Ugonna Nwaiwu, a student, has narrated how police officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Owerri, Imo State, unjustly murdered Chigozie Nwaiwu, his brother, seized his body, and labelled him a member of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a group proscribed by the Nigerian government.
On October 6, three operatives assigned to Imo CID stormed Ehime-Mbano Local Government Area of the state to arrest Chidera at about 4:55 pm.
Nwaiwu said the police officers who did not meet Chidera handed his wife the contact information of Prince Chikadiba, a police officer, and ordered that she notify him whenever her husband returned.
As they were ready to leave the store, the officers spotted one Uchenna Chukwu, arrested him without an explanation and placed him in the boot of their Toyota Venza.
“My brother was coming back from Uriagwu when he witnessed the officers putting his childhood buddy into the boot. He then questioned why they had to put him into the boot and what his crime was. That was it. They did not answer him,” Nwaiwu added.
“After remaining silent for a time, one officer alighted from the red Toyota Venza and shot at him in displeasure after he had turned his back to walk home. Immediately they shot at him, they fled.”
“About 5 pm, people gathered to carry him to the morgue, but these guys came back and fired bullets in the air to disperse the gathering. Then they took my brother’s corpse and left.”
Later on, Nwaiwu’s family went to the CID office in Owerri to find out if their officers carried out the operation but they denied it. They informed the family that they didn’t go for any arrest in the area.
“But on October 8, it was everywhere, in print and on the radio, that they had murdered an IPOB member. And it was my brother’s photo that they used. His corpse had been studded with charms, amulets, and guns,” Nwaiwu added.
“The rumours circulating stated that Chukwu was the IPOB chairman in the area. The police also claimed that they nabbed Chukwu and my brother, Chigozie, at an IPOB meeting, adding that on invading the meeting, my brother and his buddy engaged them in a gun duel before he passed on.”
Nwaiwu claimed his brother was murdered for nothing and labelled an IPOB member by the police officers. He said if they had intended to capture IPOB members, more than three police officers would have stormed the scene.
Until his death, Chigozie, 37, was an entrepreneur and jobseeker. He was his parents’ firstborn child.
FIJ reached out to Michael Abattam, the Imo State Police Spokesperson, but he said he was busy.
However, in a statement published by the Cable on October 8, Abattam said the police in Imo had arrested Chukwu and killed an IPOB member. According to the statement, Chukwu and Chigozie were IPOB members.
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