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Coronavirus Shouldn't Silence Case Of Ikwunado's Murder, Rivers People React

Callers on 92.3FM Nigeria Info Hard Facts programme on Wednesday said the coronavirus pandemic should not silence case of alleged murder of Port Harcourt mechanic, Chima Ikwunado, who was allegedly tortured to death by policemen attached to Eagle Crack Squad at Mile 1 Police Station.

Callers on 92.3FM Nigeria Info Hard Facts programme on Wednesday said the coronavirus pandemic should not silence case of alleged murder of Port Harcourt mechanic, Chima Ikwunado, who was allegedly tortured to death by policemen attached to Eagle Crack Squad at Mile 1 Police Station.

Ikwunado and four others were arrested late last year by the police and taken to the Mile 1 Police Station where they were allegedly tortured. In the process, Ikwunado died from alleged torture leading to calls especially on social media that justice should be done in the case.

One of the radio callers said the case of the alleged murder of the mechanic should be brought to end so that those guilty should be punished.

Another caller said although Ikwunado was not from rich home, the case of his alleged murder should not be swept under the carpet. He said if the victim was from rich home everything would have been done to ensure those who allegedly murdered him were brought to justice.

A caller also said that there should be justice for the late Ikwunado and the four others who were later released, while another caller had said civil society organizations should not drop the case.

A caller also said the police should say what they were doing with the case.

Ikwunado and four others Victor Ogbonna, Osaze Friday, Ifeanyi Osuji and Ifeanyi Onyekwere were arrested for allegedly driving against traffic and detained at the Mile I Police Station by Eagle Crack team headed by SP Benson Adetuyi.

When Ikwunado died in police detention, the police said that he died of high sugar level but this was not believed by family members and members of the public.

The wife of the deceased, Adaugo, filed a fundamental rights suit at Port-Harcourt Federal High Court against the police but the suit was struck out.

The presiding judge, Justice J.K. Omotosho, struck out the case on the request by the prosecution that the case be withdrawn.

The prosecuting counsel, Barrister (Mrs) Princess Chinyere Lawrence, had asked the court for permission to withdraw the suit.

But counsel for the police, Barrister Sokari Egop, asked the court to dismiss the suit and award N100, 000 cost against the applicant.

Justice Omotosho ruled that he was striking out the case and not dismissing it meaning that parties could still come back to the court for settlement of the case and did not award  cost against the applicant.

The presiding judge said he believed in substantial justice where facts would prove if actually the police killed the mechanic.

A fundamental rights suit was also brought by father of the deceased but was also struck out by the court.

In an interview, the defence counsel said: “The applicant counsel applied to withdraw the suit having seen the deficiency in what she has filed. We actually applied for dismissal but the court must do justice (so) he struck out the two applications”.

The prosecuting counsel, Barrister (Mrs) Chinyere Lawrence, who spoke with press in an earlier interview said so many family members were affected by the death of Ikwunado and said the family was demanding sum of N10 billion as compensation for his death saying it would “at least make the police to sit up”.

Social media users began a campaign with the hashtag #JusticeForChima and continued the campaign for justice to be done in the case.

An officer attached to the Eagle Crack Squad, Sergeant Rose, allegedly fondled the testicles of late Ikwunado and threatened to make him impotent,, an act that made her become target of social media users who condemned her action.

The case was expected to be brought  to court after the suit was earlier struck out when the coronavirus pandemic broke.

Callers on the radio programme expressed the hope that the matter would not be silenced by the pandemic saying the law should take its course.