Monday, 12 April 2010

Photonews: Nigeria's Acting President In United States Of America

News Release: Complaint Of Abduction, Torture, Inhuman And Degrading Treatment By Serving Police Officers In Imo State

                                            [Nigeria's Anti-riot Policemen]

The Chairman
Police Service Commission
Federal Secretariat Complex
Shehu Shagari Way
Garki 2

Dear Sir,

Complaint Of Abduction, Torture, Inhuman And Degrading Treatment By Serving Police Officers In Imo State:

The Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) is a network of 46 civil society organizations spread across Nigeria, and committed to promoting police accountability and respect for human rights. It was established in 2000 to provide opportunity for civil society involvement in police reform, and the promotion of safety, security and justice in Nigeria.

NOPRIN carries out its mandate through monitoring, field research and investigation, documentation, publication, campaign and advocacy. NOPRIN partners with national, international, governmental and intergovernmental organizations and institutions in implementing its programs aimed at transforming law enforcement institutions and practices in Nigeria.

NOPRIN has received a complaint from Mr. Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha of Plot 98 Ikenegbu Layout Extension, Owerri concerning his abduction, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment by serving police officers attached to the Governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, with the acquiescence of the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Aloysius Okorie. Mr. Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha informed NOPRIN as follows:

1. That on the 21st January 2010, His Excellency, the Governor of Imo state, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, sent a team of armed Policemen from amongst his security details/personnel to abduct and produce him to the Governor in the Government House, Owerri.

2. That His Excellency’s anger is that he, Ikenna samuelson Iwuoha, an internet Journalist has been writing articles critical of his administration. In the early hours of the said January 21st, 2010 the Policemen abducted Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha from his residence at Ikenegbu Layout Extension, Owerri and marched him straight to the Governor’s Office at the Government House, and he was locked up and unlawfully detained on the instructions of the Governor.

3.The Governor brutally assaulted Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha, kicked and marched on him with shoes, mercilessly flogged him with horse whip until he began to bleed profusely. Before lacerating Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha, the Governor and his Chief Security officer stripped him naked and gave him deadly blows on his mouth followed by a head butt.

4.That while this brutal assault and torture were going on, the Governor’s Chief Security Officer who is a serving Police Officer pulled out his gun and continued to point same at Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha threatening that if he ever retaliated or touched His Excellency, he, the Chief Security Officer would shoot him dead.

5. That he, Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha was subsequently handed over to the Imo State Police Commissioner, Mr. Aloysius Okorie who ordered that he, Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha be detained by his men and arraigned in court all at the pleasure of the Governor.

6. That Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha in his statement to the Police had chronicled all these events. Surprisingly, till date, none of the serving Police Officers who abducted Ikenna Samuelsson Iwuoha at the instance of the Governor and took him to the Government House where he was tortured has been brought to book.

7. NOPRIN has the instructions of Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha to bring this ugly development to your attention sir, and to demand for justice on his behalf.

8. It has become necessary to define or clarify the role of Police Officers attached to serving Public Office holders, including State Governors.

9. Do they have the power to abduct or even arrest citizens who are perceived to be opposed to their masters? Why did the policemen attached to the Imo State Governor take Mr. Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha to the Government House where he was brutalized by the Governor before being handed over to the Police? Why did the Chief Security Officer to the Governor of Imo State assist the Governor to torture and brutalize Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha?

10. This case raises the question as to the role of the Commissioner of Police, Imo State, Mr. Aloysius Okorie for taking into custody, an already brutalized citizen. We deem the action of the Commissioner of Police, Imo State as culpable and in connivance to cover up by not allowing this bleeding and seriously injured man medical treatment and visitation by his family for five days.

11. Another question that arises relates to the use of private Police Orderlies and security attach├ęs to the Governor. Under whose command are they? Is the Commissioner of Police in charge or are they a private army at the disposal of the Governor?

12. Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha demands and NOPRIN accordingly calls for an impartial and full investigation of the entire saga including the role played by these Police Officers with a view to ensuring that appropriate sanctions are meted out to the erring ones.

Yours sincerely,

Okechukwu Nwanguma
Programme Coordinator