Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The Apex Socio-Cultural Organization of the Igbos, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has given a seven-day ultimatum to sue the Rivers State Police Command and the Commander of infamous E-Crack Unit of the Mile One Police station, Diobu Port Harcourt, if they refuse to investigate and bring to book the Officers who tortured Chima Ikwunado to death.
The Publicity Secretary of Ohaneze Indigbo in Rivers State, Felix Onwuma, who made the position of the group known also called for the immediate release of the other four persons allegedly tortured along with the late Chima Ikwunado, framed up, thrown in jail those unlawfully arrested during the protest yesterday in Port Harcourt.
Also, Motor spare parts dealers and Motor Mechanics in Ikokwu, Mile One, Two Diobu have given a one-week ultimatum to the Police to provide the killers of their colleague, Chima Ikwunado or face a statewide peaceful protest.
The Chairman of Rivers State Ikokwu Motor Spare parts dealers association, Anthony Iwu who gave threat said they cannot continue to bear the unlawful arrests, detention, extortion and torturing of its members unchallenged.
As people keep asking for justice for Late Chima Ikwunado, the mechanic, there are indications that the case file reads the names of 4 of the persons arrested alongside Chima and one person,(Chima) is at “Large”.
A member of the Civil Societies organization who want to remain anonymous for now, queries: “How can a case file of a dead person read that he is “at large after the Police had said they confirmed he died of diabetes and the case file still reads that he is at large when the other four were arraigned on frivolous charges of cultism at a magistrate court in Port Harcourt?”
Elder brother to the late mechanic, Chima Ikwunado, Anthony Ikwunado, has narrated that the family members were unable to see Chima in cell while in detention, but some suspects released from the police unit had confirmed that the late Chima was in critical condition at time of their release that his life was hung on the balance as they were unable to raise the N200,000 allegedly requested by the Police after they had earlier paid N90,000 to the police for his release.
He insisted that late Chima was tortured to death by men of the E-Crack Unit of Mile One Police and declared that his younger brother does not have any medical record of having diabetics as claimed by the police and also has denied reports that the deceased had any known hypertension as claimed the police autopsy reports.
He queried how a case file of a dead person still reads that he is at large after the Police had confirmed he died of diabetes and the case file still reads that he is at large when the four others was arraigned on charges of cultism at a Magistrate Court in Port Harcourt without their lawyer, family or representatives.
Mr. Ikwunado said, “late Chima’s medical report never confirmed him as a diabetic patient why won’t I know if my junior brother suffers diabetes when we live in the same compound, since Police have done autopsy and said Chima died of High Sugar level, should they not release the corpse to us so that we can also carry out our own autopsy, and bury him? Because Chima deserves to rest in peace and not at the mortuary.”
Meanwhile, Dr Ritchard Wokocha, a Constitutional Lawyer and Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law of the Rivers State University has said that he was not surprised that the Police image-maker was quick at absorbing his colleagues of any guilty even when their crimes are so obvious to discerning minds.
The Law lecturer, Dr Wokocha, dismissed the alleged autopsy report as claiming the late Chima Ikwunado died of diabetes can not stand because there are laid down procedures.
“You cannot conduct autopsy without the presence of the relations of the deceased. You are accused of torturing to death a suspect, you allegedly conducted autopsy without the knowledge of surviving relations”.
Meanwhile, Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has issued a stern warning that the State Government will not condone any form of lawlessness in Rivers State.
The Governor issued the warning following the protest by spare part dealers in the Diobu area of the State against the Nigerian Police Force.
The Governor declared that anyone caught taking the laws into his hands would be punished in accordance with the law.
He noted that the State Government has been inundated by reports that some persons still want to further take the laws into their hands with another protest.
He warned that his administration will not tolerate such acts of violence, and advised all residents of the State to be civil and allow the law to take its course.
“We have no doubt that if indeed the dead was murdered, the truth will prevail,” he said.