AN OPEN LETTER TO IGP
Ishaq Osagie Eweka accuses the police of violating his rights
My arrest and that of three other persons at a car-wash (name withheld) along Ekenwuan Road, Ugbighoko Quarters, Benin City of Edo State, is one of other events of human rights abuses associated with policing in Nigeria. Dear Inspector-General of Police, on 7th January, 2023 being Saturday, I was invited by a friend (name withheld) to have us take a cursory look at some documents for onward transmission to the Commissioner of Police (CP), Edo State. The content of the documents includes; a letter addressed to the CP seeking approval for lawful gathering, a copy of the Corporate Affairs Commission (C.A.C) registration document of our organization, a copy of the Constitution of the organization; amongst others for the CP’s attention. Five minutes into the meet, while my three friends engaged in ludo game, policemen from the state Police Command swooped on us; shooting sporadically into the air; scaring residents. The arrest was led by one ASP Christian of the State Anti-Cult Unit (SACU). On arrival at the State Police Command, we met one CSP. Mohhammed Abubakar, O/C SACU who immediately took us before CP Mohammed Adamu Dankwara. At the office of the CP, I reminded the CP of a previous meet we had with him on the day he assumed duty as Commissioner of Police, Edo State; cited the directive of the Inspector-General of Police to investigate a matter in a letter referenced CB;7000/IGP.SEC/ABJ/VOL.595/226. CP Mohammed Adamu Dankwara ignored my entreaties; directed CSP Mohammed Abubakar to take us away. I was asked to write a statement without first intimating me on the reason(s) for our arrest. Five minutes into the introductory section of my statement, I was asked to stop, taken to my residence; my residence turned over in search of whatever; without a search warrant. *Nothing* whatsoever linking me to criminality was found, discovered or recovered from my residence.
I was immediately returned to the State Police Headquarters where I was directed to complete my statement; after which I was thrown into the Police cell like a common criminal. We were paraded before the press and other social media platforms on the fourth day (10th January, 2023) in attempt to *defame* my person, after being unlawfully detained for five days without stating the offence(s) committed and in violation of my fundamental right to liberty. On 11th January, 2023, we were sent to the State High Court 1 on trumped-up, fictitious, frivolous and fabricated charges which include unlawful possession of cut-to-size guns, promoting native war, conspiracy, unlawful gathering, membership of unlawful societies, cultism; amongst others in an attempt to put us in bad light before the law court.
Dear Inspector-General of police, my statement is available with the commissioner of Police, Edo State for your attention. The ludo game, the documents recovered at the scene of our arrest are all in the custody of the SACU for your attention. CP Mohammed Adamu Dankwara’s act clearly reflects his unprofessional conduct following my unlawful detention and malicious parade before the press. The conduct of Police officers is viewed as a major contributing factor to the corruption perception index (CPI) of Nigeria in the area of human right violations. I challenge CP Mohammed Adamu Dankwara to seek redeployment; to rescue victims of the Boko Hram attack unhurt and parade the criminal elements before the press to showcase his crime fighting expertise; than parade an innocent man. It is now public knowledge that a huge number of persons paraded by Edo Police command are innocent citizens while the police perhaps turn a blind eye on the criminal activities happening around the state. I wish to reiterate for the umpteenth time that our arrest and unlawful detention by CP Dankwara was a charade of conjecture to enrich his already poor policing experience. Furthermore, it is unfortunate to note that a police officer of the rank of a Commissioner of Police demonstrated acts capable of dragging the already battered image of the police to the mud again. His unprofessional actions are reminiscent of the ordeal of Nigerians that led to the ENDSARS protest. Premised on the above, I request as follows;
One, if no element linking me and others to criminality was recovered from our residence, what is the rationale for our arrest, unlawful detention; parade before the press; subsequent charge before the law court?
Two, CP Mohammed Adamu Dankwara of Edo Police Command should reveal to Nigerians the petitioner(s) and the offence(s) committed. Three, CP Mohammed Adamu Dankwara of Edo Police Command should reveal to Nigerians the reason(s) for the despicable and unprofessional conduct that has defamed my character and violated my fundamental human rights as a Nigerian.
Four, CP Mohammed Adamu Dankwara of Edo Police Command should reveal to Nigerians who paid him to carry out this unthinkable act of corrupt tendencies.
The Nigerian Police Force is by this publication given 48 hours to address the abusive and unprofessional conducts on my person or face legal actions.