THE Coalition of Concerned Civil Society Organisations (CCCSO) has given Rivers State Attorney General 14 days to open trial against Superintendent of Police (SP) Benson Abisoye and the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), for alleged torture to death of Chima Ikwunado in Port Harcourt back in 2019.
At a briefing Wednesday in Port Harcourt, to express worry over repeated cases of police brutality and extrajudicial murders in Rivers, CCCSO, said it would escalate a second wave of national and global anger on the case of Ikwunado if the Rivers Attorney General and other relevant authorities ignored the two weeks ultimatum.
CCCSO in a statement by Amaechi Justin recalled how on December 2019, Ikwunado was acknowledged dead at the Mile1 Police Station torture chambers of the Rivers Police Command’s Eagle Crack Unit then headed by SP Benson Abisoye while four others arrested with the deceased narrowly escaped death to tell the ordeal.
The autopsy report on the deceased Ikwunado, corroborated by the four others who survived the ordeal asserted that Ikwunado died of severe brutality dealt on the Ikoku 5 by the dreaded E-Crack Unit for offences a Port Harcourt court ruled as trumped, baseless and unfounded.
Amaechi stated as, “Unfortunate that only 4 out of 6 indicted police officers are consequently facing prosecution, whilst SP Benson (Commander of the E-Crack Unit) was redeployed and promoted, the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) never been charged in any court of competent jurisdiction.
“The Coalition is perturbed by the unconscionable manner relevant government institutions are handling such important matters with political considerations. Our position is that there is inequality in the administration of justice in Nigeria, that redress/justice is incomplete if all suspects involved in the torture are not prosecuted.”
The group cited that the Anti Torture passed in 2017 prohibits and penalizes torture by 25 years imprisonment with Section 7(4) stipulating that, “The immediate Commanding Officer of the Unit Concerned of security or law enforcement agencies is held liable to the crime for the act of omission or negligence that may lead to torture by his subordinates”
Amaechi further stated that “the CCCSO is at a loss as to why the law of the Federal Republic assented by President Buhari since 2017 is being ignored, neglected, circumvented and jettisoned with utter impunity and total disregard for the rule of law and other domestic principles.
“We call on the Attorney General of Rivers, the Nigeria Police and the prosecution team to swiftly take the right action to prosecute SP Benson Abisoye and the IPO to respect the rule of law and win the trust of the people to see justice for Ikwunado and entire humanity affected by this heinous, immoral acts of the erring police officers.
“The Coalition gives the Attorney General of Rivers and other relevant authorities 14-day ultimatum to open prosecution of SP Abisoye and the IPO to avoid a second wave of multiple escalations of this matter both nationally and internationally.”