuman act of killing innocent citizens in the name of belief.
From Josh:i have confirmed that leo is held in the police headquarters ikot akpanabia, uyo, akwa ibom state. I hope to see him tomorrow morning to ascertain the reason for his arrest.He is billed to testify at the Justice Abraham led commission of inquiry into cases of child abuse on Friday 14th Jan.,2011 at court six.
start serious press,sam itauma is already maliciously standing trial for daring to expose witch hunters in akwa ibom state
Basic Rights Counsel
Cross River State
TEL:+234 8037367684;+234 8028800874.
I will update this thread when I get any further information.I have been scouring the internet but I think not very effectively. All I have managed to come up with are these:
Akwa-Ibom State High Court of Justice
15, Ekpeyong Street, Uyo.y
085-204557, 202483, 201033
Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice,
Akwa-Ibom State Ministry of Justice,
Wellington Bassey Way, Uyo.
I am not sure how accurate they are or whether contacting them will do much good but tomorrow I will try and obtain from them further information if I can.
I also have the address for
His Excellency Chief (Dr.) Godswill Akpabio
Governor of Akwa Ibom State,
Wellington Bassey Way,
Akwa Ibom State,
This was from a letter written to him by the Bar Human Rights Committee. So I have also sent an email to them.
No doubt others will be galvanizing some action and we will hear more later.
Very concerned at this disturbing news in what is a very frightening region,