Communiqué issued at the end of the public tribunal on police abuses in Nigeria organized by network on police reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) in collaboration with National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and National Committee On Torture (NCOT) in Owerri, Imo state for the southeast region on august 19 and 20, 2010.

Preamble: Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) in collaboration with National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and National Committee on Torture (NCoT) organized a Public Tribunal on Police Abuses and violations in Nigeria.

The Public Tribunal was aimed at:

1.    Providing opportunity and platform for victims of police abuse or their family members/ legal representatives, on their behalf, to testify about their experiences with the police, and to seek and secure redress and remedies through mechanisms of internal control and external accountability; as well as to seek sanctions against perpetrators of abuse or violation.

2.    To awaken and assist institutions of government charged with oversight of the police, particularly, the Police Service Commission, to carry out their duties effectively and timely.

3.    To mobilize eminent Nigerians to join the campaign against police abuses and impunity.

4.    To provide a platform for interaction between the police and members of the public to promote mutual understanding, cooperation and partnership in safety and security.

The Tribunal was attended by over 200 participants, including 42 persons who attended as testifiers either for themselves or on behalf of their abused or dead relatives or clients.  However time could permit only 14 of the intending testifiers to testify about their experiences or the experiences of the victims they represented.  Consequently, the Tribunal directed other persons or victims who could not testify orally, to submit their cases in writing for consideration alongside cases of others who had the opportunity to testify.

The Nigerian Police were adequately represented. However, the Police Service Commission, for the umpteenth time, failed and or ignored to send any representative.

Inspector General of Police was represented by two senior police officers from the Legal Department of the Force Headquarters; the Commissioners of Police (CPs) of Imo, Ebonyi and Abia were represented by senior police officers from the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) and Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS). Anambra and Enugu Commands were not represented.
Civil Society Organizations in the Southeast and branches of NBA in Imo state also sent representatives.

 The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Rowland Ewubare, was represented by Mr. Tony Ojukwu, who led other senior National and Southeast Zonal officials of the commission to the Tribunal.
The National Committee on Torture was represented by Chinonye Obiagwu, Vice Chairman of the Committee and Executive Director, Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP).

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Imo State Justice, K.C.O Njemanze, was represented by the Solicitor General, S.C. Osondu Esq., who gave a Goodwill Message and declared the event open on behalf of the AG/CJ.
The Tribunal was presided over by a 3-man Panel composed of:

1.    His Worship, Peace Otti of the Anambra State Judiciary (Chairperson),

2.    Z. O. Senbanjo, Director of Legal Services, National Human Rights Commission, and

3.    Barrister Chinonye Edmund Obiagwu, Vice Chairman, National Committee on Torture.

Issues: Participants condemned the reported widespread practice in Imo State Police Headquarters whereby bribe is demanded from complainants, including lawyers, before their complaints or petitions to the CP’s office could be received. Participants also condemned the situation whereby complainants choose their own investigating police officers and determine how investigations are to be carried out. The PPRO who represented the CP was mandated to investigate and take measures to ensure that these corrupt practices which deny justice, especially to the poor and vulnerable, and encourage the oppression of the poor by the rich and powerful are brought to an end. Imo State Police Command and office of the IGP are required to make a public statement on their positions on these issues.

The representatives of the Inspector-General of police said categorically that torture, impunity and other forms of abuses are aberrations in the Nigeria police force and that there is no policy in the Nigeria police, approving or supporting any form of abuse of human rights. The IGP’s representatives added that police officers who engage in aberrant behaviours are usually dealt with appropriately and revealed that in relation to the Jos crises all police officers having anything to do with abuses there are being legally handled. He concluded by saying that the I.G.P wished NOPRIN and all the participants success and very fruitful deliberations, promising that no one would be harassed for participating in the public tribunal and that all recommendations by the tribunal relating to the police would be promptly acted upon.

At the end of the hearing, participants agreed that:

1.    The Public Tribunal has been most useful and should be done on a regular basis;
2.    That the proceedings should be made available to the highest authorities, namely the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Hon. Minister of Police Affairs, the Chairman Police Service Commission, and the Inspector General of Police for further action.
3.    That the Chairman of the Federal Government’s Committee on Torture should follow up on the recommendations of the Panel with all the appropriate government agencies.

Public Hearing.

The Public hearing started with an observation on the absence at the Tribunal of Rev. Fr.  Eustace Okorie, the catholic priest, serving under the Owerri Ecclesiastical province, who was allegedly assaulted by security operatives attached to Imo State Governor, Ikedi Ohakim on Sunday August 7, 2010. The priest was listed as the first testifier. He was expected to testify about how he was assaulted, dehumanized and illegally detained by security personnel attached to governor, Ikedi Ohakim, for allegedly obstructing the movement of the governor’s convoy. 

