Assault, Dehumanization And Unlawful Arrest by The Police Escorts Attached to Mr Celestine Okeke (of Celestine Okeke & Sons Enterprise Ltd) in Flagrant Disregard of The Rule of Law And Existing Court Order
Letter to The Inspector General of Police (IGP)
We are a human rights organisation based in Abuja and Abia state. We write to report the reckless and unlawful actions of the police escorts attached to one Celestine Okeke against our president.
Brief Facts/History of This Matter
Sometime in May this year, one Celestine Okeke(the owner of Celestine Okeke&Sons EnterpriseLTD) reported to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)Aba command, Eziama, Aba North LGA, Abia State,that one of his female staff stole and absconded with some of his goods.
He further told the police (SARS) that one Samuel Okechukwu(a key distributor sales executive with Guinness Nigeria attached toCelestine Okeke& Sons Enterprise LTD to supervise them) was in good rapport with the said female staff, and must be harbouring the girl or knows about the theft.Since then, SARS, on the bidding of Celestine Okekeformed the habit of incessantly arresting Samuel Okechukwuand extorting money from him.
On 7th August, 2018 Samuel Okechukwuwent to court and obtained a court order restraining the police from further arresting him, and also instituted a fundamental rights enforcement action against all parties involved.A copy of thecourt order and the fundamental rights enforcement application is annexed to this letter. Owing to this order and the pending court case, the police at Aba North LGA hands-off this matter and would not heed Celestine Okeke’sorder to harassSamuel Okechukwu; they would not arrest Samuel Okechukwuany further.
However, on 18/09/2018 Celestine Okekewith 7 police officers, in a show of brute force and blatant disregard of the court order, stormed the house of Samuel Okechukwu, manhandled and arrested his young brother – Augustine Iheanacho Okechukwu(the president of BREF), hence, this petition.
Particulars of this Petition
Sir, Mr Augustine Iheanacho Okechukwu is a law abiding citizen of this great country and works with a Human Rights Organization in Abuja (Basic Rights Enlightenment Foundation [BREF]).
Sir, Augustine Iheanacho Okechukwu travelled to Aba to visit his brother, Mr Samuel Okechukwu at his house at no. 102 Hospital Road, Aba, Abia State on 18/09/2018.
On the next day 19/09/2018 his brother, Mr Samuel Okechukwu travelled.
Sir, on the early morning of the 20/09/2018, Mr Celestine Okeke came with his two police escorts attached to him, and five other policemen armed to the teeth to Augustine Iheanacho Okechukwu’s brother’s house (102, hospital road Aba) at about 5:25am.
They came, banged ferociously on the door and Augustine IheanachoOkechukwu opened the door for them and they asked after (Mr Samuel Okechukwu) his brother and he told them that his brother Mr Samuel Okechukwutravelled. But before he could finish they pushed him aside and began to search the house, turning everywhere upside down. He asked them what they are searching for and why they would be searching the house without a warrant.
On the orders of Celestine Okeke, they descended on him and gave him the beating of his life, hitting him with anything they could lay their hands on including their guns butts.
His offence, for receiving the beating of his life was that he asked if they have any search warrant. Immediately, Mr Celestine Okeke ordered his police escorts to handcuff him and beat him up. The police escorts adhering to their master’s order, stripped him naked, handcuffed him and beat him up like a common criminal that he almost died; saying that he must tell them his brother’s whereabouts.
After much beating, they bundled him into Mr Celestine Okeke’scar (a Toyota Camry, commonly called “big for nothing”) and took him to CPS Police station Aba, Abia State. Getting to the station, he was detained at the Police counter, after some hours, the DCO, CPS police station came out to the counter and saw him. The DCOenquired from Mr Celestine Okeke and his police escorts what the matter was all aboutand why Augustine Iheanacho Okechukwu was arrested.
After the DCO learned of what happened and the genesis of this matter, the DCO seriously scolded them and told them that their action is illegal and that he (the DCO) can’t detain Augustine Iheanacho Okechukwu, since there is a court order stopping/ restraining the police and Celestine Okeke from further arresting Mr Samuel Okechukwu. It was then that Augustine Iheanacho Okechukwu learned that two of the policemen are Mr Celestine Okeke’s escorts and the other five are patrol officers from a different police station picked on the way,prominent amongwhom is officer Ashilonu Emmanuel (with phone no. 08037510467).
Immediately Mr Celestine Okekewas told that Augustine IheanachoOkechukwuwill not be detained, heand his police escorts abandonedAugustine IheanachoOkechukwu at thepolice station and left in anger. Augustine Iheanacho Okechukwu then pleaded with the DCO to do justice to the matter since he knowsthat Mr Celestine Okeke has taken the wrong steps. And that he wants to formally report the assault and inhuman treatment metedout on me by Mr Celestine Okeke and his police escorts.
To Augustine Iheanacho Okechukwu’s greatest surprise, the DCO ordered his boys to push him out of the police station, and warned him sternly not to report what happened to anybody or higher authority. He was pushed out and left on his own even in his very bad and battered health condition.
It is unfortunate and very saddening that the police who are supposed to guarantee the safety of the populace and protect the people have turned to private thugs and agents of oppression for the unscrupulous rich and wealthy.
We are therefore, calling on you sir, to use your good offices to right this wrong.
In consonance with our commitment to the possible amicable resolution of this matter, we are constrained to demand forthwith,that you, in the spirit of fairness and as a deterrent to other unscrupulous offers and affluent members of the society: Order the arrest of Celestine Okeke, and withdraw his police escorts. He has abused the privilege and has reduced them to common thugs.
Identify and relieve the police officers involved in this dastardly act of their positions. They are a stain on the good name the police under your leadership is trying to make for itself; particularly in the area of curtailing SARS brutality and police unlawful actions generally.
Discipline and order the DCO of CPS Police Division Aba to issue, in writing, an unreserved apology to Augustine Iheanacho Okechukwu.
The grant of the above demands within fourteen (14) days of the receipt of this letter will be accepted as sufficient indication of your unalloyed willingness and commitment to rid the police of unscrupulous element and bad eggs; accordingly, the matter will terminate thereon. Fundamentally, should you fail to comply, you will be opening other doors for us to seek redress, and we will do so without further recourse to you.
Please, as always, accept the assurances of our warmest regard and esteem.
For: Basic Rights Entitlement Foundation (BREF)