Nigeria News
Family petitions Jonathan over alleged extra-judicial killing of 31-yr-old graduate

The family of late Chukwuma Ihezie, who allegedly died in police custody, has petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan seeking his order for an autopsy to be conducted on the deceased to enable them take his remains for burial.

Chukwuma reportedly died in detention six days after he was arrested by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Enugu State Police Command.

The police had tagged the engineering graduate an armed robbery suspect, an allegation his family denied.

It was, however, gathered that few months after, the police authorities, after an investigation from the force headquarters, found out that the deceased was not an armed robber.

Spokesperson of the family, Mr. Chinedu Ihezie, said their son’s car, laptop and other personal effects were released to the family.

He added that although police had asked them to go and bury their son, it would be difficult to do so as Enugu State Police Command had turned down a request for autopsy.

The letter, addressed to President Jonathan, was copied to the Senate President, David Mark; Mathew Omegara, representing Okigwe North federal constituency, House of Representatives; Chairman, Police Service Commission; the Inspector-General of Police, the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State Command; and the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Abuja.

The letter, signed by Chinedu Ihezie on behalf of the family of the deceased, is praying President Jonathan to prevail on the Police authorities to, among other things, arrest and investigate the officers involved in the matter.

Contacted, the Police image-maker, Enugu State Com-mand, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, DSP, said: “I am not aware of the incident. Send me the details and I will look into it.”

It also requested conduct of a genuine post-mortem examination on Chukwuma’s corpse and release of his corpse for burial.

The letter read in part: “Chukwuma Ihezie, a native of Umuozu Ezumoha in Isiala Mbano Local Government Area, Imo State, born in 1983.

“Our heart is bleeding, our hope is in God Almighty through you. The future hope and light of the family has been so extinguished. We humbly cry unto you sir.

“On January 12, Chukwuma went for his normal cab work and was arrested by Independence Layout, Enugu policemen for picking a passenger whom the police falsely labelled an armed robber.

“He was kept under detention in their station under a DPO (names withheld). He was later transferred to Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, office by Zakari Yau, along with his handwritten statement. On January 18, Chukwuma was shot on the spinal cord and killed by SARS without a fair hearing in any court of law and his corpse dumped in UNTH, Ituku Ozala, Enugu, mortuary on Saturday, January 18.

“Chukwuma was killed to cover up a secret, which could have been unveiled if he was allowed to talk.”

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