The embattled Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura is expected to address the media and the public, this week, as the result of the autopsy conducted on late Chima Ikwunado has been handed over to the homicide unit of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID).
The commissioner had shelved an earlier scheduled news briefing, last week, for undisclosed reasons, though spokesman of the Police Command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, later told newsmen that his principal (CP) would address the media after the autopsy report done on late Chima Ikwunado had been released and the investigations concluded.
When contacted on telephone, yesterday afternoon, Omoni, said it was very likely the CP would address the press, this week, as soon as the investigations are concluded.
Asked if the command has taken delivery of the autopsy report conducted on the late mechanic, he said, “I will confirm that today (Monday). Very likely the CP will address the press this week after our investigations are concluded.”
It would be recalled that the Pathologist engaged by late Chima Ikwunado’s family, Dr. Cornell Chukwuegbo, had confirmed to The Tide in a telephone chat that the report of the autopsy was being submitted to the police by the attending pathologist as at press time, last Thursday, noting that the autopsy report was not for public consumption.
Chukwuegbo further said that autopsy reports are not made public except through the appropriate channels, and asked our reporter to apply through the normal channels in order to get a copy.
However, the Chairman of Ikoku Spare Parts Dealers, Anthony Alarobole, confirmed, yesterday, that the lawyer to late Chima Ikwunado’s family has been contacted to apply for a copy of the autopsy result.
“Yes, I have to tell you authoritatively that my Doctor (the pathologist) called to tell me that the results are there (with police) already, and I have informed the lawyer to apply for a copy. So, she (the lawyer) said by Monday (today), she will apply through the process, and it will be given to her.
“So, we will know what it is like. But all he (the pathologist) told me is that it is there, and it is nothing far from what all of us saw”, Alarobole stated.
It would be recalled that the matter of the autopsy report has been a sore point after the police image maker said the Commander of the E-Crack Unit, Superintendent Benson Adetuyi, told the Rivers State Police Command that an autopsy was conducted on the late mechanic after he passed on in the custody of the Eagle Crack Team.
The outrage that followed has refused to die down as many have called for the police to parade and prosecute Benson Adetuyi, now redeployed from the E-Crack Unit, even as some have also called for the resignation of the state police commissioner.
In a related development, elder brother to late mechanic, Anthony Ikwunado, has said that the family was under pressure to drop the demand for justice, saying that the family was called for a closed-door meeting with the police commissioner after a court notice was served on him which the family and Ikoku Spare Parts Dealers instituted against the police, last Wednesday.
“They called us, even we met the CP and he said we should try and settle this matter amicably without going to court. The OPM (referring to the General Overseer of the Omega Power Ministries) has called me that my people are still in the court. But I don’t know. The masses are still involved. It is not only one family.
“The (Chima’s) Ohanaeze Ndigbo and all the rest of the groups have to come together, if we want to resolve the matter. We want justice for Chima and nothing. Those people that killed my brother will have to face justice”, he added.
He insisted that the family has no plan to withdraw the case against the police as being insinuated in some quarters, saying that they would pursue the case to a logical conclusion.
Anthony also confirmed that the autopsy report was submitted to the police, last Thursday, saying the family’s lawyer will apply to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in the Ministry of Justice for a copy of the autopsy report.
Meanwhile, a university teacher and public affairs analyst, Dr. Kenneth Nweke has said that the death of Ikoku mechanic, Chima Ikwunado, and the torture of four of his colleagues by the E-Crack Team of the Rivers State Police Command should serve as a lesson that should form part of the police reform in Nigeria.
Nweke, an associate Professor of Political Science at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUOE) stated this in Port Harcourt while reacting to the backlash from the public, especially the civil society organisations (CSOs) in the media to Chima’s demise.
He described public reactions as welcome in order to check excesses of the police, noting that the action of the police was bad enough.
Nweke, however, said that the criticisms from the public should be taken with restraints in order not to create a situation where people would completely lose confidence in the security architecture in Rivers State in view of the sensitive nature of the matter.
“While I want to applaud those who made efforts in this direction to also help in unravelling some of the mysteries in the Eagle Crack Team (police) in order to strengthen the security architecture in the state, I wish to advice also that in view of the sensitivity of this matter, we need to also exercise some restraints in the manner this case is going because any society that the people have lost confidence in the security architecture, that society, of course, is drifting into anarchy, and I think that the responsibility of government at all levels is to protect lives and property.”
By: Dennis Naku
COVID-19: Hand Washing Cheapest Way Of Fighting Diseases – Health Commissioner
COVID-19: Ignore Facemask, Risk Arrest, Prosecution, RSG Tells Residents
The Rivers State Government has expressed worries over the high level of non-compliance of health protocols with respect to the Covid-19 pandemic, warning that henceforth any resident caught without wearing facemask will be arrested and prosecuted.
The State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim handed down the warning while speaking on a live Radio programme in Port Harcourt on Saturday and monitored by the Tide.
Nsirim who is Chairman of the State Inter-ministerial Committee on Enlightenment for Covid-19 recalled the unhappiness of Governor Nyesom Wike during last Wednesday’s State broadcast with the attitude of many residents who flaunt extant directives on the wearing of facemask and other health protocols.
“The Governor in that broadcast also expressed concern that a lot of people in the State are not obeying the protocols. Social distancing, wearing of facemask and he spoke specifically in what is happening in some churches. Government will introduce policies, the onus is on the populace to obey those policies.
“Not just obeying it, the Covid-19 pandemic that we are talking about has defied medical solution for now. So to flatten the curve, everyone living and doing business in Rivers State has to take responsibility.
“If I take responsibility and everyone around me takes responsibility to observe the relevant protocol, we are sure to flatten the curve. But if people live righteously and just do as if nothing is happening because there are places where people are just living in denial.
“Some people still believe that there is nothing like Coronavirus. Two weeks ago, my committee rounded off street to street campaign in all the 23 local government areas of the State. They still met people who are in this denial. That is the challenge.
“The Governor is desirous that Rivers State remains safe. That is why he is initiating policies to ensure that strategically the state is somehow isolated from the national spread,” the Commissioner said.
Nsirim further said, “If you go around the State, since the executive order on facemask was introduced. You will notice that less than
30 per cent of the populace are really obeying that executive order. What we are seeing in the State is that people just put the mask around their chin.
“You go to some churches we see people open their mouth and things will be spewing out in the enclosed environment on the chin. The Governor is saying that to give this wearing of facemask the kind of weight that it deserves to save our people, a special taskforce be put in place.
“That is the only sure way because a lot of people are still living in denial. He said the governor’s broadcast is very clear, arrest and prosecute. Henceforth we will arrest and prosecute people not wearing facemask in public places,” he stated.
The Rivers State Government spokesman said arrangements have been concluded to monitor churches that fail to observe the guidelines of not more than 70 persons per church service, wearing of facemask, provision of water for hand washing and the use of hand sanitizers, while weddings and burial ceremonies should not exceed 50 persons.
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