Anambra Police Command Fingered In Torture And Corruption
Fresh from the police cell, five persons, arrested and detained by the police at Area Command Headquarters in Onitsha, Anambra state, have recounted the horrific and tortuous experiences they claimed to have had during their six weeks of incarceration in the cell.
They alleged that apart from contracting chicken pox alongside other inmates, they also witnessed five other detainees slumping and dying inside and outside the cell as a result of severe torture they were subjected to by the policemen on the orders of a serving Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP.
Speaking to newsmen shortly at the General Hospital, Onitsha where they had gone for medical treatment, after their release recently, the detainees, Ifeanyi Ezennakwe (44), Somtochukwu Udemba (21), Emmanuel Okeke (24) and Ifeanyi Ifere (28) said that three of the detainees slumped and died right inside the cell, while two others died outside the cell.
They expressed concern that the kind of torture meted out to the deceased suspects usually ranged from shattering their legs with bullets, to flogging/whipping them with iron rods and big sticks, as well as kicking them with hands and legs, adding that once any of the victims slumped and died, police officers would quietly remove the corpse to a morgue and thereafter, deny their presence inside the cell to their friends and relations who came to the station to see them in the police custody.
They recalled that out of the five detainees they counted dead while they were still in detention, three of them slumped and died in front of all the detainees inside the cell mostly at midnight when they could not bear the pains arising from the tortures, while two others died outside the cell.
They further recalled that one of the last deaths that rattled the police was when an indigene of Onitsha was arrested, brought to the station and tortured in like manner. He slumped and died by 2 a.m. and when his relations came to the station in the daytime to ask of him, the police didn’t know what to say and the bereaved vowed to get to the root of the matter.
The former detainees described their stay at the police cell as “horrific and a foretaste of hell fire”. They added that during the one month and two weeks of their sojourn in police custody, they were starved all through day and night, except on rare occasions when they were served with moin-moin and polluted water drawn from the drainage. According to the detainees, their relations who brought food for them were not allowed to have access to them with the food inside the cell except they bribed the police, until their release on Friday, September 16.
They narrated how six of them, as staff of G.U. Okeke & Sons Limited, a subsidiary of GUO Group of Companies were arrested by the police on July 30 at the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, motor park at the Bridge-head, Onitsha following civil dispute between Sir G. U. Okeke and Chief Ngozi Okpagu, even as they claimed that the said civil dispute had been decided in favour of Sir Okeke at an Onitsha High Court presided over by Hon. Justice Nwizu.
They said shortly after the decision of Justice Nwizu in favor of Sir Okeke on the civil disputes, NIWA had written Chief Ngozi Okpagu suspending his activities in the park, until he complied with the orders of the High Court but Okpagu refused to comply it.
“But as of today, Okpagu is still running the NIWA park, collecting dues, tolls and fees running into several hundreds of naira on daily basis with the help of armed policemen deployed to the park by the Onitsha Area Commander, against the larger interests of G.U. Okeke’s Company which has a subsisting grant of the land from the customary owners”, they said.
They further recalled that their arrest by the police arose as they were doing their legitimate duty at the NIWA Park as employees of G U Okeke’s Company, that the complainant allegedly instigated the police to descend on them, with the Area Commander himself personally leading some policemen under his command to invade the park, shooting their guns sporadically into the air that reverberated in the vicinity as people scampered for safety.
The detainees said they were arrested on Saturday, July 30, detained in police cell until they were granted bail by the police on Monday, August 1, and mandated to report at the station on Wednesday, August 3 and when they reported, they were again hounded into the cell and arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court 1 in Onitsha the next day, Tuesday, August 4.
They claimed that when the complainant discovered that the charge preferred against them in the court by the police conducted likely to cause a breach of the peace only, which he considered was not as grievous as he wished, he instigated and colluded with the police area commander, to amend the charge to armed robbery, a more serious offence which they did not commit, but just to make their case unbailable, elongate their case and imprisonment while awaiting trial in the High Court.
When eventually the robbery charge was slammed against them in the amended charge, the court adjourned the case and ordered that the accused persons be returned to the police custody, following serious objections raised by the defense lead counsel, led by Chris Ajugwe, Esq.
In the meantime, following a petition by the G. U. Okeke & Sons Ltd, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Anambra State, Prof. Silvia Ifemeje, requested the State Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng to forward the original case file to her office for legal advice, in compliance with Chapter 10 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of the state, 2010, Section 160(1) of the extant law.
However, following the application by Motion on Notice by Chris Ajugwe, on behalf of the defendants, Justice S. N. Odili, sitting as a vacation Judge in Awka High court, granted the police detainees bail in the sum of N1 million each with one surety each.
The detainees further alleged that the Area Commander, however, refused to comply with the court order when served on him until the intervention of the state Police Commissioner, following enquiries by journalists from the office of Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga.
The accused persons, having spent a month and a half (six weeks), following their arrest on Saturday, July 30, were released from police custody on Friday, September 16, from where they headed straight to Onitsha General Hospital for medical attention.
When contacted, Anambra state police spokesman, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga said: “There is no such information before me. I urge the witnesses of this incident to come forward for more detailed information, please. This will enable us to conduct a proper investigation.”
Police Arrest Visa Racketeer For Forging UN Invitation Letters
The Police Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi, Lagos State, has arrested and arraigned one Abioye Abolaji, 53, on 11 counts bordering on alleged forgery, obtaining money by false pretence, false representation and stealing.
The unit spokesperson, SP Eyitayo Johnson, confirmed the arrest of the suspect in a statement on Thursday.
