A 68 years old Retired Police Officer, Elder Sunday Joel Udoh, who said his son was unlawfully murdered by Disbanded SARS Operatives Rukpokwu on 6 July, 2017, has demanded that the corpse of his son, Nsikan Sunday Udoh be released to him for a proper burial.
Elder Udoh while testifying before the Rivers State Judicial Commission of Inquiry on Police Brutality, narrated that his 30 years old son whose life was cut short for a case he knew nothing about was arrested on 5 July, 2017, by Officers of Nkpolu Police Division, Mile 3, Diobu, Port Harcourt, paraded at the Police Headquarters at Moscow Road on the same day where he told pressmen that he was not guilty of the offence.
According to him, the suspects arrested alongside his son confessed before the Police that his late son Nsikan was not involved in the case, but the then Commissioner of Police played deaf ears, and went ahead to transfer them to SARS office Rukpokwu.
He told the panel that his son got to SARS office around 6pm same day 5th July, 2017, and at about 3am the following morning 6th July, 2017, his son was confirmed dead due excessive torture, as his head was hung upside down, shovel and cutlass used on him by SARS Officers and his remains deposited at University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital’s Mortuary by one SARS Officer identified as Inspector Chinedu.
“My son was arrested on 5th July, 2017, and was taking to Nkpolu Police Division, Mile 3 Diobu, even the suspects arrested together with son told the police that my son was not a party to the crime. When the Investigating Police Officer IPO in charge of the case was about to sign bail for my son, the then Commissioner of Police ordered that the matter be transferred to Police Headquarters.
“They paraded them at the Police Headquarters and my son told the world that he is innocent of the crime he is accused of, it was when I went back to Nkpolu Police Division to effect my son’s bail that the DPO told me that the CP ordered the suspects to be transferred to SARS base Rukpokwu.
“I tried every means to know my the whereabout of my son, I went to SARS office, checked all their records upto 10th July, no evidence to prove that my son was being detained in SARS office.
“I got to know from the other suspects arrested alongside my son, that Nsikan died very early the next morning 6th July, 2017, from severe torture. They said he was hung upside down, machete, shovel, wire used on him.
“At about 3am early hours of 6 July, he was brought into the cell, he was unable to walk on his own, he demanded for water to drink and he was told there was no water, few minutes later he died in the cell, his fellow inmates carried him to the door and drew the attention of SARS Officers who came and carried his remains away.
“Immediately, I rushed to BMH mortuary Port Harcourt, my son’s corpse was not on their record, on the 18th July, 2017, I went to UPTH Mortuary, there I saw my son’s name Nsikan Sunday Udoh on their list with the name and contact of the SARS officer who deposited his body, Inspector Chinedu. I called Inspector Chinedu and asked if he was the one that deposited my son’s corpse and he told me yes.
“I need justice, the corpse of my son should be released to me for a proper burial and I want adequate compensation, because my son was a promising young man, a Crane Operator, if he was to be alive he will build a house for me. I demand one hundred million naira to be paid to the family for the great loss”
Also, one Chinasa Ukenna has demanded justice and compensation for his late Elder brother Cosmos Ukenna, an auto-mechanic who was arrested on 10 November, 2016, by Sergeant Musa an Officer attached to Oporo Police Division, while working on a customer’s vehicle, and was later taken to SARS office Rukpokwu were he was tortured to death.
“My brother is an auto-mechanic, they went to repair a car for somebody and all of a sudden Police pounced on them, that the car is a stolen vehicle. One of the officers by name Sergeant Musa lifted my brother and threw him on the floor, hitting his head twice on the ground, all his body was full of bruises.
“They threw them into their Police van and sprayed tear gas on them. They were taking to Oporo Police station. My younger brother went to ask for his bail so he can receive treatment they refused to grant him bail.
“After two days of detention at the Oporo Police station they were transferred to SARS office Rukpokwu. While he was in SARS custody they refused us from seeing him or give him food, some days later the officers demanded for one hundred thousand naira bail.
“My younger brother rushed to my father to collect the money, getting to SARS office, he paid the one hundred thousand naira only for SARS Officers to bring out my late Brother’s lifeless body, his hands were tied with a sponge and the SARS Officers took his remain to deposit in UPTH Mortuary.
“Days later I came in from Lagos, we were writing one petition to another and it was causing us so much money. The Police lied that they carried out an autopsy on my late brother, I demanded to see the autopsy, but they refused.
“I demanded another autopsy report which I told them I will pay for it, I invited Doctors from Owerri to carry out the autopsy report. Tt cost me one hundred and fifty thousand naira. We later demanded the corpse of my brother for burial, they refused, the corpse was released to us two years after in 2018, that was when we buried my elder brother.
“I demand justice, because the inhumane and lawlessness of Police Officers on the citizens is outrageous. I demand for thirty million naira compensation for the family for what we suffered as a result of the death of my brother’
Our correspondent reports that the panel struck out five petitions for petitioners being absent and also for lack of jurisdiction.