David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety) has accused the Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) of the Anambra State Police Command for being responsible of the 35 corpses discovered in Ezu River, Amansea in Awka North local Government Area of the state on 19 January 2017.
The group in a reports titled: â€˜The Untold Story Of Ezu River Police SARS Killings, Inside Anambraâ€™s Theatre of Butchery Where SARS Send the good and the bad to early graves outside the Lawâ€™, the group said there was need to highlight the activities of the outfit, following their continued killing of Nigerian youths in the name of fighting crime.
The report which was signed by the Chairman of Board of Trustees (BoT) of the group, Emeka Umeagbalasi, and addressed to several authorities, including acting President Yemi Osinbajo and Amnesty International among others, condemned the use of force, torture and other unapproved ways to extract information from suspects.
Death bodies numbering about 35 had on January 19, 2013, been discovered floating on Ezu river, a river serving as boundary between Anambra and Enugu States.
The discovery which had attracted the attention of the federal government and international bodies led to the institution of a panel of enquiry, which its result was never made open.
In the latest report, the group said it decided to revisit the matter following â€œincreasing, shocking, saddening and alarming rate of torture and killings of some, if not many of the arrested and detained citizens by the Anambra State Police SARS operatives in the course of their so-called combating of violent crimes of armed robbery and kidnapping in the state.
It said instead of drastic reduction in the number of deaths and torture, the state Police SARS operatives have become deadlier and more menacing, consolidating â€œtheir atrocious practices of custodial torture and killing through their theatre of butchery.
â€œThe level of torture and killing going on at the state Police SARS headquarters at Awkuzu and its annexes or unit locations in the state has risen to a peak.
â€œThe only human rights organisation that did a comprehensive open-source or non-forensic science investigation into the Ezu River saga is Intersociety. We indict the Anambra State Police SARS operatives of sole responsibility for the torture, killing and dumping of the slain corpses inside Ezu River.
â€œOur first reason for issuing this special report is to draw the attention of the world particularly the United Nations and its Human Rights Council; Amnesty International Human Rights Watch, World Organisation Against Torture, and other rights groups and research bodies and institutions as well as the generality of Nigerians on the raging and untamed unlicenced butcheries and cruel and degrading treatments perpetrated by the state Police SARS operatives against detained citizens in their custodies.â€
Attempts to get reaction from the state Police Commissioner, Umar Baba Garba, did not yield any result as he stated that he was new in the state and would not possibly know what had happened then. He however promised to refer the reporter to offices in charge for subsequent publication.
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