New Telegraph

How Police Arrested, Detained Man for Having Marks on His Body

…There Are Bruises on His Body, Family Allege

Forceful arrest

Police operatives of the Imo State Police Command attached to Tiger Base unit have been accused of ar- resting and detain apprentice man for having marks on his body. The victim, Ifeanyi Moses, it was gathered went to Owerri with his boss to fix a borehole, on their way back to Umuahia the police- men from Tiger Base unit stopped their vehicle at Seven and Half Junction area of the state. The fierce looking policemen ordered everybody in the vehicle to come down and then ransacked the vehicle, but nothing incriminating was found on Ifeanyi Moses and his boss, Ikechukwu Akukoro and other passenger in the vehicle.

According to the victim’s boss, Mr Akukoro, they were about entering the commercial bus after the search on them, when one of the policemen ordered his apprentice to stop. He said: “After the policeman asked him to stop, he then ordered him to remove his clothes which he did and then they saw marks on his chest and other parts of his body. This was how they whisked him away in their van. Since September 19, 2023, my wife and I have been going from one police station to another in Owerri in search of him, yet no answer to where he is being detained. “I have been crying.

The boy’s relatives don’t even want to listen to me. I heard it was Tiger Base police officers that arrested him, since then I became devastated and confused, Tiger Base is not an easy place to access, because the police there are notorious, I have tried my best. They didn’t see anything incriminating on my boy that fateful day, the only thing they saw on him was the marks and since then his family members have been disturbing me.

“It was after they took him away that I was told by my co-passengers that the policemen are from Tiger Base and anybody they find having marks on his body or having dreadlocks on his head would be arrested and such a person would be taken to their base. The Tiger Base is not an easy place for me to go, I have spent a lot for me to be able to get the boy out of the police claw. I was told if I go there I would also be arrested and detained. I am dying, because the boy’s relatives are on me on daily basis asking for their child.”

Mrs Gabriella Akukoro, wife of the boy’s boss, has appealled to the State Commissioner of Police to prevail on the officer in charge of the Tiger Base to release her husband’s apprentice who she said is innocent. She said her husband only went to Owerri with the boy to look for what they would eat when they were stopped by the Policemen at checkpoint and the tribal marks was found on her husband’s boy.

“The victim who is from Mgbedala Okwulaga Afaraukwu, Umuahia North of Abia State didn’t argue with the policemen, he was forcefully dragged into their van, before he was whisked away to Tiger Base, notorious for killing of innocent people in Imo State on daily basis. “I was told that one of the vehicles in the convoy of the policemen, a Siena bus was carrying some corpses of those the policemen had probably killed before they got to the check point.

My husband’s fear now is that his apprentice should be alive. It was in a police station at Owerri that he was told to go back that there was crisis in Mbaino, that gunmen killed policemen and it was there corpse that was in the Siena vehicle. “The person my husband went to work for in Owerri when he explained what happened to him to the man, he gave my husband a phone number of a policeman who helped us go to the State Criminal Investigation Department, to check if he was taken there. Unfortunately, it was from there we were told he was taken to Tiger Base office, even the policeman said he cannot go to the Tiger Base.

How he allegedly claimed to be IPOB member in custody

“My husband, our lawyer and Moses’s village head and his mother were able to go to Tiger Base Police unit where Ifeanyi was detained and he was brought out for them to see him.” She said when he was brought out for them to talk to him, he had bruises all over is body, which make them believe he had been tortured by the police, probably to implicate himself.

“When the police told him to tell us who he is, it was then he opened up and told us that he belongs to Eastern Security Network, ESN and he also participated in two operation where a policeman was killed in the process. That he was initiated in Asaba, Delta State where he stayed with his parents before they relocated to Mbano. “My husband, the lawyer and his mother who went to see him asked him if what he was saying was true, he nodded in the affirmative.

I believe what he said if it’s true because it could be that he was tortured to implicate himself before his family. I don’t see him like person who could belong to such people. Even some people in our area are saying they don’t believe that he belongs to the groups, probably he was tortured by the police to implicate himself that he was part of the group. “I pray God will see us through this issue.

The most annoying aspect of the issue is that some of our neighbours where we have lived for 20 years are accusing my husband of using him for money ritual when we were yet to see him then, when we were yet to see him my husband’s blood pressure went up and he spent two days in the hospital before he stabilised, since I married him I have never seen him with any fetish thing, let alone using his boy for ritual.”

Tiger base Police notorious, says group

According to the Executive Director of Rule of Law and Accountability Ad- vocacy_RULAC), Mr Okechukwu Nwangunma, he received a save a soul appeal from a woman, Mrs Gabriella Akukoro, about her husband’s worker that was abducted by the police in Imo State without reason. Nwangunma said he immediately after receiving the SOS reached out to the Police PRO Imo State Police Command with a request to ascertain if the young man in question was in the custody of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit, Imo State Police Command.

“The team at the Tiger Base is notorious for this pattern of arrest and disappearance of arrested persons. Most times they detain people incommunicado and deny them access to their families and lawyers. This is even in the case where the arrested or missing person is eventually traced to the Unit. In many cases, family members never get to know the whereabouts of their missing member.

“It is very disturbing that body marks are the only reason that the police arrest people in Imo State for. It is illegal, unconstitutional and an abuse of human rights to detain a person in secret without informing the relatives and without promptly charging such a person to court if they have any credible basis to do so or otherwise release such a person within the legal- ly stipulated duration for lawful detention.

“The Imo State Police Command should reveal the whereabouts of the young man and ensure that his rights are no longer violated, because the victim’s master and his relatives are seriously desperate to know his whereabout.” When contacted, the Imo State Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), ASP Okoye Henry, promised to go to Tiger Base and respond to our correspondent’s inquiry on the issue. But as at the time of filling this report he was yet to respond to our inquiry.

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