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Anambra police accused of presenting corpse of 70-year-old man in place of 30-year-old who died in custody

Anambra State Police Command has been accused of killing 30-year-old Chinonso Omeh and releasing the corpse of a 70-old-man in his place to the family.

Chinonso was said to have been arrested by the Anambra Police Special Tactical Squad.

He was subsequently detained and allegedly tortured to death while in police custody at the defunct notorious Awkuzu Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) now renamed State CID Annex.

Addressing journalists in Onitsha, on Thursday, elder brother of the victim, Onyebuchi Omeh said Chinonso, who had a car wash at Ogbunike former toll gate, was arrested on February 4, 2022, at the instance of one Austin Izunnwanne on trumped-up charges of threat to life.

Omeh said Chinonso was subsequently detained at Ogidi Police Station before his transfer to Awkuzu but police at Awkuzu denied them access to see him in the cell and even initially denied ever having him in their custody.

According to Omeh, after repeated attempts by himself and the family to see Chinonso at Awkuzu State CID Annex failed, they petitioned the AIG in charge of Zone 13, Ukpo, Anambra State through a lawyer and the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) at Ogidi was summoned. Upon interrogation, he gave a graphic account of how, when and to whom he handed Chinonso over at Awkuzu.

He said when the team from Awkuzu was also summoned to Zone 13 Ukpo, they confessed that Chinonso was in their custody but had died having reportedly slumped in their cell and later pronounced dead by a medical doctor.

Omeh disclosed that when they requested to see his corpse, they were taken to a private mortuary and shown the corpse of a 70-year- old man in place of their brother, Chinonso.

He alleged that the police at Awkuzu State CID Annex might have killed his brother and used him for ritual purposes since they cannot produce his corpse.

“The last time they (the family) had an appointment with the police team investigating the matter at Zone 13, Ukpo, they were totally surprised to hear that the two policemen from Awkuzu, the IPO, Michael Nelson and his team leader known as Big Sam who handled their brother’s matter earlier detained over the case had been released and they are now walking freely,” he said.

While calling for justice over the matter, the family insisted that the police should come clean and tell them what happened to their brother and also show them the corpse if he is truly dead.

The family called on human rights bodies to assist in ensuring that those involved in the heinous crime are brought to justice.

According to SaharaReporters, the Police Public Relations Officer of the zonal command (Zone 13), Ukpo, Nkiruka Nwode, said she had not been briefed on the extent of investigation on the matter.

She, however, promised to make enquiries and act accordingly.

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