Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, Director of Army Public Relations, said in a statement on Thursday that Agu was arrested while allegedly wearing a very well known attire of the proscribed group.
Nwachukwu stated that Agu attempted to resist arrest as troops sought to take him into custody, but that he was neither beaten or brutalised.
According to him, the Nigerian army recognises citizens’ fundamental rights to free movement and speech as entrenched in the Constitution.
He did, however, emphasise that any individual or organisation breaking the law in order to agitate the people and cause mayhem will not be permitted.
“It is thus essential to stress that, when enjoying such liberties, they must be done within the boundaries of the law, keeping in mind the necessity for peace and national security.”
“For the avoidance of ambiguity and emphasis, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) continues to be proscribed.”
“As a result, any individual or organisation seen projecting and furthering the group’s cause or actions is regarded as openly challenging the constitutionality of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“More concerning was the fact that, given the region’s current security situation, as well as the ongoing Exercise Golden Dawn, his actions may be seen as tacit acceptance and support for the outlawed group.”
“We have all seen how the group’s actions have recently taken on a violent dimension,” he added.
Nwachukwu said that Agu had an uncharitable tendency to undermine regional peace and security, necessitating his arrest for preliminary inquiry.
According to him, it is critical to state once more that the accusation that he was brutalised is untrue and should be ignored.
He stated that the army will not let IPOB and its supporters hold the region hostage or allow the security situation to deteriorate.
He went on to say that national interest above all other considerations, and that anybody or organisation who stokes the flames of violence should stop or face the repercussions of their conduct.
The continuing Exercises to cleanse the region of all types of crime, he claims, are on track.
“The peace-loving and law-abiding residents of the South East are urged to continue with their usual activities, while attempts to bring violent offenders to justice are underway.”
“They are also encouraged to continue to assist security services in restoring normality to the region in the sake of peace,” he added.