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Heavily armed policemen took my husband & he died in custody, petitioner tells Panel

By National Human Rights Commission


Mrs. Ebele Ogbogu, a petitioner and widow to late Mr. Emmanuel Ogbogu, in continuation of hearing in her petition which came up on March 2, 2021, recounted before the Independent Investigative panel on police brutality sitting in Abuja how her husband was arrested by six heavily armed police men.

In the matter bothering on alleged enforced disappearance, Mrs. Ogbogu informed the panel that the men, who were in Mufti arrived in two cars, arbitrarily arrested her husband and took him away to an unknown destination.

All attempts to get their identities failed, as one of the men hit her with the gun, she said.

May be an image of one or more people and people standing

According to her, further enquiries from neighbours revealed that the men who arrested her husband were SARS operatives from Akwuzu.

The petitioner said she was able to confirm that indeed the men who arrested her husband were SARS operatives, as she located him (victim) at police station Akwuzu.

According to the woman, her husband was arrested with one Uchenna, kinsman to the victim and that the police refused to release her husband despite freeing Uchenna.

She said out of fear of SARS, Uchenna refused to disclose what transpired between her husband and the SARS operatives while he (Uchenna) was also held in custody.

He said that SARS warned him to maintain sealed lips over what happened in custody.

Meanwhile, younger brother to the victim, Gabriel Ogbogu in his testimonies before the panel said he went to the police station to see his brother.

However, he was never allowed to set eyes on him even subsequently on a return visit to the police SARS detention centre.

In addition, he told the panel that one week later one of their relatives, Ifediora informed him in his house that Emmanuel Ogbogu died in police custody.

Counsel to the police had earlier told the panel that the affected police officers Mr. Celestine Ani and Mr. James Nwafor both of Anambra state Awkuzu SARS have been retired from service.

The matter was adjourned for the petitioner to bring his second witness, Chinenye Okonkwo and for police to open their defence.

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