Nigerian Army Thursday said popular Nollywood actor Chiwetalu Agu was arrested because he incited the public, endorsed proscribed Independent People of Biafra agitators, negating peace and security in South-East Nigeria.
“Troops of Nigerian Army(NA) have arrested one Chiwetalu Agu while inciting members of the public and soliciting for support for the proscribed Indegenous People of Biafra (IPOB),” spokesperson for the Nigerian Army Onyema Nwachukwu said in statement.
“Dressed in a very well known attire of the proscribed group, Chiwetalu Agu was picked up for questioning while inciting members of the public to join the proscribed group,” Mr Nwachukwu added.
In a viral video online on Thursday, Nigerian soldiers were seen dragging the popular actor who was dressed in Biafran flag.
The army said Chiwetalu Agu has been taken into custody and is going through preliminary investigation.
“Chinwetalu Agu has clearly demonstrated uncharitable disposition to negate peace and security in the region, hence, he is taken into custody for preliminary investigation.
It is important to once again place on record that the allegation that he was brutalised is false and should be disregarded accordingly,” Mr Nwachukwu added.
Human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong in a telephone call with Peoples Gazette, however dismissed allegations against the actor by the Nigerian army as baseless.
“The allegations against the actor, Chiwetalu Agu, are baseless. There is no law that makes the attire the actor wore a criminal offense in Nigeria.
“Most importantly the soldiers have not constitutional power to effect arrest of a civilian in such matter. They don’t have the power to arrest the actor in the first place. If he has even committed an offence it is the police that should arrest him. Whatever impression they have about what the actor wore is their opinion,” Mr Effiong added.