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Police brutality survivor speaks on ordeal, reveals how his friend was allegedly tortured to death

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A survivor of police brutality, Ifeanyi Osuji, has revealed how their friend, Ikwunado Chima, was tortured to death at the Mile One Police Station in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Chima died on December 23, 2019, after he was arrested on his way home alongside four of his friends by officials of the Eagle Crack team in Port Harcourt.

The late Chima was with four of his friends in a car belonging to one of his customers when policemen arrested them for alleged car robbery.

The owner of the car had since approached the police, identified Chima as his mechanic before his vehicle was released to him.

However, speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Friday, Osuji explained that Chima was tied leg up to an iron pipe and hit several times with a hammer, two-by-two wood and the butt of a gun several times before he passed away.

He disclosed that as a result of the needless torture, they (Osuji and three others) noticed that Chima became mentally challenged, adding that all efforts to get the message passed to the police fell on deaf ears.

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It was gathered that Chima also bled from his nose while he was tortured, while one of the policemen, a woman, touched his private part and threatened to cut it so that he (Chima) will not be able to impregnate any woman.

According to Osuji:

“After torturing Chima, he (Chima) could not walk again. It was me and Victor (another survivor of police torture) that always helped Chima to get to the toilet to ease himself. If they handcuff you, they will use an iron pipe to cross your legs and hang you to the wall.

“Your head will now be down, while your legs will be up. That was how they hanged Chima from morning till 5 pm and were hitting him with a hammer and two-by-two stick. We were also tortured. They blindfolded us, while they hit us with hammer, guns and two-by-two wood.

“After the torture, they threw Chima into the cell and that was when we noticed that Chima had become mentally ill. We began to shout that Chima’s condition was strange, but they (police) did not listen to us until Chima died. Victor and I carried his corpse outside.

“They (police) used something to cover Chima’s body and took him away. Every day, they go to buy bread and sachet water for us. But we told them to allow us to go because we are innocent.”

Another victim of police torture, Friday Osaze, told newsmen that the Eagle Crack team had a torture ground, where they used weapons, including machete to inflict injuries on people.

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Osaze explained that some of them were forced to confess to a crime they did not commit due to the grievous nature of the torture they had gone through.

“Inside the police station, they began to use hammer to hit my legs. They also hit Ifeanyi Onyekere’s legs with hammer. Our bodies were filled with blood due to the beating by the policemen. Due to the torture, some of us began to confess what they did not do.

“They later took me and Ifeanyi Onyekwere out. We were handcuffed. At the back of the station, where they called torture ground. There, they used hammer, 2 by 2, machete, stick, baton, gun and knife to torture us. The beat us seriously.

“There was a gutter by the side. We fell inside and Ifeanyi Onyekwere and I came out of the gutter with our last strength. Still, they did not leave us. They insisted that we must confess. From the beginning, the Commander of the Eagle Crack team did not see us. At about 9.30pm, the torture continued by Inspector Sam and his boys,” Osaze added.

Crime

Gov. Sule approves establishment of mobile court to handle rape cases

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Abdullahi Sule

Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has approved the establishment of mobile court to handle cases of rape and other forms of violence against women across the state.

He gave the approval during interactive session with women groups on Friday in Lafia.

He said that issues concerning women and youths remained topmost in his agenda.

He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari “for taking appropriate measures to ensure peace reigns in the North Central and the country at large.”

He urged women and youths to take advantage of the windows of opportunities coming into the state as investors set up businesses to improve their status.

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The state’s Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Halima Jabiru, who thanked the governor for approving the establishment of the mobile court, expressed concern over the increasing rate of rape in the state and many parts of the country.

Jabiru said the court would help in bringing perpetrators to book.

She explained that the Ministry of Justice would help to produce a draft bill to be presented to the state House of Assembly.

The commissioner decried increased violation of women and girl’s rights and urged the judiciary to ensure that perpetrators of such heinous crimes, face quick and stringent penalties to serve as a deterrent to others.

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She also called for the establishment of a scheme to address the issue of girl child education in the state, noting that with added support to women through the Ministry of Women Affairs, there would be improvement through multiplier effects on families and the entire society.

