Civil Society Condemns Unlawful Detention Of NATCOM DG, Adegbenro By Police

LAGOS – The Coalition of Civil Society Networks (CCSN) and the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) have expressed concern over the whereabouts of Otunba Adejare Adegbenro the Acting Director General of the National Commission for the Coordination and Control of Proliferation of Small Arms and Weapons (NATCOM).

Adegbenro is also the High commissioner in Nigeria’s International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) – IHRC Commissioner, International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) a Transnational Intergovernmental Organisation based in Zurich, Switzerland, with a Foreign Special Mission Office (FSMO) in Nigeria.

In a statement jointly signed by the duo, they said the management of NATCOM informed them that Adegbenro was invited by men of the Special Weapon and Tactics Team (SWAT) of the Nigeria Police Force to answer a petition on him which he honored the invitation on Friday 26th April 2024.

They said currently, there is no official statement regarding his whereabouts.

“We gathered from the management of NATCOM that he was called by men of Special Weapon and Tactics Team (SWAT) of the Nigeria Police Force to answer a petition on him which he honored the invitation on Friday 26th April 2024 and since then his family and close associates never heard from him and never set their eyes on him.

“There is no official statement regarding his whereabouts, his ‘arrest or ‘detention’ or any petition on him by the Nigeria Police.

“Some sources said he was released on Monday 29th April 2024 but we confirmed that was not true. His phone number is not connected and his whereabouts still remain unknown.

“It is unimaginable that Amb. Dr. Otunba Adejare Adegbenro an active Special Emissary (SE) of the International Society of Diplomats (ISD) and a security expert with impeccable track record in private/public service and commitment to the welfare of Nigeria will be subjected to such an unlawful treatment in his home country under the administration of a president who does not only know him but knows his family’s tremendous contribution to democracy in Nigeria.

“Based on Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), article 22, article 29, article 30, and article 31 of which Nigeria is signatory to, we call on the President and Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces H.E President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the Inspector General of Police Kayode Egbetokun for the release of Amb. Dr. Otunba Adejare Adegbenro from wherever he is being detained for transparency and adherence to due process in all legal matters.

They, however, demanded transparency and urged authorities to provide clarity on his current whereabouts and legal status, emphasising the importance of upholding human rights and the rule of law.

“While appealing to the President of Nigeria to intervene in the matter, we had to stress the need for a thorough investigation into the false allegations and the circumstances surrounding Amb. (Dr) Otunba Adejare Adegbenro’s situation,” the statement added.

Recently Adegbenro was appointed as a professional member of the European Police Federation popularly known as EuroPolice and he plans to connect the Nigeria National Security with the EuroPolice Federation for effective collaboration in the fight against insecurity in Nigeria and enhancing transnational policing between Nigeria and other international security organizations.

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