He said the arrest of the suspect was in furtherance to a petition from the Diplomatic Security Services Regional Security office at the United States Consulate General in Lagos.
Johnson said, “The arrest was in furtherance to a petition which requested discrete investigation into forged documents submitted by certain C-2 Visa applicants to the Non-Immigrant Visa Unit of USCG.
“C-2 Visa is a NIV category reserved for participants at United Nations Conference/Events.
“There were investigations by USCG and PSFU into 77 C-2 applications from 24 organisations in Nigeria to attend two separate conferences, namely, 67th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women and UN 2023 Water Conference, scheduled to take place in New York between 22nd and 24th March, 2023.”
The spokesman added that most of the applicants were not qualified for the visa classification they applied for.
“It revealed that most of the applicants are not qualified for the visa classification they applied for because the applicants provided forged UN invitation letters.
“The applicants, who claimed to be employees of Osun & Sons Agricultural Venture, Ray D. Exclusive Electrical Contractor, or ACE Technoresources Integrated Services; planned to attend UN Water Conference as a representative or nominee of these organisations.
“But investigations revealed that none of the organisations is in consultative status with the UN and that the employment of most of the applicants had no bearing on either of the referenced UN conferences,” he said.
According to him, further information gathered during police interviews of the visa applicants led to the arrest of the suspect, who is the arrowhead of a notorious syndicate that specialises in visa fraud.
Johnson said the Commissioner of Police, PSFU, CP Adepoju Ilori, had advised prospective visa applicants to desist from patronising document vendors or visa racketeers for the processing of category B-1 and B-2 visas or any other travel documents.
He said the CP further encouraged applicants to research the procedure/requirements of visa for their intended country of destination or to approach the Diplomatic Section of PSFU for guidance in order not to fall victim to visa racketeers.
According to the spokesperson, the unit is currently on the trail of other members of the syndicate.
Pregnant Woman Beaten To Death By Husband In Oyo
A 40-year-old man, Niyi Adebanjo, has reportedly beaten his 35-year-old wife, Toyin, to death in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Our correspondent gathered that on Wednesday, that the late Toyin, a mother of two, with nine-month-old pregnancy, was beaten, on Monday night, February 20, 2023, by her husband over an unknown argument in their apartment at the Fodasis area, Ring road in Ibadan South West Local Government Area of the state.
Investigations by our correspondent revealed that the deceased has been subjected to domestic violence for a very long time without the knowledge of her family members.
The victim’s mother, Iyabo Akinbode, on Wednesday, alleged that her daughter was killed by her husband.
Akinbode said, “I never knew she was facing domestic violence! She never told anyone in the family that she was passing through all this nonsense. She called me two days before she died that she was having a headache. And I told her that something must be done to that her constant headache. She should try to see her doctor.
“So, she called me again the following day which was Monday that she was not okay. I went there and was told her husband beats her. She had nine-month-old pregnancy. On Tuesday, she phoned me that she wanted to drink pap and I went there. But when the condition was getting worse. I phoned her husband who told me to take her to a nearby chemist which I vehemently declined.
“I then took her to The Light hospital at Bolumole, Challenge. When we got there, I started calling her husband from the morning and he refused to pick up his calls until she gave up the ghost in the evening. The husband appeared when she died, so some of her friends who came to the hospital started harassing the husband the he killed her because she used to tell them what was going on in her matrimonial home.
“This is unfortunate because she was expected to give birth a newborn baby a few days before her demise. She was beaten to the level of bleeding internally. This is pathetic! As you are seeing me, I’ve not changed this attire since I lost her.”
Reacting to the allegation, the husband, Adebanjo confirmed that he had an issue with her late wife in 2018 over her infidelity which was resolved the same year after the intervention of his elder brothers from Lagos.
Adebanjo alleged that her infidelity continued unabated, saying, “Truly, my wife and I had an issue before quite alright. And that was in 2018, about five years ago. I beat her that time but since then, I never touched her again.
“I never beat her again. Someone I didn’t beat when I saw a nude photo sent to her by one of her concubines and her nude photo sent back to him. Someone I didn’t do anything to her at that time, so why will I beat her now to the point of death? Someone with nine-month-old pregnancy, they are just trying to rope me.
“All these allegations were framed to rope me. There is a doctor’s report if you want to see it. The doctor said she died of cardiac arrest and high blood pressure. The police even told them that they can exhume her corpse if they are not satisfied after the burial. So, why are they blackmailing me? He said.
It was further learnt that the case has been reported at Orita Police Station, while the victim had since been buried at a private cemetery, Oke Itunu in Ibadan North Local Government Area of the state.
As of press time, the Oyo Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, Adewale Osifeso, could not be reached for comment.
Terrorism: Federal Government Arraigns Negotiator, Tukur Mamu, On 10-Count Charge
The negotiator between the federal government and terrorists, Tukur Mamu, has been arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Mamu pleaded not guilty to a 10-count charge bordering on terrorism financing, among others preferred against him by the federal government.
Mamu, who was arraigned by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) before Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja, denied having allegiance to the terrorist.
Justice Nkeonye Maha of a sister court on Sept. 13, 2022, gave the Department of State Services (DSS) the go-ahead to detain the former terrorists’ negotiator for 60 days to enable it conclude its investigation on Mamu, who led the negotiation with the terrorists for the release of the Abuja-Kaduna train passengers kidnaped in March 2022.
In the charge, the federal government said the offence contravenes the provisions of the Section 21 (3) (a) of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.
Mamu is accused of receiving ransom payments in the sum of 120,000.00 dollars on behalf of the Boko haram terrorist group from families of hostages (victims) of the Abuja/Kaduna train attack.