Popular Nollywood Actor Chinwetalu Agu was arrested in the early hours of Thursday, October 7 around Upper Iweka Bridge in Onitsha for wearing an outfit with colours of the Biafran flag.
However, revealing the true reason behind his arrest after so much outburst, the Defense Headquarters said they arrested Chiwetalu Agu while he was soliciting support for the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
Soliciting for Chiwetalu’s release, the President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria condemned his outfit considering the insecurity in the country. But he also promised that he would do everything within his power to make sure he is released.
An Abuja-based human rights activist and constitutional lawyer, Ojukwu Chikaosolu also asked the military for the actor’s immediate release.
“The arrest of a Nigerian who is in the middle of the road giving bread to the poor on the grounds he wore cloth with a Biafra flag is not an offence known to any law in Nigeria. While IPOB may be proscribed, the Biafra flag is in National museums, archives, etc as such not proscribed.
The military applied extraordinary and nonproportionate force on a 65-year-old veteran and breached his fundamental right to human dignity. He must be released forthwith ” Ojukwu said.
Reacting on Instagram, Ernest declared his support for his senior colleague, while insisting that the veteran actor has the ‘right to stand for what he believes in.’
“High Chief CHIWETALU AGU. I stand with You And Your Right To Have A Right To Stand For What You Believe In.
I Asked, Were You Armed? Were You Leading A MOB? Arsonists? Flag Waving murderers?Were You Calling Citizens up To Arms?Did You Murder scores of Children and Women to Propagate whatever Your ideology is?Have you ever sacked dozens of villages and kidnapped and raped and maimed their children?
Have Government Officials Ever come To beg You loads Of Money to end your killing spree. Taking pictures and videos whilst you strut around with your AK47 rifle?NO..NO…No!
Enough. Enough. Enough”.
Ohanaeze spokesman, Alex Ogbonnia, who spoke with The PUNCH in a telephone interview on Thursday, described the continued harassment of Igbo people by security men from other sections as condemnable and demanded his immediate release.
Olayomi Koiki, Spokesman for embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Igboho, also condemned the arrest of the actor in a Facebook post. “When is it a crime for someone to wear a cloth made with Biafran colours?” he queried.
However, in the latest development, it was reported that Agu was released via the intervention of the AGN and according to one of the representatives, the actor is hale and hearty.
When asked for a comment, Agu said, “Keep supporting Nollywood. It’s the only hope we have to sustain both our public and private lives.”
With his release, Nollywood stars and fans have expressed their gratitude to the AGN, for their prompt response.
Emeka Ike wrote, “Thank you Actors Guild of Nigeria for the prompt response. Thank you, Mr. President and your team. It’s nice to have Chiwetalu Agu back.”
Actress Chizzy Alichi wrote, “Uncle Chinwetalu Agu has been released. He is safe and sound. All thanks to God and everyone that contributed one way or the other.”