The family of Chima Ikwunado, a mechanic in Port Harcourt, Rivers, allegedly tortured to death by operatives of the Nigerian police force in the state, has demanded justice over the incidence.
According to BBC Pidgin, his family members said the police command and concerned individuals must ensure perpetrators of the evil act are brought to book.
Chima was allegedly killed by some policemen, after undergoing “severe torture in their custody”.
The deceased was said to have been testing a car given to him by a client to work on, but decided to take a one-way route, sighting the heavy gridlock lurking ahead.
It was gathered that he was then apprehended by the police who whisked him away alongside four other colleagues after they reportedly failed to meet “bribe” demanded from them.
His death has since sparked outrage on social media with many calling out those behind the act, while mechanics as well as business men and women around Ikoku Spare Parts Market located at Mile 2 Dioubu, Port Harcourt were said to have staged a demonstration to further generate attention to the issue.
A police autopsy carried out on the remains of the deceased suggested the late Chima died of high sugar level, but family members and those familiar with the case dismissed the police report, claiming he died as a result of “severe torture.”
Anthony Ikwunado, Chima’s brother, who cited reports from others arrested alongside the deceased, said his brother died on December 23, 2019.
“They tortured Chima, broke his legs and said Chima died in pain. They (police) hung Chima in the air for two hours and went on patrol, only to return afterwards to loose him. By then, he merely fell down like a cocoyam, already dead,” Anthony told the news outlet.
“So, they took him inside their vehicle and drove them off. Chima died on December 23, according to what the boys told me.”
Kevin Ikwunado, father of the deceased, also lamented the unfortunate incident, noting he has been unable to sleep since he died.
He called on relevant authorities to ensure justice is done, noting the deceased was the one taking care of him until his death.
Also speaking, Erepamo Eradiri, one of the deceased customers, expressed shock the late Chima was accused of stealing his car, noting such had never happened in the last four years both of them have been working together.
“If you check the charge sheet used by the police to handover the other four colleagues of the deceased to court, you will notice they charged him to court on January 9, 2020 meanwhile they released my car on December 30, 2019,” he said.
“They also released the other car and I never said anyone stole my car. 10 days after they released our cars to us, they (police) still went ahead to charge the boys for robbery in court, which was still evidenced in the charge sheet. Shouldn’t one be afraid of the police?!
“I want justice for Chima because Chima cannot just die due to my issue and I would keep quiet. It is not fair, that way.
“I want justice and Chima no go just die for my mata I keep quiet, e no dey fair.”
Mustapha Dandaura, Rivers state commissioner of police, was quoted to have said that the case has been transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), while the matter is being probed to ensure justice is done.
The state police command also stated that operatives of the E-Crack team involved in the case have been referred to Abuja.
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