By Sam Esogwa
Should the police, by March 10, fail to hand over the Eagle Crack officers who tortured an Ikokwu mechanic, Chima Ikwunado, to death and also left the other four mechanics dehumanized and sick through torture, the Ikokwu spare parts dealers might again embark on a sit-at-home protest.
Since the inhuman treatment of the mechanics by the E-Crack squad of Mile 1 police station, Port Harcourt, was exposed, the traders have been protesting and calling for justice while demanding for the prosecution of the erring officers.
Many spirited individuals, the civil society, Ohaneze Ndigbo and the general public have also lent their voice to the call for justice, which appears to be tactically delayed by the police.
For instance, rather than arrest and arraign the E-Crack commander, Benson Adetuyi and his men that tortured the poor Ikokwu mechanics, the police has only succeeded in redeploying him, while the other culprits are said to be walking about free.
This seeming unconcern and display of insensitivity and irresponsibility by the Rivers State Police Command have also forced the traders and their leaders call for the redeployment and/or resignation of the commissioner of police in the state, Mr Dandaura.
However, the case over the release of the autopsy report of Chima Ikwunado is presently going on in the court and the next hearing has been fixed on March 10, 2020.
In a chat with BusinessDay on Friday, chairman of Ikokwu Motor Spare Parts Union, High Chief Iwu Anthony Alaribole, expressed dismay at the insensitivity of the Nigerian Police to the crime committed against Chima Ikwunado and the Ikokwu 4 by its men in the E-Crack Squad of Mile 1 police station.
He expressed surprise that justice was quickly given to the Remo Stars footballer in Ogun State whose death was caused by a police man recently, as the erring officer was dismissed and is being prosecuted whereas the case of Chima Ikwunado and the Ikokwu 4 has been ongoing before then, wondering whether the delayed justice has anything to do with the tribe Chima came from.
BusinessDay gathered that the late Chima Ikwunado and three out of the four Ikokwu men tortured alongside him are Ibos. The other torture victim is from Edo State.
Only time will tell if the police and the Nigerian government will heed the public outcry and bring the E-Crack officers that killed Chima and dehumanized the other four mechanics through torture to book.