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Police batter, strip human rights activist naked

By Chimaobi Nwaiwu, Nnewi on 07/06/2017

Views: 1,284

•The victim, Comrade Justus Ijeoma.
•The victim, Comrade Justus Ijeoma.

Policemen numbering about six attached to Onitsha Police Area Command, Anambra State, yesterday battered and stripped an Onitsha-based human rights activist and Executive Director of International Human Rights and Equity Defence Foundation iH-REF, Comrade Justus Ijeoma.

Ijeoma had reported a matter that is still ongoing at the police station after an earlier petition to the Area Commander against a woman said to have issued a dud cheque to her debtor and subsequently refused to pay him cash.

Narrating his ordeal and how he narrowly escaped death from the policemen, Comrade Ijeoma said while receiving treatment at General Hospital Onitsha: “I was invited by the police men handling the case, just as they invited the accused. On waiting for over two hours the accused had not come, I started complaining that we would not spend the whole day waiting for the accused. An argument ensued between me and a policeman and another came in and started insulting me and called others and they pounced on me. Sincerely speaking, I escaped death by the whiskers.”

On what took him to the police station, Comrade Ijeoma said: “My cousin, Emeka Onyemaobi, told me that a woman borrowed N200,000 from him and pledged to pay back after two weeks.

“At the expiration of two weeks, the woman could not pay the money and the issue lingered for months before she issued my cousin a cheque which was dishonored by the bank.

“My cousin consequently lodged the case at the Onitsha Police Area Command, to know why she should give him a bounced cheque. Instead of the Investigation Police Officer (IPO), one Mr. Chinedu, to investigate the dishonoured cheque issued to my cousin, he told my cousin that he would recover the money from the woman, but that he would collect 10 per cent interest of the money in question.

“The position of the IPO did not go down well with the complainant and he alerted our human rights outfit. On my arrival at the police command, I had an argument over the 10 percent being demanded by the IPO; I told him that the demanding is not right and he got annoyed.

“While we were arguing, somebody who said he is the Station Officer to the command, one Mr. Onyilo, stormed the scene and ordered some policemen to push me out of the command and immediately they pounced on beat me mercilessly, battered me and stripped me naked.

“While they were manhandling me, the police Area Commander, Mr. Yahaya Abubakar, ordered that I should be brought to his office. As I was being brought I was staggering because of the beating and the Area Commander asked them to allow me to continue dramatising.

“When he asked me what happened I told him I could not talk now that I should be taken to the hospital. I told him that I was not dramatizing, that I was in pains and could not freely walk because of the beating and he then directed that I should be taken to the hospital.”

Journalists who went to the office of the Area Commander to get the police side of the story could not see him and were verbally abused by the policemen on duty, who ordered them to leave or they would receive their own beating.

Calls made to the police Area Commander did not go through, with the line indicating that it was switched off.

Source News Express

Posted 07/06/2017 12:58:37 PM





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