Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
A Coalition of Civil Societies Organization, (CSOs) in Rivers State are calling for the urgent arrest and prosecution of members of the infamous E-Crack Squad of Rivers State Police Command over alleged torture to death the late Chima Ikwunado and physical injuries inflicted on the four persons arrested alongside the deceased while in detention.
The demand by CSOs is sequel to the startling revelations by one of the four detained persons, popularly known as Ikokwu 4, Victor Ogbonna, on the ordeal of the detainees in police cell on a radio station on Thursday in Port Harcourt.
Ogbonna who was discharged and acquitted alongside the other three detainees by a Port Harcourt Magistrate Court on Wednesday, 29 January, 2020, had listed a particular female Police officer,(yet to be identified) among those who tortured the late Ikwunado to death.
He said the police officer’s peculiar style of torture was fondling with men’s penis.
Ogbonna, had in the radio interview narrated the inhuman ordeal they were subjected to, asserting that two persons died in Eagle crack cell before Ikwunado.
He revealed that the Police hanged them upside down for 6 hours daily in their cell until his colleague Chima who had sustained various injuries died also.
According to him, the female Police Officer was fondling late Chima’s penis, promising to ensure that he does not impregnate his wife again if he leaves the station alive.
The Ikokwu four also came out with serious injuries on different areas of their bodies which confirmed claims of the gruesome torture they underwent while in police custody.
Chima and his colleagues were arrested by a team of officers under the e-crack unit attached to the Mile One Police station in Rivers state on the 19th of December, 2019 for driving against traffic.
But the Police later claimed that the cars they were driving were stolen.
They were allegedly tortured as a means of extracting confession about the cars from them. It was alleged that Ikwunado died from the torture..
However, the owner of the cars later said they gave the cars to the arrested men who were auto mechanics for repair.
But the police still charged the four men for robbery until public uproar forced the Rivers State Director of Public Prosecution to withdraw the charges, leading to release of the men from prison on Wednesday.
Reacting to the tales of torture, Enefaa Georgewill, Chairman of the Rivers State Civil Societies Organizations called on the President, the Governor of Rivers State, the Inspector-General of Police and the Rivers State Police command to order thorough investigation of the members of E-Crack Squad.
He also called for arrest and prosecution of police officers involved in the brutality and inhuman treatment meted out to the Ikokwu 4 and killing of the late Ikwunado their cell.
The CSOs also insisted that the female Police Officer who allegedly fiddled with male genitals and particularly threatened to cut off the private part of the late Ikwunado must be identified and punished.
Also, Comrade Anyakwe Nsirimovu, Human rights lawyer and Director of Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, lHRHL, in Port Harcourt, called for the immediate resignation of the State Police Commissioner, CP Mustapha Dandaura, under whose watch alleged brutality to death of late Ikwunado and torture of Ikokwu 4 took place.
Comrade Nsirimovu, stated that the Commissioner of Police cannot wash his hands off the atrocities of the infamous E-Crack Squad because they are answerable to him and regarded in the Police circles as “Commissioner’s boys”
Nsirimovu who spoke to Nigeriainfo FM in Port Harcourt pointed out that “no amount of remedies, which will ultimately be sought, can bring back the life of the late
Ikwunado and pay for the human indignities inflicted on the Ikokwu 4.
“Did you see the magnitude of the wounds, torture the innocent Ikokwu 4 were subjected to.They have been dehumanized, physically, Psychologically and emotionally.
Someone has to take responsibility and the CP Dandaura must honourably resign so that justice will not be obstructed,” he said.