Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Monday, called for the disbandment of the entire policing architecture in Anambra State and urged the Police Service Commission to set up a judicial panel to investigate the wide-ranging allegations of brutality, murder, kidnapping, and other high-profile criminal enterprises allegedly involving the police.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said if found guilty, police officers who are culprits should face murder charges immediately and to forestall another national anti-police brutality protests like the #EndSARS uprising of October 2020.
The group condemned the alleged police brutality and torture of Mr. Valentine Anierobi allegedly at Dr. Emoh’s residence before handing him over to the Anambra state police command linking the same PPRO that was implicated for human organ trafficking allegations and for disappearances of many Igbo youths.
HURIWA recalled that a man in a viral video Valentine Anierobi was allegedly tortured and forced to confess that he was sent by Senator Ubanesse to kidnap Dr Kingsley Emoh a Port Harcourt-based staff of Eleme petrochemical company.
HURIWA learnt that on January 3, 2023, Senator Ubanesse Igbeke, the Senator who represented Anambra North Senatorial District, was reportedly verbally invited by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Police Zone 13, Ukpo – Dunukofia by Superintendent of Police (SP), Nkeiruka Nwode to the Zonal Headquarters.
The erstwhile Senator reportedly got to Abuja and promptly petitioned the office of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) on the 5th of January 2023 over what he ordinarily believed to be a threat to life and intimidation.
HURIWA alleged that strangely, it was after the IGP directed investigation into the Senator’s petition, that SP Nwode, in what may be interpreted as a belated face-saving ploy officially wrote a letter of invitation to the Senator on the 10th of January asking him to report on the 12th of January 2023 which was clear seven days after the threats.
SP Nwode allegedly told the contacts that the Senator was wanted at the Zonal Command in connection to a case of threat to life, Kidnap, Assassination, and Conspiracy filed against him by one Kingsley Emoh from Agbalagbo village in Nsugbe, who works at Eleme Petrochemical Company in Port Harcourt.
HURIWA recalled that the alleged conspiracy and collusion with Police Officers at the Rapid Response Squad Awkuzu, to torture a reportedly innocent man, Valentine Anierobi in their alleged plot to set up and kill the Senator are already viral. The Rights group has therefore tasked the IGP and the Police Service Commission to comprehensively probe the embattled Police Public Relations Officer in Anambra state to ascertain first, why the Police verbally invite anyone, more especially a former well-known Senator for any matter without disclosing reasons for the invitation.
Secondly, the RIGHTS GROUP is tasking the police authority in Abuja and the Police Service Commission to ascertain why the said PPRO allegedly refused to disclose to the former Senator the reasons for his invitation. Was the invitation letter she belatedly sent to the Senator, not a diversionary gimmick to hide the original plot against the Senator and an afterthought to camouflage their alleged evil plot against the Senator?
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “We condemn the alleged police brutality and torture of this man Valentine Anierobi by the Anambra state police command linking the same PPRO that was implicated for human organ trafficking allegations and for disappearances of many Igbo youths.
“The man in the video was allegedly tortured and forced to confess that he was sent by Senator Ubanesse Igbeke to kidnap Dr. Kingsley Emoh a Port Harcourt-based staff of Eleme petrochemical company. Dr. Emoh has already been reportedly arrested by Force headquarters for allegedly deceiving the police into arresting the man in the video and false information against Senator Ubanesse Igbeke.
HURIWA said although recourse to the court of law captured under Section 6 of the Nigerian Constitution is a fundamental entitlement of all citizens, the group expressed shock that the person for which citizen Valentine Anierobi was allegedly tortured who works in a crude oil firm in PortHarcourt Dr. Kingsly Emoh is said to have allegedly approached the court and obtained an injunctive order restraining the police from investigating his petition.
HURIWA therefore stated thus: “Our recommendations include (1) complete police investigation reports. (2) disbandment of the entire policing architecture in Anambra state, the investigation by the Police Service Commission and a judicial panel to be set up in Anambra state by the state government or federal AGF to investigate the wide-ranging allegations linking the PPRO and Awkuzu Police torture cells and if these police operatives are found guilty they should face murder charges immediately and on no account should there be an attempt to sabotage the investigation because the police are known for sabotaging such high profile criminal enterprise involving the police.
“Those who reportedly tortured Citizen Valentine Anierobi should be prosecuted and made to pay heavy monetary compensation to this Citizen whose alleged crime as at the very period he was whisked off by police in Anambra state and nearly tortured to death, was still mere allegations (assuming without conceding that there are any tenable charges against him).
“HURIWA condemns torture and stated that torture is absolutely prohibited under the constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Covenants on civil and political Rights, and all global human rights laws. HURIWA wants the Federal government to view torture as extrajudicial and therefore police officers indicted for inflicting torture must be dismissed from Service forthwith.
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“The Anambra Police scandals must be investigated immediately or the IGP and President Muhammadu Buhari may be risking persistent anti-police brutality protests like EndSARS of 2020.”