Member of ‘Ikokwu 4’ narrates tale of torture in police cell

Member of ‘Ikokwu 4’ narrates tale of torture in police cell

Friday, January 31, 2020 5:45 pm

Ikokwu 4 on their way to court

…’We were continuously beaten with hammer, woods and gun-but,  our cuffed legs tied to iron poles head down’
…Late Chima died bleeding in both ears and nose. We were 95 persons in one Cell.
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

The four persons arrested and detained alongside late Chima Ikwunado, the auto mechanic allegedly tortured to death in the cell of the Eagle Crack, (E-Crack) Squad of the Rivers State Police have been narrating their ordeal following their release from detention.

Speaking during a phone- in programme on Nigeriainfo FM radio, Port Harcourt on Thursday, Victor Ogbonna, one of the four persons popularly known as the Ikokwu 4, identified one of the leaders of the police ‘torture team’ as a woman.
Ogbonna, in the live interactive programme, said the female police officer was always hitting at the private part of the late Chima, threatening to cut off his Penis if he refused to confess that the vehicle they were arrested in was stolen.
According to Ogbonna, the female police officer threatened the late Chima Ikwunado that: “If you refuse to confess that you are an armed robber and a cultist, I will cut off your penis so that you would not be able to impregnate any woman again (touching his Penis)”.
Ogbonna further to revealed that before the late Ikwunado died, he was bleeding through his nose and ears from the severe beatings he received from the police officers.
“When Chima died, the Policemen asked us to carry out his dead body, which they covered and hid  from the public. We don’t know where his corpse was dumped.”
Describing further how they were tortured, he said: “We were handcuffed and hanged face down on an iron poles behind the E-Crack Cell. There were times they hanged us and left for the day’s patrol until they came back.
“We were 95 persons in a cell. Due to the severe beatings, we even told them to take all the monies the seized from us. But they refused. I can’t even use my two hands now.”
He also lamented that there are still some people still detained at the E-Crack Cell who are pleading guilty to crimes they were not guilty of.
Victor said among the detainees still in the E-Crack cell was a man who was dressed up to travel to his village for Christmas in December, but was arrested in front of his house.
On the nature of torture, Ogbonna said the Policemen used all manners of  weapons, including hammers, planks, knives, unknown chemicals on them.
On the allegations that they were armed robbers and cultists, Ogbonna said the claims were lies cooked up by the Police.
“The Policemen were the ones that wrote our statements for us and forced us to agree we committed the crimes after unbearable tortures.”
The four persons, alongside the late Chima, were detained for weeks in E-Crack Cell attached to Mile One  Police in Port Harcourt and 21 days in the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre after they were arrested for alleged stealing of two cars late December 2019.
But it later emerged that the men, who were auto mechanics were taking the cars for test drive after repair.
But Police had refused to release them even after the owners of the cars confirmed that they indeed gave the cars out for repairs.
Police had allegedly continue to inflict torture on the five men to force them to confess to theft of the cars and it was believed that then late Ikwunado died from the torture.
Police, however, claimed that he died from diabetes complications, a claim denied by the wife of the deceased.
The Police slammed charges of robbery on the four men.
The four known as Ikokwu 4, regained their freedom on Wednesday after the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, made “a no case submission” at the magistrate court where they were being tried.
Meanwhile, pressures are still being mounted on the Police for the release the corpse of the late Ikwunado and the arrest of policemen of infamous E-Crack Squad.
It was gathered that some lawyers in Rivers State are getting set to institute legal proceedings against the Police over the torture of the Ikokwu 4 and the late Ikwunado.
Rivers Police Command Spokesman, DSP Nnamdi Omoni has appeal to the agitated members of the public that the justice will be served after investigations are through.

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