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U.S. group demands investigations over arrest of Nigerian-American, Matthias Ometu, for jogging “while Black” in Texas

A Nigerian American and an insurance professional, Mr Matthias Ometu, was arrested while “simply jogging” in Texas, United States of America.

International Human Rights lawyer and Convener of US Nigeria Law Group, Mr Emmanuel Ogebe, said that Mr Ometu, 33, “was arbitrarily apprehended under mistaken identity, manhandled and unjustly arrested despite there being no factual basis for such action.”

In a letter to U.S. Congresswoman, Sheila Jackson Lee, Mr Ogebe demanded an immediate investigation of the arrest, expressing regret that it took place on the 57th anniversary of the late Dr Martin Luther King’s Dream Speech.

The full letter reads: “It was a great honor and privilege to join you and thousands of others yesterday to commemorate the 57TH anniversary of Dr King’s March on Washington. Your remarks were potent and inspiring as always.

“It saddens me to report that as we marching for racial justice and equality in honor of victims of police brutality, the news has reported that a Nigerian American and possibly a constituent of yours was arrested while simply jogging in Texas.

“Mr Matthias Ometu, 33, an insurance professional was arbitrarily apprehended under mistaken identity, manhandled  and unjustly arrested despite there being no factual basis for such action.

“As one of the victims’ families said yesterday, not much progress has been made in 50 years. Emett Till was the “George Floyd” of Rep Lewis’ generation showing that we still have continuing racial atrocities under state-sanctioned extrajudicial killings.

“In view of your consistent voice for justice, as a former judge and now congresswoman and your active role in the Nigeria caucus of the US Congress, I wanted to draw this situation to your attention for investigation. The report and video of Mr Matthias Ometu’s experience is in the link below.

“I wasn’t there with Dr King 57 Years ago at the March on Washington for racial justice but I was there seven years ago for the 50th anniversary of the Dream. As Rev Sharpton told us yesterday at the 57TH anniversary of the dream march, “they can kill the dreamer but they can’t kill the dream.” The dream lives on! Thank you for being a dream keeper!”

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