Saturday 1 February 2020

''We were continuously beaten with hammers, planks, knieves'' - One of 'Ikokwu 4’ narrates ordeal in police cell, says Chima was tortured to death

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The four men arrested and detained 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.

Recall that Victor Ogbonna, Osaze Friday, Ifeanyi Osuji, Ifeanyi Onyekwere and late Chima Ikwunado, were arrested on December 19, 2019. They were allegedly tortured in detention to admit that they stole one of the cars they were repairing. However, the owners of the cars, Eradiri Erepamo and Chinedu Ezenwaliri later said that their vehicles were not stolen but given to the arrested men for repair.

While Chima died in detention, police allegedly continued to torture the men to force them to confess to theft of the cars and later arraigned them on spurious charges of robbery.

The men 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. Read details  here

Speaking during a phone-in programme on Nigeriainfo FM radio, Port Harcourt on Thursday, one of the men Victor Ogbonna, said that one of the leaders of the police ‘torture team’ is a woman.

Ogbonna, in the live interactive programme, claimed that the female police officer was always hitting 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 saying:
“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 alleged 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 allegedly 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 are 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 claimed 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.”

Listen to Ogbonna's interview on Nigeriainfo FM PH below.

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