Saturday, June 25, 2016

How the Police Tortured Our Young Son to Death - Family Cries for Justice (Photo)

Following the death of their son, a family in Enugu is crying for justice claiming the police allegedly tortured their son to death and must answer for the crime.
Chibuike Edu
 
The family in Enugu are currently crying for help after their young son was alllegedly tortured to death by Policemen in the Enugu State command.
 
Chibuike Edu’s death is like a nightmare to his family who are still trying to understand how the 22-year-old ended up in the cell of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Enugu, where he was tortured only to die just 10 minutes after he was rushed to the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Parklane, Enugu, on May 18, 2016.

To compound the family’s anguish, Chibuike’s death was not even communicated to them, and his body had yet to be released by the police for burial.

The corpse was deposited at the morgue in the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozala, Enugu, without the knowledge of the family members, who are now crying out for justice.

The Punch learnt that the late Chibuike, a native of Ulepa village in Ntezi, a community in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, was a factory worker with Intecil Products Limited, which is based in the Emene area of Enugu.

He was the last of the six surviving children of a widow. The young man, said to be talented in football, relocated from Lagos to Enugu in 2015.

Advised by family members to stay back in Enugu, Chibuike took up a factory job in January 2016, as he waited for a breakthrough in his quest to become a professional footballer.Chibuike was also seeking to further his studies, following advice from his family that it was better for him to combine academics with a possible career in football.

The factory job was supposed to be a temporary job – a means for Chibuike to raise some money to pursue bigger ambition. Unfortunately, the temporary job led to his death, putting a permanent stop to his dreams.

According to petitions forwarded to the Senate, House of Representatives, National Human Rights Commission and other bodies by the deceased’s family, an alleged theft in the administrative unit of Intecil Limited, the company he worked for, on April 29, 2016 led to his arrest.

The theft, which involved an unspecified amount of money, was said to have taken place while Chibuike and other workers were on duty.

However, Chibuike was at work in the factory as of the time the theft took place in the administrative offices.

A copy of the petition sent to the National Assembly, which was signed by the deceased’s brother, Oliver Edu, and his sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Orsu, was made available to our correspondent.

Explaining the circumstances of his death, the petition reads, “On April 30, 2016, Chibuike was invited by the Emene Police Division and after his statement at the police station, he was released because they found he was not involved in the theft. But the police detained one Sunday Oche, whom they suspected to be involved.”

The family explained that the Executive Managing Director of Intecil Products Limited, Mr. Chinedu Arodiogu, then requested that the case be transferred to SARS, a police formation specialised in handling armed robbery cases. Chibuike was promptly arrested again by SARS operatives when he reported to work on May 9, 2016.

Unfortunately, Chibuike never came out alive after his arrest and detention. Seven days later, he was rushed to ESUTH for complications which reportedly came from his torture. There, he died.

Chibuike’s family members said in the petition, “On May 16, 2016, a SARS official, one Mr. Everest, informed us that, upon his investigation, ‘the boy (Chibuike) is innocent but he should wait in the cell.’”
Elizabeth, the sister, added that when she brought food to Chibuike at the SARS detention facility on May 17,“she noticed bruises and scars all over his body, indicative of torture.”
She added that during the visit, Chibuike confirmed to her that the SARS operatives tortured him to force him to confess. Chibuike said he did not yield to the torture, Elizabeth said in the petition.

However, when the family members visited again on May 18, they were told that Chibuike was dead. Since then, the family had been denied access to Chibuike’s corpse, which had been deposited in the morgue at UNTH.

“On June 2, 2016, the family visited the mortuary but they were denied access to the body again.

“According to the mortician, Chibuike’s body is labelled as “armed robber” therefore no one could have access to it without police permission,”
 the petition added.

The family members further alleged that the management of Intecil Limited and SARS are collaborating to cover up their roles in Chibuike’s death. The family has alleged collusion between the management of Intecil Limited and police over the murder of their son. They said the company had yet to officially communicate to the family of Chibuike about his death.

In the petitions to the Senate, House of Representatives, National Human Rights Commission, the family has called for the prosecution of those responsible for the killing of their son. They have also demanded an independent autopsy on Chibuike’s remains.

The deceased’s family insists that there must be an adequate compensation and a public apology from Intecil Limited and the police, while also demanding a befitting burial for him.

 “The death of late Chibuike is a clear case of torture and illicit treatment and more worrisome is the fact that the young lad was completely innocent of the phantom claim against him,”
 the family said.

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