Nigerian forest activist released on bail

    Odigha Odigha with Richard Goldman at the Goldman Prize ceremony in San Francisco

    We earlier reported here the arrest of Environmental activist and former Chairman of the Cross River State Forestry Commission (CRSFC), Dr. Odigha Odigha. He has been releasedless than 24hrs after his arrest, but will report to the Police Headquarters in Diamond Hill on Monday, July 25, 2016, for further questioning.

    Odigha’s lawyer (anonymous), and Odigha’s wife, Mrs. Evelyn Odigha, who had earlier accused the Cross River State Government of witch-hunting her husband over his anti-Superhighway stance, confirmed that he was released at about 7pm on Friday on bail.

    The allegation against Odigha was last week written and personally signed and given to the Police Commissioner by the Attorney-General of the state who, acting on the orders of the governor, instructed that Mr Odigha be arrested and prosecuted.

    His arrest has been condemned by many who say that the governor fabricated the charges just to silence those opposing the contovertial 260km Superhighway Project that is planned to chop down millions of trees in the Cross River National Park as well as a community forest at Ekuri.

    But the Special Assistant on Media and Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ben Ayade, Christian Ita, described as ludicrous, attempts to link Odigha’s arrest and detention by the police to the governor, saying: “Odigha was arrested by the police on the strength of a petition that alleged fraud and embezzlement whilst the self-styled environmental activist held sway as chairman of the state forestry commission.”