Tuesday, July 7, 2020 4:50 pm
There was a wild jubilation on Tuesday around the premises of the judiciary complex in Port Harcourt after a Magistrate Court presided over by Chief Magistrate Promise Iroanya orders the remand of four dismissed police officers.
The police officers: Ayogu Fidelis, Eke Chibuzor, Egbunefu Felix and Rose Georgewill who served at the E-Crack Squad of the Rivers State Police Command were sent to Port Harcourt Correctional Centre after they pleaded not guilty to seven count charges of murder, conspiracy, attempted murder as well as flogging their victims with woods and matchete preferred against them.
Chief Magistrate Promise Iroanya after listening to the arguments of the lawyers on the jurisdiction of the Court to entertain the matter ordered that the case file of the dismissed police officers should be transferred to the Department of Public Prosecution, DPP, for legal advice.
He said the court lacks jurisdiction to hear count 1, 2 and 3 leveled against the officers.
He adjourned the case to September 18,2020.
In the meantime the Ikokwu four who were victims of the torture by the dismissed Policemen are demanding the inclusion of the Commander of the E-Crack Squad, SP Benson Adetuyi, and one Inspector Amadi.
One Lawrence who held brief for Ikokwu four expressed disappointment that the two of the officers involved in the infliction of grievous injury on them were not among those arraigned.
There was also a mild drama outside the court premises as one of the victims whose right hand has been disfigured rained curses to anyone who wants to pervert Justice by ensuring that the Commander, SP Benson Adetuyi who signed their detention and Inspector Amadi who was among their torturers do not face Justice.
On his part, David Abouw, lawyer to the first and fourth defendants expressed regrets that his clients have suffered persecution in the hands of the media.
Also, Livingstone Weike, Lawyer to the third defendant said he hopes the office of the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, will release the legal advice early to enable the trial start quickly.
The Rivers State Police Command had on Monday issued a statement informing the public that the policemen from the Eagle Crack Squad who allegedly tortured late Chima Ikwunado to death and inflicted grievous injury on the Ikokwu four have been dismissed from the force.
Their dismissal followed the recommendations and reports of the orderly room trial and CID of the River State command.
Spokesman of the Rivers State Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni in the statement added that the dismissed policemen will be charged for conspiracy and murder among other charges.
DSP Omoni said with the dismissal and subsequent arraignment has shown that the Command under the leadership of CP Joseph Mukan has zero tolerance for abuse of human rights and torture of any kind.
He also appealed to the public to have confidence on the Police and continue to partner the force by providing useful information and constructive criticisms.