Umuahia – A Rights Group, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) has petitioned the Commissioner of Police, Abia State Police Command, Janet Agbede, over the unlawful detention of one Victor Ogbonna at the Central Police Station, CPS Umuahia over a civil dispute, and denial of the detainee’s due process safeguards including access to his lawyer.
TNC gathered that some police officers attached to the Anti-kidnapping Unit of the Abia State Police Command, led by one Inspector Sylvester Ike, came to Lagos in the early hours of Wednesday and arrested the said Ogbonna.
Ogbonna was taken to Ifako Police Station in Kosofe LGA, Lagos State, where he was detained until the next day before he was taken in his own car to Umuahia and have since detained him at the Central Police Station (CPS) Umuahia and his car confiscated and parked at the station.
The officers, who said they were sent by CSP Remi Chukwuani, the Officer in Charge, O/C Antikidnapping unit to arrest Ogbonna, were said to have presented no warrant even when requested.
Speaking with TNC correspondent on Saturday, the Executive Director of RULAAC, Okey Nwanguma, said when they inquired from Inspector Ike about Victor’s offence, he said it was for Advance Fee Fraud.
“We were informed that CSP Remi Chukwuani was angry with the accused because he refused to report based on telephone invitation and had asked for a formal invitation for him to be sure it was an official invitation.
“The O/C had threatened to deal with him and ordered his detention immediately upon arrival. The next day, a lawyer appeared but was not allowed access to his client and it took the intervention of the PPRO before the lawyer could see him yesterday,” he revealed.
The RULAAC Boss revealed that Ogbonna’s wife had to pay some money each time before she would be allowed to see her husband, even to give him food.
“She later informed us that contrary to the alleged offence of ‘advance fee fraud’ which Inspr Ike told us, the Police officers presented her husband with an Agreement of a transaction between his deceased brother and the complainant. They wanted Ogbonna to pay a certain debt the complainant claimed Ogbonna’s deceased brother owed him before he died. Till this date, the complainant has not shown up, instead one other man know as Ikenna who is the complainant’s friend and who previously called Ogbonna and threatened that they will deal with him, came with one other man to the station and were asking Ogbonna how he wanted them to settle the matter, so he won’t remain in detention indefinitely,” Nwanguma disclosed.
He continued; “The duo also suggested to him to give up his car which previously belonged to his deceased brother in order to be released.”
Nwanguma noted that from the background of the matter, it was obvious that the complainant who is demanding that Ogbonna pay him unverified debts allegedly owed him by his deceased brother, is working in collusion with CSP Remi Chukwuani and others to intimidate him to extort money him and take his car away from him.
“It is unbecoming of a senior police officer of the rank of a CSP to compromise and bring the name of the police to disrepute, by abusing his police powers and dabbling into a civil dispute that ought to be resolved by the court. It is nothing short of wickedness for the officers to arrest, detain beyond lawful duration, and subject an innocent citizen to suffering and intimidation to part with money and his car.
“RULAAC therefore requests the Commissioner of Police, to call CSP Remi Chukwuani and others to order and order the immediate and unconditional release of Victor Ogbonna.
“We respectfully request you to call them to order and to save a citizen from victimisation, oppression and abuse of power by these officers.” Nwanguma concluded.