Nov. 28, 2013
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has demanded the immediate release of Mr. Asari Dokubo, who has been in police detention in the Republic of Benin since yesterday.
“Even though Mr Asari Dokubo, along with some Niger Delta myopic and corrupt Tribal Assemblies like the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC), Ijaw Monitoring Group (IMG), South-South Peoples Assembly (SSPA) and Elder Edwin K Clark gloated or kept silent over Henry Okah’s setup, arrest and conviction, we will remember the role Mr Asari Dokubo had played in the unfinished struggle before he was bought off along with several others,” it said in a short statement.
It pledged not to abandon Mr. Dokubo at this time just as it will not abandon Henry, his brother Charles Okah and others who are still incarcerated.
“If diplomacy fails to prevail, we will not rule out any form of attacks on the Republic of Benin’s interests,” MEND warned.
Also today, Festus Keyamo, Dokubo’s lawyer, petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan asking for his direct intervention in ensuring the former militant’s release.
“We want to emphasise that Alhaji Dokubo-Asari, ever though a Nigerian, carries on legitimate business and has been living partly in Benin Republic for many years now. In fact, he owns houses, schools and an academy in that country,” the letter said, noting that all those places have been searched but that nothing incriminating was found.
“We think his arrest and detention is a ploy by certain forces in Nigeria in unholy alliance with the Beninoise government to keep him away as 2015 approaches,” the lawyer said.