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Ikenna Uduh was not tortured to death in custody – Police

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State Criminal Investigation Department

STATE Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Annex of the Anambra State Police Command at Awkuzu, Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State has exonorated itself from the allegations making the rounds in the online media that it allegedly tortured one Ikenna Uduh to death in custody and buried the corpse at an undisclosed location.

   Our correspondent who visited the SCID Annex at Awkuzu for further investigations on the matter, gathered that Ikenna Uduh slumped during morning devotion at Cell 2 of the SCID Annex as confirmed by other inmates at the time of the incident and was immediately rushed to the hospital by operatives of the SCID Annex where a medical doctor confirmed him dead thereafter.

   Investigations further revealed that the police had no hand in the death of IkennaUduh, who was rounded up by SCID operatives alongside others for conspiracy and armed robbery.

   Our correspondent equally gathered that the insinuation that Ikenna Uduh was represented in court was completely false as the deceased and others were arraigned at Ogidi Magistrate Court, Idemili North Council Area, where the case was adjourned to 6th December, 2022, for hearing before he died.

    Further disclosure on the matter still pointed to the fact that the publication was completely false as the whole episode didn’t extricate the fact that Ikenna Uduh and two others were arraigned in court for the offences of conspiracy and armed robbery at Ogidi Magistrate Court, where after arraignment, the court gave order for their remand in prison custody at Onitsha Correctional Centre.

    More findings lent credence to the fact that court issued their remand warrant but the suspects, including IkennaUduh were brought to SCID Annex Awkuzu because Onitsha Correctional Facility only accepted inmates on Tuesdays, which did not coincide with the remand warrant.      The suspects were however kept in custody at Awkuzu and subsequently waited for another Tuesday. Investigations also revealed that prior to the arraignment, the said Ikenna Uduh took ill and was rushed to the hospital by police operatives for treatments but the doctor on duty confirmed him dead thereafter.

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    The remaining two suspects, who were already on court remand were taken to prison on Tuesday and the police say it still has the copy of the remand warrant duly signed by the magistrate and issued to the police by the court. The corpse of Ikenna Uduh was deposited at the morgue and police say it doesn’t bury suspects. 

   A source from SCID Annex Awkuzu said:” Police don’t bury suspects; instead we deposit them at the morgue pending doctor’s examination and medical examination. If the person dies in custody, we take it to the morgue. But if the person dies in the hospital, we still keep at the morgue.

   “In Ikenna Uduh’s case, when he slumped, he was taken to the hospital and then, subsequently, the doctor declared him dead and he was deposited at the morgue. Nobody ever buried him. How can the police bury a suspect that is dead and being someone that is on court remand, remanded by an order of the Magistrate Court in a remand proceedings ? So he was never buried.

   “Why would the police bury somebody and thereafter dig out a corpse without private parts, breasts, legs and all that because some people came to make enquires? It’s strange and laughable. Such event never occurred here. We are law-abiding and we fight insecurity according to the provisions of the law.

   “That young man, though his death was unfortunate but it was never the making of the police. He was never tortured in any way. He had already gone to court and the magistrate saw him with her two eyes. If you go to Magistrate Court Ogidi, the charge number of the case is MID/366c/2022; COP Against Ikenna Uduh and two others. You will confirm from the court that Ikenna  Uduh and others stood before the magistrate and were properly arraigned for questioning, after which the court made an order for their remand in prison custody.

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   “After, when they were sent to prison, police sent the original case file to the Director of Public Prosecutions in the State Attorney-General’s office on 19th October, 2022, together with a forwarding letter to the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice for him to continue prosecution and file information against these defendants. So the case file is currently with the DPP but the remand proceedings was done at the magistrate court. All these were done before Ikenna Uduh died.

   “None of them were tortured and they were properly investigated before they were arraigned in court. So there was no form of torture or removal of body parts. Such stories were concocted to tarnish the image of the police. 

   “Again, no journalist from any media house either online, broadcast or print ever came to our office with respect to that incident. I believe that that report online was manufactured and concocted just to mislead and misinform the public and to paint the efforts of the police in fighting in AnambraState as bad. We all know the security challenges bedeviling the state and other parts of the country; the intent of the person who concocted that story is to rubbish the good efforts of the police in fighting crime. There was nothing of such that ever happened.

  “Journalists and reporters should get their facts straight. They should go to the court, go to the facility and also contact the police public relations officer to verify as well as inquire about the veracity and authenticity of their stories before publication. “

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   Meanwhile the online report alleging that police at SCID Awkuzu tortured one Ikenna Uduh to death in custody and purportedly buried his corpse at unknown location reads in parts, ”  The family of one of the drivers, IkennaUdu, has accused police of the State Criminal Investigation Branch in Awkuzu, Oyi County, Anambra State, of torturing and killing him.

   Mary, the victim’s wife, said on Sunday, that her in-laws,ChiomaAniebonam and her husband mourned Ikenna’s death, saying efforts to retrieve his body had failed. , claimed that when police realised Ikenna had died, they buried him without his knowledge and refused to reveal the location of his remains.

   Anaedoonline gathered that Ikenna, his wife and children, alongside his brother, Chidubem, parents and some friends, were at home in Abatete, in the Idemili North Local Government Area of the state, when armed policemen stormed the premises around 4am sometime in September 2022.

   Ikenna’s wife, who spoke to our correspondent on Monday, said the policemen arrested four persons, including Ikenna and Chidubem, adding that they whisked them away to an undisclosed location. “

   When contacted on phone to state in clear terms the position of the state command in the whole matter, the police public relations officer, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu Anthony told our correspondent that he was in a conference; that our correspondent should send him a text message, which he did, but the PPRO did not respond to the text message as at the time of writing this report.

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