The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSO) has called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to redeploy the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr Mustapha Dandaura, over the death of a mechanic, named Ikwunado Chima, in a police cell after the victim was arrested alongside four friends.
The group also urged the Police Service Commission to dismiss members of the Eagle Crack team involved in the torture of Chima and the four others: Ifeanyi Onyekwere, Victor Ogbonna, Osaze Friday and Ifeanyi Osuji.
These four including Chima were arrested on December 19, 2019 after being labeled cultist and armed robbers.
The mechanic (Chima) died after purportedly undergoing torture in the hands of personnel of the Eagle Crack team of the Rivers State Police Command.
Speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Monday, the leader of the coalition, Mr. Enefaa Georgewill, demanded that the PSC should pay for the medical bills of the four survivors.
Georgewill, who read a statement signed by him and six others, said, “We call on the IG to redeploy the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, on the following grounds: the E-crack team is the CP’s tactical unit and they are answerable to him.
“His body language does not favour a neutral prosecution of this matter. This is not the first time SP Benson (ex-E-Crack team commander) would be lying to the public without any action from the Commissioner of Police as confirmed by the PPRO Rivers State, DSP Nnamdi Omoni”.
“The Police PPRO DSP Nnamdi Omoni, spoke without verified information and should resign on grounds of his unprofessionalism. The erring police officers, beginning from SP Benson, should be paraded, their full names made public and prosecution should commence without delay.”
He also expressed surprise that the former team commander had not been arrested and detained; adding that Benson’s redeployment over the case was not enough.
“We also demand that all the property of the ‘Ikoku 5’ collected from them upon their illegal arrest should be returned immediately. Finally, we call on the Nigeria Police Force to come clean in this matter as Nigerians, international organizations and the world is watching”.
“Following the failure of the police to do the needful as a result of the revelation of the autopsy conducted on February 10, 2020 on the body of late Chima Ikwunado, and witnessed by all stakeholders, it became clear to us that late Chima Ikwunado died of extreme police torture and brutality for which there is no justification and defence whatsoever”.
“What is even most worrisome is the fact that the team of doctors that conducted the autopsy (both from the government and our side) agreed that there was no earlier autopsy conducted on late Chima Ikwunado before February 10, 2020”.
“By implication, the police lied to Rivers people and indeed the world about the claim that late Chima Ikwunado died of high blood sugar”.
“The arrested police officers have yet to be paraded and their full names displayed for confirmation. The names of Sergeant Rose and Mr. Sam Nnodim are missing on the list of arrested officers making the rounds in public space,” he added.
The coalition needs justice to be done immediately on these matter, the police officers involed in this case should be brought to book. We demand justice for the Ikoku 5.