News and Events

Counsel to the police at the Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations by the defunct SARS and other units of the Nigerian police Mr. Malik Taiwo has accused a complainant before the panel of being coerced to testify before it.

Mr. Taiwo while cross examining the complainant on the case of alleged extra judicial killing however said he was not at the scene of incident hence cannot act as if he witnessed it.

He therefore pointed that everything contained in the petition the complainant had before the panel were hear say, following the narration of the complainant. Responding, the complainant Mr. Charles Ogu confirmed that he was not there but he received a call by his father in-law who happens to be the father of the deceased. According to Mr. Ogu his in-law narrated to him what transpired at the scene of the incident.

When asked by the panel if he knows where the corpse of the deceased is, Mr. Ogu told the panel that he was informed that the then Governor of Imo state had ordered for mass burial of the entire corpse at that time.

Testifying before the panel, Mr. Ogu narrated how it all happened in March 2004 when the victim Chibuikem, a trader was travelling from Onitsha in Anambra state to Okigwe in Imo state. On reaching Okigwe, he boarded another vehicle going to Owerri and on the way according to him, they ran into a chaotic scene involving the police in the convoy of the Governor, shooting at some suspected Members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra.

The incident, he noted, compelled the driver to stop and all the passengers ran out of the vehicle in different direction to seek for safety including the said Chibukem who took cover at a nearby shop.

Narrating further Ogu stated that Chibukem was heard shouting “My head my head“ he was said to be hit by a stray bullet from the men of the Nigerian Police. Ogu stated further that the victim kept screaming “I am not a member of MASSOB but a trader from Ndianiche the son of Mazi Emeka Nkaru”.

However, according to Mr. Ogu police on the convoy came and carried him to their waiting van, and when they could not stop him from shouting and crying for pain, he was shot on the chest and he died.

Meanwhile, the complainant told the panel that some eye witnesses at the scene of the incident, having heard and seen what transpired traced the parents of the victim to their town and informed them of the death of their son.

Moreover, the Father of the deceased Mazi Nkaru followed the informants to the scene of the son’s death, thereafter he visited several police stations looking for the body of his son and later located the corpse in the mortuary of the Federal Medical Centre Owerri. He immediately requested the corpse which was denied them till date.

Hence Mazi Emeka, his wife and family members tried all they could to secure the corpse of late Chibukem but to no avail and they later died out of frustration and shock.

A second witness in the matter Mr. Samuel Oyinkalu corroborated the testimony of the complainant. He narrated how he traveled to Owerri severally in the company of his father now late and other family members to retrieve the corpse but all plea to the police fail on deaf ears.

The matter has been adjourned to 29 March 2022 for adoption of written address.