• Friday, September 29, 2023
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Ikokwu-5 case: Coalition demands redeployment of Rivers CP

Ikokwu-5 case: Coalition demands redeployment of Rivers CP

Coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) and human rights lawyers working on the Ikokwu-5 saga in Port Harcourt have called for the redeployment of Mustapha Dandaura, the Commissioner of Police (CP) in charge of the Rivers State command,

The coalition at a press conference in Port Harcourt on Monday, argued that the redeployment of Dandaura would allow for proper investigation into the case.

The Ikokwu-5 is the case of five Ikokwu mechanics returning from work at about 7pm on December 19, 2019, when they were stopped by the E-Crack unit of the Rivers police command for driving one-way. They were searched and N132,450 was found on four of them. They were accused of being armed robbers and cultists and bundled into detention.

They were allegedly subjected to extreme torture until Chima died, according to the survivors.

Enefaa Georgewill, chairman of the coalition which includes Ikokwu Spare Parts Dealers Association leaders, regretted what he described as poor handling of the investigations by the police.

He noted that the names of many of those detained were incomplete (single names) while the name of the notorious female police officer that allegedly manhandled the organ of Chima Ikwunado who died in police custody during torture, and some other survivors did not feature on the list.

He also alleged that the police public relations officer, Nnamdi Omoni, had admitted on a radio that the E-Crack commander, Benson Adesuyi, lied to the police command in Port Harcourt about the cause of Chima’s death.

The CSOs wondered why such an officer was not among those detained but instead redeployed to the state headquarters on Moscow Road, the same place the entire matter was being investigated.

The coalition argued that the public has lost confidence in the ability of the Rivers CP to continue with the investigations and would also not trust words coming from the spokesperson of the police in Rivers, hence the need for the CP redeployment to rebuild the confidence of the people.

Enefaa said it was unfortunate that despite the international uproar, the Rivers police command has not addressed the state on the extent of their investigations.

“It was the over five million petitions generated worldwide and sent to the President and Inspector-General of Police that forced the Rivers police to allow an independent autopsy to be done in the first place. Everything achieved so far in this matter was through pressure, not out of love by the CP to do what is right”.

Meanwhile, the CSOs said efforts and visits at the police from Mile One to the State CID could only produce five out of the nine phone handsets surrendered by Chima and his boys to the E-Crack Squad after their arrest.

The CSOs said the remaining four phones, sum of N132,450, mechanic tools, and batteries of the cars alleged to be robbed by Chima and co-mechanics were not found. The owners of the two cars had earlier told newsmen that their cars were vandalised in the hands of the E-Crack Squad at Mile One.

The CSOs said efforts made between Friday February 14 and Monday February 17, 2020, could only produce five phones. It was gathered that the new commander of the Crack Squad at Mile One had asked them to go to the headquarters for any further inquiry because the case had been taken over.