A 28-year-old woman from Bayelsa State, Mrs Chidinma Robinson, has called on the Inspector-General of Police to intervene in the sudden disappearance of her husband, Mr Imonima Robinson, from the custody of the IGP Monitoring Team in Rivers State.
Chidinma told journalists in Port Harcourt on Tuesday that she suspected that her husband had been extra-judicially killed while in the custody of the police after a court ordered his release.
The woman, who clutched her baby, said her husband was arrested on August 1, 2019, in Port Harcourt by the cops, who accused him of being a friend to a wanted kidnapper.
She stated that though her husband insisted that he was a businessman and not a kidnapper, the policemen held on to him and transferred him from one station to another until his sudden disappearance at the station of the IGP Monitoring Team in the state.
She maintained that the 33-year-old Imonima was shot in the leg by the cops after the court had ordered that he should be released.
Chidinma stated, “My husband was arrested when he went to buy something on Aggrey Road in Port Harcourt. He was later transferred to the Divisional Police Station, Old GRA.
“He was again transferred to the Anti-Cultism Unit, Port Harcourt. I went there several times when I got information that he had been moved there. But they did not allow me to see him. There, they handcuffed him to a generator.
“They were asking that I should send N500,000 to them. I told them that I didn’t have such money and that after my husband was arrested, we had not been feeding well. They later transferred him to the IGP Monitoring Team’s office in Aluu. When I got there, they had already shot him in the leg.
“Since that time, I have not seen my husband. I learnt that he had been killed. We have been looking for him; we can’t find him. I am calling on the IGP to tell his men to please produce my husband. If they have killed him, they should show me his corpse.”
The lawyer to the family, Mr Godwin Omereji, confirmed that the family had taken the matter to court and got an order for Imonima’s release.
Omereji expressed dissatisfaction that the police disregarded the court order for Imonima’s release and demanded that the businessman be released from police custody dead or alive.
The lawyer also demanded that the Commander of the IGP Monitoring Team in the state should be prosecuted in the interest of justice.
He stated, “No matter the gravity of the crime that Imonima Robinson allegedly committed, he is still presumed innocent by the constitution, and this constitutional presumption of innocence encapsulated in Section 36 (5) of the Nigerian Constitution (as amended), 1999, remains until a court of competent jurisdiction adjudges him guilty.
“Our law does not provide for jungle justice and also the law establishing the Nigeria Police Force does not empower the police to be the accuser, investigator, prosecutor, judge and executioner at the same time.”
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Nnamdi Omoni, said he was not aware of the matter and Chidinma and the family’s lawyer to visit his office.