Rights Group Petitions Emohua Council Chairman Over Assault On Bus Drivers By Local Vigilante
A human rights group known as Civil Rights Council has petitioned the executive Chairman of Emohua local Government area of Rivers state, Nigeria over alleged torture,assault and brutalisation of two bus drivers Messers Divine Samuel and Chiweikpe Dimkpa by men of local vigilante in Rumuji known as Rumuji OSPAC. The local vigilante is supervised by the Local Government area.
Read Full Statement Below
4th February, 2020
The Executive Chairman,
Emohua Local Government Area
PETITION AGAINST THE ASSAULT, TORTURE AND BRUTALIZATION OF MESSRS DIVINE SAMUEL AND CHIWEIKPE DIMKPA BY RUMUJI OSPAC
Civil Rights Council writes to condemn the assault, torture and brutal treatment of Messrs Divine Samuel and Chiweikpe Dimkpa by Rumuji OSPAC and to seek the immediate intervention of the Executive Chairman of Emohua LGA in forestalling the continuance of such acts.
Civil Rights Council is a community based human rights organisation with branches across the country. Our interests are in the promotion of human rights, the rule of law and the advancement of democratic ethos in Nigeria. In doing this, we join our collective strength to seek justice and address societal wrongs against the citizens of this nation and to raise awareness, complaints and advocate against human rights abuses and likely human rights infringements by acts of private persons or acts of the government.
On this note we write to bring to your attention the illegality perpetrated within your Jurisdiction by persons parading themselves as members of OSPAC and seek your collaboration in restoring law and order to your LGA. Particularly, our interest is in the case of Divine Samuel and Chiweikpe Dimkpa whose dehumanising treatment is stated below.
On Sunday 26th January, 2020 Mr Chiweikpe Dimkpa and Divine Samuel boarded a bike from Ibaa town in Emohua to get a vehicle heading to PortHarcourt. While at Rumuji waiting for a vehicle, they saw “agberos” (street thugs) extorting money from commercial bus drivers. The duo cautioned the “agberos” (street thugs) suspected to come from Rumuji to stop the extortion but they refused. Few minutes later two Rumuji OSPAC personnel, on invitation of the “agberos” came and arrested Messrs Divine Samuel and Chiweikpe Dimkpa. The Rumuji OSPAC personnel ordered the two young men to follow them to their station without asking questions. On getting to the station the young men were tied in the most dehumanizing manner, torture and brutalised till Monday morning 27th, January 2020. They were later released when community people who work with Soldiers in Ibaa intervened and told Rumuji OSPAC that the boys have no record of criminality. They were released by the OSPAC members who did not show any remorse for the serious bleeding injuries they sustained from the assault and torture meted out to them.
Although the matter has been reported at Rumuji Police station, we deem it fit and expedient to bring to your notice the flagrant disregard to dignity of human right by the OSPAC members under your jurisdiction.
We ask that you use your good office to instruct the Rumuji OSPAC to exercise a certain degree of respect in the treatment of suspects and to also ensure that they don’t utilise torture or any form of degrading treatment while exercising their duties. We equally urge you to use your good office to caution Rumuji OSPAC to refrain from human rights abuses so as not to put the council in bad light, and also take up disciplinary action against them should they continue to abandon the clear provisions of human rights.
Attached are pictures of the injury meted on Divine Samuel and Chiweikpe Dimkpa.
Thank you for giving this matter your apt attention.
Mercy Christopher, Esq. Legal Adviser Arochukwu Paul Ogbonna Esq.