Family of murdered mechanic disagrees with police over cause of death

Okenyi Kenechi

The family of the mechanic murdered in Port Harcourt by the deadly Eagle Crack Police unit of the Rivers State Police Command, late Chima Ikwunado says claims by the police that Chima died of diabetes are lies and an insult to them as his family.

The family said the late mechanic had no history of diabetes and was never on drugs.

The late mechanic was murdered by the notorious police unit in December after they accused him of being an armed robber and car snatcher.

His death has generated lots of reactions on social media with Nigerians calling for the prosecution of the police officers that tortured him to death.

The family accused the Police of torturing him to death shortly after he was arrested.

Chima’s brother claimed that the people who was arrested together with Chima told them how the Police in Eagle crack tortured him until he passed out.

The Rivers State Police had claimed Mr Chima died of high blood sugar.

Nnamdi Omoni, the public relations officer of the command in a statement said the late Motor Mechanic died in police custody at the E-Crack in Mile Port Harcourt.

He said the Commander of E-Crack, SP Benson Adetuyi has been invited to the Police Command to provide further information.

The Police spokesman, who also confirmed the arraignment of four other suspects in the matter, said the suspects are already at the Port Harcourt correctional service and that the commissioner of police has ordered an investigation into the incident which he said has already commenced.

DSP Omoni pleaded with the family of the victim and members of the public to remain calm while the police conclude its investigation, assuring that those found guilty will be punished accordingly.

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“As a Command we are aware of that incident and our attention has also been drawn to the online publication.

“The briefing we have received from the Commander of E-Crack, SP Adetuyi is that the man died in detention and they had to conduct an autopsy on him and found that he died of high sugar level.

“He confirmed that all the people mentioned were arrested for the crime and while they were in custody, Chima died. Others who were arrested with him are in court.

“The Commissioner of Police has directed the DC State CID to review the matter and that has commenced already.

“If at the end of the day they discover that cause of death is a result of the negligence of our men either covertly or overtly they will go in for it.

“We just want to appeal to members of the public and the family of Chima to please be patient with us. Let them give us time to get to the root of this matter,” Omoni said.

Meanwhile, the Civil Liberties Organisation, South-South zone has called for the scrapping of the notorious police unit.

Karl Uchegbu, chairman of the zone’s CLOs said that for some time now, they have continued to raise concerns about the operations and activities of the Eagle Crack Police Unit of the Rivers State Police Command.

“This unit which is also known as Commissioners Squad operates out of the Mile One Police Station in Dioubu.

“In the course of its duties, the Eagle Crack Unit employs all manner of barbaric conduct ranging from extreme torture, gross abuse of human rights, extortion, the framing of innocent Nigerians, tampering and falsification of evidence and extra-judicial murder.

“We have written to relevant authorities ranging from the National Assembly, the Police Services Commission and the Inspector General of Police, drawing attention to the nefarious activities of this rogue unit under the command of SP Benson Adetuyi.

“We have highlighted the travails of Hon. Okey Okirie in the hands of SP Benson Adetuyi and his Eagle Crack squad.

“Hon. Okey Okirie has been forced to go into hiding for fear of being eliminated by SP Benson Adetuyi, who swore to ” personally deal with” him after he was unlawfully detained and persistently harassed and humiliated.

“SP Benson Adetuyi blatantly ignored a valid court order restraining him from harassing or arresting Hon. Okirie pending the determination of a case in court.

“On Thursday 9th January, operatives of Eagle Crack on the orders of Benson Adetuyi raided Hon. Okey Okirie’s residence in a bid to ensnare him.

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“Other victims of Eagle Crack torture and brutality are one Uche Brown Orukwo who was arrested on August 26th, 2019 and kept incommunicado.

“Eagle Crack operatives denied arresting him, until the Commissioner of Police sent officers from headquarters to Eagle crack on 13th September 2019 and it was confirmed the suspect was in their custody.

“Cletus Solomon, Michael Ikeji and Opuwari Bibobra were arrested by Eagle Crack operatives in front of their house in the D/Line area of Port Harcourt and brutalized with machetes after being charged with kidnapping.

“In the latest incident, SP Benson Adetuyi has tortured to death Mr Chima Ikwunado, a motor mechanic, while in their custody.

“The sad and gory tales of this rogue unit are just too many, that one wonders if torture, inhuman and degrading treatment has now been legitimized.

“The Eagle Crack unit represents ‘writ large’ the general descent into anti-democratic conduct and lack of regard for human safety and life.

“It is time this notorious unit is disbanded and its operatives made to answer for their crimes. EAGLE CRACK MUST GO”.