A middle aged man, Mr Bede Nkworji, from Akpuru Nnorie in Ngor Okpala Local Government of Imo State, last Saturday morning, November 2, 2019, died at the police state command, as a result of severe pain and loss of blood after his arrest, following a petition by a prominent citizen of the area, on land dispute.
According to one of the survivors of the arrest and torture inflicted on them by the police, Mr Ngozi Nkworji, who is a brother to the deceased, the police team from the Anti Crime Unit led by one Lady G., had come to their village to arrest two of them based on the petition.
He disclosed that his brother was still alive but very weak when they got to the station but the police officers showed non-challant attitude and ignored Bede’s plea for medical attention until he finally gave-up the ghost as a result of the torture inflicted on him.
“The body of Bede was left lying naked like a criminal at the police station. As a matter of fact, we were three persons arrested on that day, the policemen who operated at about 4am had earlier arrested Bede and the original land owner from whom we bought the land, Mr Ejike Okere, before I was picked up at Ulakwo.
It was by the special grace of God that I am alive and still able to speak”, Ngozi revealed.
According to an eye witness account, the trio of Bede, Ejike and Ngozi were beaten mercilessly, even stripped naked before they were taken to the police command.
However,It was discovered that the issue of the land dispute is not in any law court, but the arrest began at the instance of the complainant who is reported to be a prominent man in the area.
Efforts to identify the officers who went on the operation proved abortive, but when contacted,the State Police Public Relations Officers (PPRO), Mr Orlando Ikokwu, confirmed the development, saying that it was men of the Anti Vices Squad, not Anti Crime as earlier claimed by Ngozi that carried out the operation.
He stated that they had received petition on malicious destruction, conspiracy and threat to life which led to their arrest.He denied that the suspect died at the police station but while enroute to the police command that he began to complain of ill-health and the police took him to a hospital where he later died.
He also revealed that youths of Ngor Okpala had taken law into their hands and burnt the house of the petitioner on hearing of the death of Bede.
When asked of the name of the hospital, Mr Orlando Ikeokwu said he was unaware of the name of the hospital and it’s location.