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CLO Demands Justice Over Alleged Murder of IMT Graduate in Police Custody

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IFEANYI EZUGWU,ENUGU.
The Civil Liberties Organization, CLO, has called on the police to commence probe into the circumstances surrounding the death of a taxi driver in Enugu State, Mr. Chukwuma Ihezie.

The organization said the demand was necessary following complaints from the family that their son, who was arrested over thrummed-up charges, died in SARS cell few days later.

The victim, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering at the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu took to taxi cab as an alternative due to lack of employment.

In a petition to the Commissioner of Police in the state, which was made available to journalists on Sunday, the CLO wondered why the police should kill the suspect instead of charging him before a court of competent jurisdiction if they felt he was guilty of the offence for which he was arrested.

The family of the deceased had alleged that he was murdered in cold blood while still in detention in the SARS cell, after his arrest on the 12th of January 2014.

The letter signed by Mr. Paul Uwadiegwu on behalf of the CLO in Enugu State read in parts: “Mr. Chinedu Ihezie informed CLO that on the 12th January 2014, the deceased who is his younger brother, Mr. Chukwuma Ihezie was on his usual duty as cab driver and was hired by a man he did not know to take him to his destination in one of the Hotels known and called Media Royal Hotel located somewhere at the Independence Layout Enugu.

“After waiting for some lengthy time, he began to hear ‘hold him hold, him is a thief’. When he saw his passenger being dragged out from the hotel, he decided to turn his vehicle, on the process, he was arrested.

“Mr. Chukwuma Ihezie, was detained in the SARS Cell for six days before contact was made to his relations. The deceased while still alive, was taken to his resident located along Concrete Avenue for searching of his house.

“Mr. Chinedu Ihezie, reliably informed us that after the searching, the police did not get anything incriminating or weaponry that could be used as evidence against his brother. CLO was reliably informed that the police did not succeed in reaching out to anything that could link Chukwuma Ihezie as an armed robber, but they took away his lap-top, probably to examine if he has any link to other criminals.

“Mr. Chinedu Ihezie, informed CLO, that his brother was not allowed access to his lawyer or his family until his death. On the Saturday being 18th January 2014, Chinedu informed us that he was told that his brother has been shot dead. His body was deposited in the UNTH Mortuary that same day”. The CLO therefore, demanded that “the officers involved should be brought to justice for involving themselves into extra judicial killing and jungle justice.

“The Police officers of Independence Layout Police Station who were on night duty on the day of the incident should be interviewed individually over what happened on the night of the arrest of the two suspects.

“CLO wishes to take the matter to the International Community and Human Rights Watch over extra Judicial killing”.

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