Rivers: Police detain officers in connection to killing of automobile mechanic

Late Chima Ikwunado who was allegedly tortured to death by E-Crack Unit attached to the Mile One Police Division, Port Harcourt

From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt

A reliable information reaching The AUTHORITY newspaper has it that seven police officers have been arrested and detained by the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, over the death of an automobile mechanic who died in the Eagle Crack Police Unit cell in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

It was gathered that the police suspects in the alleged torture and killing of Chima Ikwunado (automobile mechanic) in the E-Crack cell are six male officers and a female Sergeant.

Our source disclosed that Inspector Fidelis Ayaogu, Insp Samuel Eyinnah, Insp Uche, Sergeant Ake Chibuzor, Sergeant Philips Obi, Inspector Tope and Female Sergeant Rose were officers undergoing investigation by SCID on the alleged killing of Chima and detention of his friends for over a month.

Meanwhile, the State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP, Nnamdi Omoni had confirmed that four police officers in alleged connection to the torture of the victims in their cell were arrested and detained at the State CID while investigation is ongoing on the incident.

It would be recalled that the automobile mechanic, Chima Ikwunado, and four of his apprentices were arrested by men of the Eagle Crack (E-Crack) Unit, attached to the Mile One Police Division, while test-driving two cars they were repairing along Olu-Obasanjo Road, Port Harcourt and were charged for allegedly robbery and cultism.

The auto mechanic later allegedly died as a result of severe torture while his four apprentices, which include; Victor Ogbanna, Osaze Friday, Ifeanyi OsujI and Ifeanyi Onyekwere, were charged to Court and were later discharged and acquited after the Department of Public Prosecution, DPP, filed a no case in their favour.

The AUTHORITY also learned that the owners of the vehicle which the victim was test running the cars had also approached the police and told them that the cars was not stolen but that he gave it Chima for repair.

It was further learned that after some investigation the car was returned back to the owners but the police allegedly refused to released Chima and his friend and apprentice with out the knowledge that Chima had died following the sever torture in the cell.

When it became obvious that Chima may have died and buried in a shallow grave, there was agitations by the media, civil society groups, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and wellwishers of the victim that autopsy be conducted to unravel the cause of his death, this as police had claimed that he died of diabetes.

Civil society group, Civil Rights Council, has during one of their meetings with newsmen in Port Harcourt, insisted that a police team from the Eagle Crack Police Unit in Port Harcourt, Rivers state allegedly tortured the automobile mechanic to death in their detention and quickly arraigned three of his friends in court for alleged cultism activities.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt, they called on the Inspector General of Police to investigate and matter and bring the police suspects to book.

‘Civil Rights Council, Rivers State calls on the Inspector General of Police to immediately arrest and investigate the alleged torturing to death of one Chima Ikwunado à mechanic in Ikoku, PortHarcourt by Eagle Crack Police unit otherwise known as Commissioner Squad in Rivers State.

‘Civil Rights Council express shock that despite several complaints the council sent to the Commissioner of Police about the activities of the unit under his command, the unit was still indulging in act of torture.

‘The Council call on IGP Mohammed Adamu to ensure Justice is done and seen to be done in this circumstance as this will serve as deterrent to other erring officers’.

Also, wife of the deceased (Chima) Mrs. Adaugo Chima Ikwunado had also expressed shock on the allegations levelled against her late husband that he died of diabetes.

Adaugo who spoke with The AUTHORITY, said his late husband never had a negative medical report, recalling that they did all medical test before getting married in January 2019. She said they did HIV/AIDS test, Blood sugar test, Genotype amongst other test as part of requirement of marriage in their church.

The late Chima’s wife who is about eight months pregnant called on Government to fight for justice on the death of her husband, pointing out that his unborn baby will be born without a father.

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