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Residents of Ogun state have expressed anger against re arrest of Ogun state activist ,pastor Kunle Garb after he was released seven days after he was arrested by Benin Republic police .
PLATFORM TIMES had exclusively reported that Garb, a resident of Igbokofi village in Yewa-North local government area of the state was arrested and whisked away by Benin Republic police .
PLATFORM TIMES further gathered that he was later released on Wednesday after he was prosecuted and detained by Benin Republic government .
Confirming his rearrest and the arrest of his interpreter Benjamin Amosu , Yewa North Patriotic Forum (YNPF) has condemned development .
Also confirming the arrest of Garb a lawmaker representing Yewa-North state constituency II, Wahab Haruna confirmed Garb’s arrest .
Haruna said Garb was arrested last week Thursday by Benin Republic police who came into the state .
He said Garb’s arrest had to do with his roles in the case of encroachment of Nigerian land in the state by Benin Republic .
He said ” the arrest of Dr Kunle Garb is based on the encroachment of our land in Igbokofi by the Republic of Benin that caused all these problems.
” I want to tell you that he is a front man in the fight against this encroachment . Apart from we politicians, he is the one that keeps informing us on happenings in that place and when we visited the place he was the one showing us where the pillar of the boundary should be which the Republic of Benin had shifted from one place to another.
“He was later arrested because of that issue by republic of Benin police,after that I consulted Community leaders and we visited the police station in Ipobe, Republic of Benin to secure his release but I was prevented from seeing him.”
He however said that many promient persons in the country including the Vice President ,Prof. Yemi Osinbajo , deputy governor of the state ,Noimot Salako-Oyedele and other too government officials had been informed about the development .
An eyewitness who was at Benin Republic during the prosecution of Garb, Afolabi Amosu said Benin Republic police whisked him away from a Igbokofi market where he went to buy fruits .
He said “We were not allowed to enter the court room, it was only Dr Kunle Garb and the Benin Republic police that were allowed in the court room.
“When we got there Benin Republic police said that he (Garb) was causing mayhem in the town and that he is causing commotion in the town.
“They didn’t allow us to get a lawyer, I told one of the Benin Republic police to allow us get a lawyer they said no, that they have lawyers there, we then asked them if they could get us a lawyer. They said it hasn’t got to that level, that was how he was returned to cell again on Monday and he has been there since last week Thursday.”
In its reaction to the latest development ,Yewa North Patriotic Forum (YNPF) condemned “the re arrest of Pastor Kunle Garb and Mr. Benjamin Amosu, his interpreter, this Thursday in Benin Republic, after court proceedings. Information has it that the Benin Republic Government ordered the re-arrest .”
‘he President of YNPF, Comrade Omobolaji Oluwafisayomi Sanni, in a statement , said “the people of Yewa North and YNPF members were shocked to receive report of the unjust re-arrest of Pastor Kunle Garb and Mr Benjamin Amosu by the Benin Republic Government. Still battling to come to terms with the initial illegal arrest, an outright abberation itself, which subjected the community defender to untold psychological torture for 7 days before he was let off on Wednesday evening, this latest development comes with a most rude astonishment.”
The statement reads in part: “Benin Republic Government has encroached Nigeria Land over 40 miles inwardly at Igbokofi, Yewa North Local Government Council Area, Ogun State and Pastor Kunle Garb has been in defence of the Nigerian territory against Benin Republic Government, that is why they arrest him since last week thursday and released him yesterday, it is a shocking news that Benin Republic Government has re-arrested Pastor Kunle Garb and his interpreter Mr. Benjamin Amosu”.
“This audaciously aggressive decision of the Benin Republic Government had met a counter action from the YNPF leading to a lawful protest action stating clearly the demand for the reversal of the land encroachment by Benin Republic Government. This action is now part of the charges leveled against Pastor Garb in Benin Republic Court”.
“The Benin Republic Government, rather than addressing the issue, has made a war declaration on the innocent man of God and his interpreter leading to an unlawful arrest.
“It has been gathered that Pastor Kunle Garb and his interpreter Mr. Benjamin Amosu has been taken to prison in Ajase, Port Novo Area of Benin Republic.
“We are not caught by surprise as the government of Benin Republic is popularly known for its infamous harassment of such irrational victimisation of our dear families and relatives in Igbokofi, Yewa North Local Government Area, Ogun State, Nigeria.
“This backward reaction of our neighbouring country is therefore totally condemned and equally rejected by the Yewa North Patriotic Forum (YNPF) members with all assurance that all legal and political actions shall be taken to fight this course.
“We, therefore, again, call on the State Government and Federal Government to sanction Benin Republic Government for this uncordial and barbaric action against the Nigerian citizens and prosecute the oppressive culprits without delay before our people retort to self help.
“We make a clarion call on all Labour Unions, Civil Societies, human rights organisations, traditional rulers and well meaning Nigerians to join in the fight against this arrant injustice.” YNPF stated.