Anambra Man Appeals The IGP Over Alleged Unlawful Detention
Anambra Man Appeals The IGP Over Alleged Unlawful Detention
Chief John Elochukwu, an Anambra businessman, has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, over the alleged extortion of N18 million from him as "ransom" to secure his freedom after he was unlawfully arrested and detained for five days by the Special Criminal Investigation Department, SCID-Annex, Awkuzu Unit, in the State's Oyi Local Government Area. Elochukwu named Mr. Martin Ngoesina Okechukwu, Mr. Chike Ajah, Mr. Ikechukwu Obiada (Omaba Block Industry), CSP Patrick Agbazue, Officer in-charge of SCID-Annex Awkuzu, Mr. Osim, the Admin Officer, and Mr. Uche Chukwudi, Investigating Police Officer (IPO) as those allegedly behind his ordeal in the petition written.
The petitioner accused them of kidnapping, arrest, confinement, intimidation, and extortion of "N18 million ransom," which he said was removed from his United Bank for Africa, UBA, account and deposited into a proxy account in order to ensure his release. According to his lawyer, Elochukwu, who is from Umunnakwa Agwa village, Ifite-Nteje, Oyi local Government Area of Anambra State, has never had a problem with any individual or group in his community since he spends most of his time attending to his business.
"However, our client informed us that on 20th February, 2022, at about 3.00am, while he was sleeping in his village house, his premises was surrounded by some people who claimed to be Officers from the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Annex Awkuzu Unit and their mission was to get him arrested on account of a purported petition from the Inspector-General of Police, Force headquarters, Abuja, against him," the lawyer wrote.
"The officers, however, had no search warrant for their mission, but they insisted on searching his entire premises as police officers (as claimed) from the Anambra State Police Command Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Annex Awkuzu Unit, and after searching his house, they did not find any incriminating item(s) and still got him arrested with serious beating and subsequently detained him in their office."
When their client (Elochukwu) asked why they were embarrassing him, the lawyer stated that the leader of the team told him that they were executing the petition written against him and sent from the IGP's office in Abuja, which, contrary to normal procedure, was not shown to him or produced when he demanded to see it. Elochukwu was detained for five days, according to the lawyer, and while in the cell, he was taken to the office of CSP Patrick Agbazue at 3.00 a.m. on the fifth day, where he was informed that "they have agreed that he should pay the sum of Eighteen Million Naira only (N18,000,000.00) to secure his release from them, if not, he will be wasted that night, and this was with much threat to his life by them.
"He (Elochukwu) told us that it was then he realized that he had been kidnapped, but that they were simply utilizing the (SCID) Annex Awkuzu Unit to perfect their act(s) in collusion with Mr. Martin Ngoesina Okechukwu and CSP Patrick Agbazue, the Officer-in-Charge of the SCID Annex Awkuzu Unit." Elochukwu's counsel went on to say that "our client became afraid of his life due to the level of inhumane treatment they were meetinging on him, agreed to their ransom bid and, however, started sourcing for money, which he eventually paid them," adding that he was immediately released without any mention of the reason for his detention.
The lawyer, alleging that such nefarious actions were taking place among personnel of the SCID Awkuzu Annex, said the revelation requires a thorough investigation since "many individuals are suffering in the cell because they have not consented to their ransom request." The petitioner emphasized the urgent need to prevent further damage to the image of Law Enforcement Agencies by such "unrepentant corrupt officers and bad eggs" in the Awkuzu Annex of the SCID, pointing out that the activities of those officers were contrary to President Muhammadu Buhari's Administration's Anti-Corruption Crusade. The lawyer, alleging that such nefarious actions were taking place among personnel of the SCID Awkuzu Annex, said the revelation requires a thorough investigation since "many individuals are suffering in the cell because they have not consented to their ransom request."
The petitioner emphasized the urgent need to prevent further damage to the image of Law Enforcement Agencies by such "unrepentant corrupt officers and bad eggs" in the Awkuzu Annex of the SCID, pointing out that the activities of those officers were contrary to President Muhammadu Buhari's Administration's Anti-Corruption Crusade.
"Sir, we are requesting a careful examination of the movement of the N18,000,000 abduction ransom our client paid to them in order to ensure his release." "We also urge you to recover (the money) from CSP Patrick Agbazue and his cohorts and ensure that the full force of the law is brought to bear on its behalf, in order to deter others from engaging in such heinous activities that tarnish the image of our law enforcement agencies," - the petitioner demanded.
To help the inquiry, the petitioner submitted proof of three N5 million bank transactions, as well as N3 million cash, which he said was given to the accused suspects while he was detained at the SCID. According to reports, IG Baba invited the impacted police officers to his office at Force Headquarters Abuja for an interrogation about the claims in the petition, but it was unclear if they had reported by press time. Attempts to speak with the Anambra State Police Command, where the petition was said to have been referred for investigation by the IGP's office, were futile, but sources said that an investigation team had been dispatched from the IG's office to conduct discreet investigations into the activities of SCID officials as it relates to the handling of Elochukwu's case, among numerous other petitions.