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Ikoku 5: Why Police Apologised …Promise Transparency, As Traders Blame CP

Traders at the Ikoku Spare Parts Market in Port Harcourt have called on the Rivers State Commissioner of Police CP. Mustapher Dandaura to step aside from his position for misleading the public over the death of a Mechanic Chima Ikwurado in Police custody.

Chairman of the market, High Chief Anthony Iwu Alariebole, made  the stand of the traders known in an interview with The Vortex in his office in Port Harcourt.

According to Chief Alariebole, the police Chief cannot be a judge in his own case, stressing that the CP is an interested party in the matter and may likely not carry out the proper investigations on the improper conducts of the police officer under his watch.

Chief Alariebole also frowned at the transfer of the commander of the Eagle Squad, Benson Adefuji.

Alariebole express dismay at the alleged plan of the police to settle with the family of the deceased, adding that the traders will stop at nothing until justice is done to the brutalized members.

Commenting on the autopsy conducted on the late Chima Ikwuruado body, Alariebole expressed shock that the police lied to the Rivers State Public that an autopsy was initially carried out on the body. “You can see the statement made by the police pathologist which confirm that no such medical act was performed on the body.  you can see how the police told lies to the world. It is a dent on the image of the public and Nigeria in general, “the High Chief stated”.

He said the traders will await the outcome of the autopsy result to determine their next line of action on the matter.

Meanwhile, the police command public relation officer (PPRO) Nnamdi Omoni has tendered a public apology over his misleading statement that the deceased Chima died out of High blood sugar, based on the autopsy carried out by the police. 

Omoni regretted that he relied on the statement of the E-crack commander in issuing the statement, assuring that the CP and the police authorities will deal decisively with officers involved in smearing the image of the organization.

Omoni said CP Dandura has portrayed transparency in the handling of the case, adding that the command did not in any way try to cover their tracks.

Similarly, former Chairman of Scrap Dealer Market along Mile 3 area of Port Harcourt, Onuabuchi Ugwuokpara on Wednesday narrated how he escaped being tortured in the hands of Anti Kidnapping Squad of Nigeria Police based at Mini Okoro Police Division in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.

Narrating his ordeal to The Vortex, at the Ikoku Spare Parts Market, Mr. Ugwu Okpara said he had gone to visit his brother when a group of policemen pounced at him and began punching him all over his body accusing him of aiding the escape of a suspect at the premises.

The former Chairman stated that he and his three brothers were visibly manhandled by the police officers who handcuffed the four of them and bundled them into their vehicle and took them to the anti-kidnapping office at the Mini Okoro Police Division.

“They took my brothers and locked them in different cells while I was ordered to sit on the floor, with the officer threatening to teach me the lessons of my life if I fail to sign a statement of confession to the crime,” Ugwuokpara lamented.

Ugwuokpara told The Vortex, that but for the intervention of a senior police officer who recognized him and asked why he sat on the floor in handcuffs adding “It was this senior officer who warned the policemen not to torture me but should release me, after explaining to him who I was and the implication of inflicting injuries on me and my brothers,”.

Ugwuokpara alleged that  the policemen took away their phones and cash of N30,000 them adding that the policemen forced his brother to a Bank where he withdraw additional N30,000 to make up N60,000, which they demanded for their bail.

The former chairman of Scrap dealers lamented the brutal treatment and injuries inflicted on him by the police officers and called on the State Commissioner of Police  CP. Mustapha Dandaura to order for investigations on the matter.

The Vortex recalls that the allegations are coming on the heels of the furor generated over the torture and death of one of the Ikoku five by policemen of the E-crack team at the Mile 1, Police Division.

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