Groups Kick As Anambra Boy Die In Police Custody - 9jaflaver

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Groups Kick As Anambra Boy Die In Police Custody


The groups demanded that the Anambra police must come clean on the suspicious and controversial death of the teenager and tell the public what really transpired.

The Anambra State Police Stakeholders Partnership Forum, and the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre have raised eyebrows over the death of a young boy.

The groups have shown serious concerns on the controversy surrounding the death of one Uchenna Okafor (male), who allegedly died in the custody of the Anambra State Criminal Investigation Department annex, Awkuzu, in December 2022.

The groups demanded that the Anambra police must come clean on the suspicious and controversial death of the teenager and tell the public what really transpired.

The death of Okafor at the police custody was made public by a social justice campaigner through his Twitter handle, @Ada_mummyya, on January 9.

The police promised to conduct an autopsy into the incident to ascertain the cause of Okafor’s death, but up until now, 18 days after, nothing has been heard from the police.

In separate statements signed by the Coordinator, PSPF, Anambra State chapter, Chris Azor, and Executive Director, RULAAC, Okechukwu Nwanguma, both groups accused the Anambra police of torturing the boy to death.

The statement, which partly read, “Citizen Uchenna James Okafor: Suspicious death in Anambra police custody,” was made available to journalists in Awka, on Sunday.

It read, “The Anambra Police Stakeholders Partnership Forum and the Rule of Law and Accountability, Advocacy Centre, are concerned that two weeks after the public statement by the Anambra State Police Command, nothing has been heard again from the police and the parents of the victim.

“The narrative of the police and that of the Twitter handle @Ada_mummyya are miles apart. One report is claiming ‘two fighting’; the police are claiming ‘armed robbery’.

“It is suspected that the victim may have been tortured to death. A transparent and credible autopsy will reveal the cause of death.

“We are aware that torture remains a prevalent practice in the Nigeria Police contrary to Sections 35-37 of the new Police Act 2020, which prohibits torture, cruel and other degrading and inhuman treatment. Section 62 of the new Police Act 2020 also states that ‘arrested person must be released within 24 hours with or without bail, except it involves a capital offence, which is punishable with death.’

“The police accepted that Uchenna James Okafor was arrested on December 23, 2022 and died in their custody. Between the time of Uchenna’s arrest and the time the news of his death in detention became public, it was a gap of two weeks.

“We stand by the fact that the police are charged with maintaining law and order and delivering public safety. They are obligated to partner with the community and to be accountable in the discharge of their duty.

“The Anambra State Police command did not make any public statement on the death of Uchenna James Okafor while in their custody, until the social justice campaigner twitted and exposed the death. And it took the directive of the Force PRO for the Anambra State command to make a statement on the incident.

“Even after the directive from the Force headquarters, It took Anambra State Police command two (2) days to issue a press statement on the death in custody of Uchenna James Okafor. Could it be that his death was being concealed? What action(s) did the police take when it was discovered that Uchenna died in their custody?

“Days are running into weeks after Anambra Police Command promised to conduct autopsy on the deceased. Stakeholders have yet to be briefed on the outcome.

“Inquiries by Media personnel about the contacts of the deceased especially, parents and relatives, have been rebuffed by the police authority.

“During a visit by some journalists to the victim’s community, the traditional ruler feigned ignorance of the incident. This is curious and points to a likely cover up bid and attempt to suppress information and allow public attention shift from the incident.

“We, therefore, call for proper investigation into the arrest, detention, causes and circumstances surrounding the death in custody of Uchenna James Okafor.

“We demand that Anambra Police Command makes a public statement revealing, among other things, the identity of the other citizens arrested with the deceased, the condition of their health, and how far the police have gone with investigation into the case, including the result of autopsy conducted on the deceased.

“Investigate and bring to justice, if found culpable, police officers implicated in the shady handling of the case of late Uchenna James Okafor.”

Every effort to get the reaction of the Anambra State police spokesman, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, to the development, proved abortive, as repeated calls to his telephone line were not answered.

Texts and WhatsApp messages to his telephone line were not also responded to as of the time of filing this report.


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