On Wednesday, February 10, 2021, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre, RULAAC received information that some Police officers attached to the Anti-kidnapping Unit of the Abia State Police Command, led by Inspector Sylvester Ike came to Lagos in the early hours and arrested one Victor Ogbonna. The officers presented no warrant even when requested. They said they were sent by CSP. Remi Chukwuani, the O/C Anti-kidnapping unit to arrest Victor. When we inquired from Inspr Ike, about Victor’s offence, he said ‘Advance Fee Fraud’.
According to the petition written by RULAAC on behalf of Victor Ogbonna to Abia state police command CP, Inspr. Ike took Victor to Ifako Police Station in Kosofe LGA Lagos where he was detained until the next day before taking him in his own car to Umuahia and have since detained him at the Central Police Station (CPS) Umuahia and his car confiscated and parked at the station.
“We were informed that OC CSP Remi Chukwuani was angry with Victor, the accused because he refused to report based on telephone invitation and had asked for a formal invitation for him to be sure it was an official invitation. He threatened to ‘deal with him’ and ordered his detention immediately upon arrival.
“The next day, a lawyer appeared but was not allowed access to his client. It took the intervention of the PPRO before the lawyer could see him, even Victor’s wife has to pay some undisclosed amount of money each time she requested to give her husband food.
“She later informed us that contrary to the alleged offence of ‘advance fee fraud’ which Inspr Ike told us, the Police officers presented her husband with an ‘Agreement’ of a transaction between his (Victor’s) deceased brother and the complainant. They wanted Victor to pay a certain debt the complainant claimed Victor’s deceased brother owed him before he died. Till this date, the complainant has not shown up, instead one other man known as Ikenna who is the complainant’s friend and who previously called Victor and threatened that they will deal with him, came with one other man to the station and were asking Victor how he wanted them to settle the matter in order for him not to remain in detention indefinitely. They also suggested to him to give up his car which previously belonged to his deceased brother in order to be released.” The petition read.
“It is clear that the complainant who is demanding that Victor pays him unverified debts allegedly owed him by his deceased brother is working in collusion with CSP Remi Chukwuani and others to intimidate Victor in order to pay debt, extort money from him and/or take his car away from him.
The petition also noted that It is unbecoming of a senior police officer of the rank of a CSP to compromise and bring the name of the police to disrepute by abusing his police powers and dabbling into a civil dispute that ought to be resolved by the court. “It is nothing short of wickedness for the officers to arrest, detain beyond lawful duration, and subject an innocent citizen to suffering and intimidation to part with money and his car when he is not the one owing,” RULAAC noted.
In view of the above, Okechukwu Nwanguma, the Executive Director of Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) writes to respectfully bring CP Janet Agbede, Commissioner of Police, Abia State Command’s attention to the unlawful and unprofessional conduct of CSP Remi Chukwuani, Inspr. Sylvester Ike with phone number 0803 773 8117 and other police officers under the command and to request that they are all called to order and to save a citizen from victimization, oppression and abuse of power by these officers.