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Ohaneze, family demand justice for murdered Port Harcourt trader

Apex Igbo cultural organization, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, has called on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to fish out those responsible for the death of Chukwudi…

Apex Igbo cultural organization, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, has called on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to fish out those responsible for the death of Chukwudi Abraham, a businessman who died in police custody in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, in January.

The family of the deceased is also demanding explanation over his death under controversial circumstances.

The Eze Ndi Igbo in Rivers State and Bayelsa State, Sir Sam Nwokolo, the deceased brother, Chibueze Abraham and father, Chima Abraham who spoke respectively to our reporter in Port Harcourt at the weekend, said the deceased who was arrested by the men of Octopus of the State Police Command in January died under questionable circumstances.

Nwokolo said the deceased was arrested in January by the men of Octopus led by a senior Police officer under what he described as vendetta mission and subsequently lost his life while in police custody.

He said the deceased who was a spare parts dealer at the popular Ikoku market in Port Harcourt was branded a kidnapper and taken into custody where he lost his life.

He said a close examination of the deceased revealed that he was tortured severely which lead to his death.

He said a pathologist had been consulted to carry out autopsy in collaboration with the police.

“We visited the market where the deceased carried out his business to have a first-hand information because one of our subjects, an Igbo son was murdered by the Nigeria police men Octopus, Rivers State, so we came to interface with the people, spare parts dealers in Port Harcourt where the incident happened, the Igbo community and the family of the deceased. From our observation we discovered that with the kind of business the deceased was into, I don’t think he has the history of crime.

“You cannot just allege that the deceased was a kidnapper because you had personal problem with the man. We want justice to take its cause. My people wanted to demonstrate on their own but because we have a government, a governor that listens to us, we wouldn’t want to do something that might be tantamount to disruption of peace in Rivers, knowing fully well that we are over five million in Rivers State as a people so you cannot just come and kill us as nobody.

“You cannot just kill somebody and go scot-free; we have spoken to our people to remain calm and law-abiding that we will definitely get justice. I have also spoken to the governor and he has assured me that we will get justice. We have seen the corpse and from our observation, he was murdered,” he said.

Chibueze Abraham, the deceased’s brother said after he was arrested on 11th January, 2024, the family and their lawyer did not have access to him.

He said that they were informed that the matter was under investigation and would not be allowed to see the deceased and pointed out that the family heard about his death on social media.

“The next thing we heard was that our brother was dead so when we heard that our brother was dead we went there to find out what happened, to really find out if he was dead but they did not give us access. So we wrote a petition to the IG concerning the matter. The petition was approved and taken to the office of the Commissioner of police but nothing was done about the matter.

“We don’t know why he was killed; they came to the shop where he was doing business and arrested him on the accusation that he was a kidnapper. You said somebody was a kidnapper and you did not investigate the matter thoroughly and allow the court to determine if the person was a kidnapper as alleged. You cannot just come to a person’s business center, get the person arrested, accuse him of kidnapping and the next thing is to kill him.”

Father of the deceased, Chima Abraham, called on the Police to ensure that those behind the death of his son were arrested.

When contacted Rivers State Police Command Public Relation Officer, SP Grace Iringe Koko, said the deceased was implicated in a case involving kidnapping, armed robbery, and cultism.

Koko said the deceased was implicated in the abduction of a female business tycoon in the Diobu area of Port Harcourt on September 7, 2023.

She the victim was kidnapped by five armed gunmen and taken to a hideout in Elechi waterside.

She said investigations revealed that the deceased was a member of the Dey-Gbam secret cult gang, and that he and his accomplices purchased one of the AK-47 rifles used during the operation.

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