In a startling turn of events, Nigerian Police have arrested Ifeanyichukwu Ezeaku, a prominent traditional religion activist, on charges of defamation against Pastor Ebuka Obi in Anambra State. The arrest, coupled with Ezeaku’s subsequent transfer to Abuja, has ignited widespread outrage and raised questions about the state of freedom of speech in the country.
According to local sources, the arrest unfolded after a petition from Pastor Obi’s team, accusing Ezeaku of cyber stalking and harassment. The police, acting on this complaint, took Ezeaku into custody and later transferred him to the national capital.
Supporters of Ezeaku swiftly took to various social media platforms, calling for his release and framing the arrest as a direct infringement on freedom of speech. The activists argue that Ezeaku was merely expressing his views on an alleged fake miracle orchestrated by Pastor Obi, and his detention is an attempt to silence voices critical of religious practices.
On the other side of the spectrum, followers of Pastor Obi contend that the arrest was necessary to protect the reputation of their spiritual leader. They assert that criticism against religious figures should be within bounds, and Ezeaku’s actions crossed the line into defamation.
Police officials have confirmed Ezeaku’s arrest, but as of now, no formal charges have been leveled against him. The situation has triggered a broader debate on the delicate balance between religious discourse and the right to express opinions freely.
Speaking on the matter, a spokesperson for Pastor Obi stated, “We respect freedom of speech, but when it turns into malicious attacks and baseless accusations, legal action becomes a recourse. Our intent is to protect the integrity of our spiritual leader.”
Conversely, supporters of Ezeaku argue that his arrest sets a dangerous precedent. In a statement, a representative said, “This is an affront to our right to express dissenting opinions. We demand the immediate release of Ezeaku and a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding his arrest.”