Abducted girls: Detained activist freed

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The Nigerian Police on Monday afternoon released a Chibok women’s leader, Naomi Mutah who was arrested in the early hours of the day allegedly on the orders of Mrs. Patience Jonathan.

Mrs. Mutah was one of the leaders of a group which has been putting pressure on the Federal Government to rescue over 200 girls abducted by insurgent group Boko Haram about three weeks ago.

She was arrested and detained at about 3:20 a.m. on Monday by the Asokoro police division after she honoured an invitation for a meeting called by the wife of the Nigerian President, Patience Jonathan.

She was released at about 1:30 p.m.

Mrs Mutah was arrested alongside two other women- the Borno State were the Commissioner for Women Affairs, and the Principal of the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, where the over 200 girls were kidnapped.

But the two other women were immediately released by the police.

The insurgent group, Boko Haram had on Monday, confirmed that it kidnapped the girls.

The First Lady had on Monday ordered the arrest of Mrs Mutah who last week led hundreds of women in protest march to National Assembly over the abduction of about 234 secondary school girls in Chibok, Borno State.

Mrs. Jonathan accused Mutah of impersonation during the stakeholders’ meeting convened at the First Lady’s conference room at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Mrs. Jonathan had alleged that Mrs. Mutah who is a Deputy Director at the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in Abuja, wrote down her name as Grace, which is one of the names of those expected to attend the meeting from Borno State in the meeting’s attendance register.

Mutah, according to Mrs. Jonathan had also claimed that she was one of the parents whose children were abducted at the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok.

“This is the woman who went to National Assembly with the women in black and she claimed that her child was missing and that she is the leader of parents whose children are missing in Chibok.

“The Senate President believed them, I also believed them too.”

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“Today, when I sighted her, I told myself that we will get to the conclusion today because one of those whose child is missing is here.

“But to my greatest surprise, when we asked her, she said she is a representative of one of the groups calling for the release of the girls.

“She wrote down her name as Grace. A whole civil servant impersonating, she should be arrested for impersonation.”

The First Lady then turned to the Commissioner of Police who was also at the meeting, asking him to take action of the issue: “You have to take this woman to IGP and the President.”

But Mrs. Mutah admitted that she had no child among the abducted children but that she was contacted to represent one Grace who is of those expected to attend the meeting at the First Lady’s conference room.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Zainab Maina, disclosed that the woman had last week claimed that she was a mother to one of the abducted girls.

But in a statement released on Monday evening, Frank Mba, spokesperson for the Police said Mrs Mutah was not arrested.

According to him, the woman was invited as part of measures geared towards eliciting useful information that could help security agents in the ongoing effort at finding and rescuing female students recently abducted by terrorists, suspected to be Boko-Haram, in Chibok, Borno State.

“It was purely an interactive and fact finding interview.

“Mrs Nyadar cooperated with the Police in the course of the interview and was immediately allowed to return home to her loved ones.

“She was never arrested nor detained as being wrongly speculated in some quarters,” Mba concluded.

He added that the Police and other security agencies are leaving no stone unturned at ensuring that the abducted school children are rescued.