JUSTICE FOR IKOKU FIVE/END POLICE BRUTALITY
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PETITION BY RIVERS STATE CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS AND INTERESTED RESIDENTS OF RIVERS STATE
Nigeria woke up to a heroic feat by Mr.Erepamo Eradiri and Chinedu Ezenwaliri when they raised alarm about the plight of their auto mechanic named late Chima Ikwunado ,Victor Ogbonna, Osaze Friday,Ifeanyi Osuji and Ifaenyi Onyekwere. The Police authorities acknowledged the detention of these lads with their Eagle Crack Squad led by Superintendent of Police Benson Adetuyi domiciled in their Mile 1 Police station and on the 21st of January 2020 informed the public that late Chima Ikwunado the primary suspect had died as a result of increased sugar levels in his body and this information they obtained by conducting an autopsy on him.
On the 23rd of January 2020 the police deliberately charged the remaining four boys for cultism and armed robbery to a court without jurisdiction (We wonder why the Rivers State judiciary continually allow themselves to be used by the police to punish suspected offenders instead of turning the police back to go and do the right thing) and they have been remanded in prison until the 23rd of February 2020.
We have carefully followed the matter as it unfolded not unmindful of the challenges of an undermanned, ill equipped, ill-trained and undisciplined Nigeria’s first line of defense of its citizens, the Nigeria Police.
The serial abuse of the rights of these boys by the police and its arrogance have compelled us to raise this petition.
We would like to make public certain anomalies, serial infractions by the police and put all concerned that these matters will be subject of criminal litigation(s) and they are as follows:
1. It is now public knowledge that the Police in Rivers State serially breeched the rights of the victims by framing and defaming the victims, tortured, jailed and even caused the death of victim Chima Ikwunado and two others in their custody. The command even disposed the bodies of the two unnamed victims and conducted an autopsy on Chima Ikwunado without the courtesy of informing the family of the passing of thedeceased.
2. Post the peaceful protest embarked upon by the colleagues of the late Chima over his demise, this resulted in a mass arrest that saw over 56 persons arrested, from the lot 29 persons could not pay the bail fee and thus were charged for armed robbery, taken to a wrong court and remanded in prison where they have been for over a week; they are expected back in court on the 23rd of February 2020.This is inhumane and unjust.
3. We wish to bring to the notice of the public, the Nigeria Medical Association and the Nigeria Bar Association that the following are in dire straits namely (i) Chima’s pregnant widow (ii) the ikoku4 (iii) Octogenarian father of the late Chima.
1. The Nigeria Police have commenced an investigation of the matter even though they are an interested ‘tainted’ party in the matter, particularly as it’s death squad called the Eagle Crack Team and its torture architecture reports directly to the Commissioner of Police of Rivers State thus we do not trust them not to taint the facts of the matter. Thus we are calling on the Inspector General of Police to make public the all those involved in these dastardly acts and where did the pathologist derive the right to tamper with the corpse of a citizen without due process.
2. We are calling on President Buhari to direct the Attorney General of the Federation to order for an Inquest on how Chima and the two other boys died in the custody of the Eagle Crack Squad and for the bodies of the victims to be produced for an autopsy to determine the cause of their death.
3. The immediate sanctioning of the Provost Marshall and its local representative in Rivers State and prosecution for dereliction of duty and reorganization of the Police Service Commission.
1. We call upon the Rivers State House of Assembly to summon the Commissioner of Police and question him about these anomalies under his watch.
2. We also call on the National Assembly to summon the Inspector General of Police to explain the existence of a torture infrastructure and death squads in the police following the assurances from the Police that units like SARS had been reformed.
1. That the President order the Attorney to set up a judicial panel of enquiry for the following (i) the existence of death squads (ii)torture chambers (iii) torture teams (iv) Police uniformed kidnap teams and the (V)serial abuse of Police service and the constitution.
2. That the Rivers State Government though the Director of Public Prosecutions to ensure that the 29 person arrested and detained in the Port Harcourt prisons be released immediately.
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