19.11.2021 news Imo Policeman Beats Student With Cutlass, Detains Him 2 Days for Challenging Him

Published 19th Nov, 2021

By Emmanuel Uti

Chinaza Igwe, a student of the Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Imo State, has accused police officers attached to the Ihiagwa Police Station in Imo State of brutalising him.

Igwe, whose laps and back were severely scarred as a result of the beatings he received, said the officers are infamous for manhandling students of Federal Polytechnic Nekede and the Federal University of Technology, Owerri.

On November 9, 22-year-old Igwe and five other young men were in their house when a police officer named Asuquo and three other officers visited them.

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“My friends and I reside on the last floor of the building, so we were able to see the police officers and what they were doing,” he told FIJ.

“One of the officers signalled to us to go into our rooms, but I did not know on time that he was referring to us.”

Some five minutes later, Igwe and his friends heard several knocks on their door. The closest of the boys to the door asked who was there, but no one answered. He refused to open the door. But this later became the genesis of their problem.

“I was still watching the officers settling the dispute when another officer joined them. They spoke to themselves. Then officer Asuquo screamed at us, ‘I send person come una house, una no open door,’” he said.

Igwe’s back

“We did not know he was talking to us because there was no basis for that. With a cutlass in one hand and a gun tied to his body, he ran to our compound and went for my door.”

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Igwe later opened the door. Officer Asuquo, who seemed enraged, told him cannabis was oozing out of his mouth, then slapped him several times. Igwe asked what he did wrong, but officer Asuquo ordered the other two police officers to tie his hands to his back.

“He bolted the door while the officers tied all my friends, then flogged me several times with a cutlass. He seized my phones, went to the toilet and spoiled the water closet pipe. He said we must have flushed the cannabis we were smoking,” Igwe said.

Asuquo and his men found a drug pack meant to cure urinary tract infection in Igwe’s house and called it a Tramadol pack.

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“Asuquo said the pack looked like a Tramadol pack, but I insisted that it was a drug pack. He then flogged my laps with his cutlass. He called a car that carried us to the police station,” he said.

As is the custom at Ihiagwa Police Station, the women at the counter tried to lure Igwe and his friends into writing indicting statements, but they resisted.

On hearing that two of the six detainees were not inhabitants of the compound but friends who only came to charge their phones, the Divisional Police Officer ordered that they let them go.

“Although the officers allowed my friends to go home after paying some money, he insisted that I remain in the police station. And for two nights, I was in their custody. I could not call my family as they seized my phone while they released others when their family came,” Igwe said.

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“Until a relative of mine who is a senior police officer stepped in, the officers were not willing to release me. When my brother paid N5,000, they released me, telling him if he took his officers to where they saw me, he might have done worse.”

Igwe told FIJ that officer Asuquo told him he meted such punishment to him for having the courage to ask him questions, adding that he would deal with the Igbo youths in Nekede.

FIJ placed several calls to Michael Abbatam, Imo Police spokesperson, but they were not answered. At press time, he had not responded to the text sent to his phone.

Published 19th Nov, 2021

By Emmanuel Uti


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