.…Slam police over intimidation to forcefully bury dead victim
From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
The family of late Chima Ikwunado, who was tortured to death while in custody of the Eagle Crack Team of the Nigeria Police Force in Mile One Police Station, Port Harcourt, Rivers state, and other victims of the attack have said they would continue with the case in court until they are given justice.
This as the House of Representative Committee on Public Complaints, had said the Committee cannot entertain a matter that was already before the court, therefore urged the complainants to withdraw the case from the court for them to wave in and obtain justice for them.
Speaking with newsmen yesterday in Port Harcourt, elder brother to the deceased Anthony Ikwunado, said they are not ready to withdraw the matter from the court at the stage it is presently, adding that they would rather wait for judgement and then next step after that.
He regretted that the police is allegedly forcing the family to carry the remains of the late victim from the mortuary for burial and also bear the burden of the bills which had accumulated for about two years.
Ikwunado wondered why the Police will ask the family to pay the mortuary bill, when his late brother was tortured to death by same officers of the Force and deposited in the mortuary without the consent of the family.
He also disclosed that the death of Chima Ikwunado has led to the deterioration of their father’s health.
“The police has refused to pay the mortuary bill of my late younger brother. They (Police) killed him and took him to the mortuary without our knowledge, now they want us to go and pay the mortuary bill.
“The autopsy result and the test result, the Police has refused to released them. So we are saying that that the burden of paying the mortuary bills should not be upon us the bereaved family, but on them the Police. We are not going to withdraw the matter from the court too.”
One of the victims of the Ikoku 4, who also spoke at the briefing, Ifeanyichukwu Onyekwere, called for justice.
Mr Onyekwere wondered why the state government has not made any comment on the matter, stressing that the person killed was human and not an animal.
“We need justice and we need the court to give us justice. The government is not helping matters, up till now the Rivers State Governor has not said anything concerning this matter.
“The frustration has been too much. If not for OPM that has lifted one burden by taking my son abroad, there has been no help from anywhere.”
However, Chairman of Rivers State Civil Society Organizations, Enefaa Georgewill, maintained that RIVSCO will not withdraw the matter in Court, but will rather exhaust all legal options to obtain justice for the victims.
He said their petition before the Reps Committee is solely the demand for the investigation and prosecution of Supol Benson Adetuyi and Inspector Sam Amadi, who were excluded from prosecution by the Police.
RIVSCO said Adetuyi and Amadi, should be prosecuted for lying to the world that Chima Ikwunado died of high blood sugar and not from torture, while Inspector Amadi who still charged the innocent mechanics to court, for armed robbery and cultism, whereas the owners of the two cars had testified that the mechanics were not criminals.
“RIVCSO maintained that the issue that brought us before the Committee is solely our demand for the investigation and prosecution of Supol Benson Adetuyi and Inspector Sam Amadi, and this matter is not before any Court in Nigeria or anywhere in the world.
“Rivers Civil Society Organization have consulted with the victims (lkoku five and haveresolved that we will not withdraw the matter in Court but we will rather exhaust all legal options in the matter.
“RIVCSO, have instructed our lawyers to approach the Court for an order to compel the Police service commission and the Inspector General of Police to investigate and prosecute Supol Benson Adetuyi and Inspector Sam Amadi, for the roles they played in the death of Mr. Chima Ikwunadon and the bodily harm of the four other auto mechanics.”