Mrs Aisha Isa Idoma, the Chairperson of the National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) in the state, commended the governor for completing projects initiated by his predecessors.

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Idoma, who described the governor as a man of his words, commended him for carrying women along in his administration, especially with the appointment of Jabiru as Commissioner for Women Affairs.

She, however, said that the NCWS in the state, the umbrella body for all women organisations, is handicapped because it has no office to operate.

APC Woman Leader in the state, Mrs Elsie Monday, also thanked the governor for carrying women along in all political activities.

NAN

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Crime

Two face trial over alleged N924, 000 rice theft

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Two men, Rafiu Lawal and Taiwo Olaniyi, on Friday, appeared before an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for allegedly stealing 33 bags of rice worth N924, 000.

Lawal, 32, a resident of No. 2, Ogunfayo St., Eputu, Ibeju-Lekki, and Olaniyi, 42, who resides at Jakande area of Lagos, are facing a four-count charge of shop breaking, stealing, attempted murder, grievous harm, and malicious damage.

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They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecutor, Insp. Ingobo Emby told the court that the defendants committed the offenses on July 10, at 2:00 a.m, at Ologunfe area of Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.

Emby said that the defendants broke into the shop of the complainant, Mr. Emmanuel Okolie, and stole the bags of rice.

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“The defendants hit an iron rod on the complainant’s head in other to kill him while stealing the bags of rice.

“The duo used an Opel car with registration No.LSD 203 GE to cart away the items,” Emby said.

He said that the offenses contravened Sections 230(1), 287, 310, 339(1), and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

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The Newsmen reports that Section 287 stipulates three years of jail term for stealing.

The Magistrate, Miss M.O. Ope-Agbe granted the defendants bail in the sum of N500,000 each with two sureties in like sum.

Ope-Agbe adjourned the case until Aug. 20 for mention.

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Crime

FBI ‘kidnapped’ Hushpuppi from Dubai- Lawyer alleges

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Hushpuppi

A Nigerian man accused of multimillion-dollar fraud and money laundering by the United States was kidnapped by the FBI from Dubai, his lawyer says.

Ramon Olorunwa Abbas – known to his 2.5 million Instagram followers as Ray Hushpuppi – and another cyber-heist suspect Olalekan Jacob Ponle (aka Mr Woodberry) were arrested in Dubai, where they lived, in June.

They then appeared in a Chicago court on 3 July.

The United Arab Emirates has no extradition treaty with the United States but Dubai police said they had been extradited to the US.

Mr Abbas’ lawyer Gal Pissetzky told the BBC that his client, who posts on Instagram about his extravagant lifestyle, was not a criminal and had made his money legitimately.

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“He is a social media influencer with millions of followers, with millions of people that respect and loved him, and he loved them, and that’s what he did. In today’s society, that’s a business,” he said.

Mr Pissetzky admits that he is not “100% familiar” with social media and his children consider him too old but he knows “that’s how people make money today”.

The Chicago defence lawyer’s argument that Hushpuppi was paid by designer brands for promotion has set the stage for what promises to be a long trial in American courts.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) accuses Mr Abbas, 37, of conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from frauds known as Business Email Compromise (BEC) and other scams.

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It is the latest high-profile fraud case involving a Nigerian national in the United States but his lawyer says the US had no authority to transport him from Dubai.

“In my opinion, the FBI and the government here acted illegally when they kidnapped him from Dubai without any legal process to do so,” Mr Pissetzky told the BBC.

There was no extradition, there were no legal steps taken, there were no court documents filed, it was simply a call to the FBI. He is not a citizen of the United States, the US had absolutely no authority to take him,” his lawyer says.

But the Dubai police said in a Facebook post that the FBI director had thanked them for extraditing the two men.

“You’ll have to ask them about why they called it extradition,” the US Department of Justice (DoJ) spokesman responded in an email.

In a statement about Mr Abbas’ initial court appearance, the DoJ said “FBI special agents earlier this week obtained custody of Abbas and brought him to the United States” without giving any further details.

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Mr. Pissetzky is not convinced.

“If Dubai wanted to expel him, they should have expelled him back to Nigeria. I’ve never heard of anything like that. That is the real story here.”

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