Chima Ikwunado: DSS invites chairman of Ikokwu spare parts dealers

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…Igbo Journalists insist on prosecution of erring E-Crack officers

Kelechi Esogwa-Amadi

As Nigerians continue to condemn the brutal killing of an Ikokwu mechanic, Chima Ikwunado, through torture by men of the Eagle Crack Squad of Mile 1 Police Station, Port Harcourt, with many calling for the parading and prosecution of the officers that tortured Chima and the other four mechanics, the Department of Security Service (DSS) in the state has invited the chairman of Ikokwu Motor Spare Parts Dealers’ Union, High Chief Iwu Anthony Alaribeole.

Although the reason for the invitation was not specified, speculations are rife that it may not be unconnected with the recent call by the Ikokwu traders that the Rivers State commissioner of police, Mr Dandaura, be redeployed to pave way for an unhindered independent investigation into the Ikokwu torture case.

When TPCN contacted Chief Anthony Alaribeole on phone at exactly 2:22 p.m. today, (Thursday, 13th February, 2020), he confirmed that the DSS invited him to come today.

When asked if he knew why they invited him, he answered in the negative and added that he would go by 4 p.m.

However, some Nigerians who have heard of the invitation of the Ikokwu Spare Parts Dealers Union Chairman by the DSS are of the view that it could be for negotiation while some have expressed fear that that it could be a ploy to intimidate him.

Justin Udoh, a member of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), said: “I heard it on 92.3 FM this afternoon that DSS has invited the chairman of Ikokwu spare parts dealers today. I was surprised when I heard it but what came to my mind is that may be they want to interrogate him for demanding for the redeployment of Rivers State commissioner of police. But whatever they want to do to him or ask him, they should know that the whole Rivers State and Nigeria, in fact the whole world is watching. Everybody is calling for justice for Chima and the other Ikokwu boys and the DSS should also join in calling for justice because injustice to one is injustice to all.”

TPCN could not get across to DSS for comments on the issue as at the time of filing in this report.

Meanwhile, a group of journalists of Igbo extraction practicing in Rivers State, under the aegis of Igbo Journalists Forum, has called for the prosecution of the Eagle Crack commander, Benson Adetuyi and his officers that tortured Chima Ikwunado to death and inflicted heavy, life-threatening wounds on the other four Ikokwu mechanics.

In a statement made available to TPCN today, the Igbo Journalists Forum maintained that Benson Adetuyi and his men who tortured Chima and the other four mechanics should be made to face the law rather than being redeployed, adding that justice must be allowed to take its full course.

The statement partly reads: “The Igbo Journalists Forum, which strongly condemned the brutal torture of the mechanics by the E-Crack squad, Mile 1 Division, argued that the purported redeployment of the E-Crack Commander, as reportedly announced by the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr Dandaura, not only falls short of expectation but also amounts to escape of justice.

“The Forum therefore joins other concerned Nigerians to call on the Nigerian Police, the Rivers State Government and the Federal Government, through the office of the attorney-general of the federation, to eschew bias and ensure that the E-Crack officers that tortured the innocent Ikokwu mechanics and killed Chima Ikwunado in the process are prosecuted and brought to book, adding that injustice to one is injustice to all.

“Today it is Chima Ikwunado and the other four men; tomorrow we do not know who it will be. That is why the E-Crack Squad officers should be called to order while those that tortured the Ikokwu mechanics and in the process tortured Chima to death should be arraigned, prosecuted and punished accordingly to serve as a deterrent to other officers who think that their uniforms and guns are tickets to indiscriminate maiming of Nigerians.

“Some people are calling for compensation of the families of Chima Ikwunado and the other four men but while we’re not against that, we wish to state that no amount of compensation will assuage the pain of the loss of Chima or replace the vacuum his death has created because money cannot buy life,” the statement notes.