The Nigerian Army says popular Nollywood actor, Chiwentalu Agu was arrested earlier on Thursday for inciting Nigerians to join the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
This now confirms stories circulating earlier of the arrest by Agu in Anambra State by men of the military.
The actor was said to have been manhandled by the troops for wearing Biafra clothing.
The movie star was walking within the Upper Iweka Bridge when two soldiers suddenly accosted, wrestled him to the ground and dragged him.
The comic actor was reported to be sharing food to the less privileged persons when government forces stopped him.
A statement issued on Thursday by Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, Director Army Public Relations said Agu was arrested while inciting members of the public and soliciting for support for the proscribed Indegenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
According to Nwachuwku, Agu was picked up for questioning while inciting members of the public to join the proscribed group.
Nwachukwu denied that the actor was assaulted or brutalized but said he attempted putting up some resistance when troops made effort to take him into custody.
”While the NA recognizes the inalienable rights of the citizenry to freedom of movement and expression as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is apparently a violation for any individual or group to incite the public to cause mayhem or break down of law and order.
”It is therefore pertinent to state that while exercising such freedoms, it must be done within the confines of the law, bearing in mind the imperative for peace, and national security.
”For the avoidance of doubt and emphasis, the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) remains proscribed . Therefore, any individual or group seen to be projecting and advancing the cause or activities of the group is viewed as brazenly challenging the constitutionality of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
”More worrisome, was the fact that considering the prevailing security situation of the region, coupled with the ongoing Exercise GOLDEN DAWN , his action could be a tacit endorsement and support for the proscribed group. We have all witnessed the activities of the group take a violent dimension in recent times,” he said.
The Army accused Agu of demonstrating uncharitable disposition to negate peace and security in the region, adding that he was taking into custody for preliminary investigation.
Nwachuwkwu stressed that the Army would not allow IPOB and its sponsors to hold the region captive and allow the security situation to degenerate.
He warned individuals or groups who fan the embers of violence to desist or face the consequences of their actions.