By Hassan Zaggi
An Anambra state-based lawyer, Barr. Maurice Uche Maduemesi, has petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammad Adamu, over alleged inhuman treatment, illegal detention and infringement of his fundamental human rights by three police officers allegedly led by one Erhunmwun Edison.
The petition which was submitted to the IG’s office on December 12, 2019, and a copy obtained by The AUTHOITY was titled: “Petition Against Mr. Erhunmwun Edison and Two Other Policemen for Infringing on my Fundamental Human Rights, Intimidation and Detention for Six (Nos) days.”
According to Barr. Maduemesi, who is also the General Manager Enpower, FTZ, Ltd., the three officers led by Mr.Edison claimed to be acting on the order of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to assist one Arc. J.J. Emejulu, to enforce a court order.
The petition disclosed that the victim was detained from Wednesday, 6 to Tuesday November 12, 2019, without bail or taken to any law court.
According to the petitioner: “My ordeal started on that fateful Wednesday, November 6, 2019 when I received a phone call from one of my colleagues at the office, Mr. Eno Isaiah Akpan, that some men from Abuja had visited the company’s project site base, within the restricted area of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, and were threatening to arrest the two mobile policemen (Sgt. Gabriel Ilya and Sgt. A. Lucas), posted to our company.
On my arrival, I found out that he (Edison as the Team Leader) was asking the policemen to join them to the Enugu Area Command of the Nigeria Police Force.
“He claimed that he was detailed by the ‘IG’s Monitoring Unit’, Abuja and demanded to know the authorization with which the mobile policemen was working with.
“The policemen showed them a letter of posting from their base but he (Edison) insisted that they were on illegal duty”.
The petitioner however noted that some actions, utterances and inconsistencies exhibited Mr. Edison made him suspect that he was the one on an illegal duty.
He, therefore, called on the IGP to, as a matter of urgency, to set up an investigation team to unravel the genuineness or otherwise of the operation carried out by the said Mr Edition and his team.
Some of the actions that made the him to suspect a foul play by the three officers, according to him, included that, “he at various times claimed that he was an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP); the CSO to the Inspector General of Police; the 2 i/c to the Head of the IG’s Monitoring Unit, among other claims.
“He was even mimicking how the IG was answering telephone calls to give the impression that he was always close to him.
“A call card which he made for himself with the logo of the Police shows that he addresses himself in borrowed robes such as Intelligence Analyst to the IG. It is a known fact that policemen of his cadre do not carry call cards, but he made one for himself for impersonation.
“The offence he clocked in at the counter register of the cell where I was detained at the CID headquarters, Enugu Police Command, was different from what was stated in the petition and letter of invitation shown me which they later refused to give to me.
“Even when I arrived Abuja on the 28th day of November, 2019, to report at the Force Headquarters, in line with my bail condition, Mr. Edison was nowhere to be found, nor did he leave an instruction as to the department or officer to report to.
“When my colleague at our Abuja office succeeded in getting in touch with him over the telephone the next day, after repeated calls, he said he was away to Lagos and that I should be asked to forget about the matter.”
The petitioner therefore, prayed that a thorough investigation be made to “find out the level of compromise of police officers in the IG’s office by the said Arc. J.J. Emejulu, as he was overheard boasting in public that he had sorted out some policemen in IG’s office as well as the Enugu Police Command with huge sums of money.”
He also requested “that appropriate sanctions be taken against Mr. Edison and his team for engaging in acts that brought the office of the IGP to disrepute and infringing on the fundamental human rights of Nigerians. He and his ilk use the name of the office of the IGP to engage in illegalities.
“That State Police Commands should always verify from IGP’s office, the authenticity of assignments which some officers who claim to be members of IG’s Monitoring Unit, engage in whenever they visit their Commands.”
Calls put through to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG-Operations), Abdulmajid Ali, who is said to be in the knowledge of the petition and apparent illegality of the activities of Mr. Edison, did not succeed.
It was also discovered that the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, has not not been briefed by operatives at the IGP’s Secretariat or other officers who should investigate the matter, ostensibly because Edison and other collaborators in the issue are working hard to push the petition behind the table.