The victim dumped in the UPTH morgue is a notorious cultist, armed robber, and kidnapper- Rivers Police

The Rivers State Police Command, Octopus Strike Force, UPTH morgue,

*Father accuses “Octopus Strike Force” of Police of torturing son to death

*Denies son’s whereabouts 4 months of arrest 

Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt 

The Rivers State Police Command has reacted to allegations level against Octopus Strike Force, a unit under its Command, that its officers tortured and killed one Abraham Chukwudi accusing the deceased as “a cultist, kidnapper and armed robber”.

The reaction of the Command is contained in a press statement issued by SP Grace Iringe-Koko, Spokesperson for the Command alleging that Abraham Chukwudi was a notorious cultist, armed robber, and a member of a kidnap gang.

She acknowledged that the Police are aware of a press conference held on May 23, 2024, by a member of the Civil Society Organizations regarding the death of one Okereke Abraham Chukwudi, who was a suspect in Police custody.

The Police claimed that the deceased was “implicated in a case involving kidnapping, armed robbery, and cultism. This relates to the kidnapping of a female business tycoon in the Diobu area of Port Harcourt on September 7, 2023. The victim was kidnapped by five gunmen and taken to a hideout in Elechi waterside. The kidnappers were armed with AK-47 rifles, a pump-action shotgun, and locally-made pistols. The victim was held captive for seven (7) days and was released after the victim’s family paid a ransom of ₦3.5 million.

According to the Police, “investigations revealed that the deceased was a member of the Dey-Gbam secret cult gang. He and his accomplices purchased one of the AK-47 rifles used during the operation. Two of the kidnappers have been arrested, and they are also members of the Dey-Gbam cult group.

“Sometime last month, the Police held a meeting with the parents and spouse of the deceased, who were accompanied by two of their family’s legal representatives. During this meeting, it was agreed that the family would participate in the autopsy to determine the cause of death.

On the actual cause of Chukwudi’s death, “The case of the death of the suspect has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) for discreet investigations to ensure a thorough and impartial examination of the circumstances surrounding this incident.

The Spokesperson assured that the Command remains committed to ensuring transparency and accountability throughout the investigative process.

Our Correspondent reports that Abraham Chukwudi, father of one late Chukwudi Okereke had accused the Octopus Strike Force unit of the Rivers State Police Command of torturing him to death after he was arrested on January 11, 2024, for an undisclosed offense.

The father speaking alongside Enefaa Georgewill, a human rights activist and Chairman of Rivers State Civil Society Organization demands justice for the late Chukwudi Okereke a motor parts dealer at Ikoku whose body was discovered to have been dumped at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) mortuary after his arrest on January 11th, 2024

Enefaa Georgewill condemned what he described as a barbaric and despicable act by the Commander of Octopus Strike Force and his team for their serial denials of the whereabouts of Chukwudi Okereke over four months of intensive search by the traumatized family after his arrest.

Enefaa Georgewill accused members of the Octopus Strike Force of having a “Torture Chamber” in their command base where innocent victims are murdered on phantom allegations without the knowledge of their families.

He said ” We are demanding that an autopsy be carried out, we also demand that the commander of Octopus Strike Force should be arrested and prosecuted in with Section 7 of the Anti-Torture Act and all officers who are directly involved in the torture and death of Chukwudi Okereke should be brought to justice ”

Our Correspondent recalls that Abraham Okereke, father of Chukwudi Okereke told Journalists that his son Chukwudi had been missing since his arrest by men of the Octopus Strike Force on 11th January 2024.

He lamented that despite continuous visits to the Police Octopus facility seeking information about his son it was only four months after that they located his lifeless at the morgue of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, UPTH.

However, our correspondent further reports that the case of alleged torture of the late Chukwudi Okereke is almost similar to the celebrated case of the late Chima Ikwunado and his friends Victor Ogbonna, Osaze Friday, Ifeanyi Osuji and Ifeanyi Onyekwere popularly know as Ikoku-4 were in December 2019, arrested for driving against traffic. They were later allegedly tortured by members of the disbanded E- E-E-Crack unit of the Nigeria Police Force. The incident popularly known as the Ikoku 4 sparked public outrage and wide condemnation after one of those arrested, Chima Ikwunado, a mechanic died in custody of the disbanded E-crack unit.

Justice Daylop Pam of a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt in his judgment awarded N3 billion as damages against the defendants for rights violation in a suit filed by Victor Ogbonna against the Inspector General of Police and eight others for torture, abuse, and violation of his fundamental human rights.