However, news filtered that pressure was mounted through the Archbishop of the Owerri Catholic Province, Archbishop A. J. V. Obinna to stop the priest from publicly testifying against the acts of brigandage of Governor Ohakim’s security attaches.

Other Priests who were at the Tribunal in anticipation of Father Eustace Okorie’s testimony had earlier informed that Rev. Fr. Eustace Okorie was arrested at about 6pm on the orders of governor Ikedi Ohakim by the governor’s security ‘hounds’. The Governor accused the priest of being an agent of his opponents and that he wilfully blocked his convoy with his car (Nissan Infinity) somewhere at Orie-Akabo, in Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State.

The operatives bundled the priest into a jeep (while dressed in his Soutane) and drove him straight to the government house and before the governor’s Chief Security Officer (CSO), one Mr Ismaila Bako. After  interrogating him, the CSO ordered  that the  priest  be taken  to the offices of the SSS where he was stripped to his underpants and detained  from that  evening till  about 8pm the next day  being Monday,  August 9. The Priest was detained incommunicado, as his mobile telephone was seized, thereby preventing him from communicating to anybody. This created anxiety about his whereabouts, as the priest was on his way to a vigil mass before the incident that took him to government house occurred.

In responding to claims by Governor Ohakim and his agents that the Priest blocked the governor’s convoy, the Priest, Rev. Fr.  Eustace Okorie  reportedly insisted  that he parked  his car rightfully while  avoiding a dangerous  ditch  at the spot but was surprised that the security men pounced  on him, smashed his car side mirror with gun butts and then  forced  him into  a Sport  Utility Vehicle. He was taken to the government house where he was interrogated by the governor’s CSO before he was detained almost naked in the same cell with a suspected ‘cultist’ for two days.

The Tribunal noted that this would not be the first time that the governor’s security attachés would act in such a brazen, reckless and overzealous manner, attacking innocent citizens. Tribunal recalled that Ikenna Samuelson testified in Abuja in June 2010 about how he was similarly abducted by the governor’s security aides, and taken before the governor at the government house where the governor personally assaulted him with a horse whip, while his CSO continued to point a gun at him. The governor inflicted grievous injuries and bodily harm on him before handing him over to the State Police Commissioner, Mr. Aloysius Okorie, and the State Director of State Security Service (SSS) who further interrogated and detained him for seven days at the State Police Headquarters, Owerri before charging him before Chief Magistrate Victoria Isiguzo, of Magistrate Court 1, Owerri. Mrs. Isiguzo further remanded Samuelson in prison custody, all in a bid-apparently- to allow time for the injuries inflicted on him by the governor to heal. Again, in July, Mrs. Isiguzo convicted and sentenced Samuelson to 3 months in prison without trial on ‘contempt’ charges. Mrs. Isiguzo has been variously described as Governor Ohakim’s ‘judicial undertaker’ and ‘hatchet woman’.

Tribunal also recalled that before Samuelson, there were two previous other cases of assault by the governor’s security personnel on innocent citizens, including a woman in Lagos (assaulted in the presence of her two children, also for blocking the governor’s convoy) and another journalist in Owerri (brutalised for writing unfavourable articles against the governor). Tribunal condemned these serial acts of executive ‘madness’ and called for an end to it.

Tribunal observed that the Southeast has so far recorded the highest number of victims of police abuse and abuse of power by public office holders in Nigeria indicating the high level of impunity and tyranny that characterises governance in the geopolitical region, compared to other regions in Nigeria. Tribunal called on the Governors of the States in the region to observe the rule of law, commit to good governance and guarantee the welfare and security of their citizens. Tribunal also urged civil society organisations in the region to be alive to their duties and sensitise the people to know their rights and stand up for them.

Summary of the findings and recommendations on others cases heard by the Tribunal.

CASES
1.    NAME OF CASE:
•    Nnachetam Anthony
•    Charles  Maduka Ede
•    Onyekachi Edenta
•    Ray Nnaji Esq.

2.    NATURE OF THE ABUSE/VIOLATION:
Torture and unlawful arrest and detention

3.    VICTIM(S)
•    Nnachetam Nnamani
•    Charles  Maduka Ede
•    Onyekachi EdentaRay Nnaji Esq.

4.    PERPETRATOR(S)
Policemen at SARS Enugu, particularly:
•    Corporal Ugochukwu Ozoude alias Orthopedic,
•    Head of SARS, Enugu – Jude Agbanejero
•    Supol A.T. Hussani, former DPO Agbani police station
•    Mr. Afam Nnaji alias Okity –Special Adviser to Enugu State Governor on Political Affairs
•    Police Nnamchi

5.    BRIEF ACCOUNT OF ABUSE/VIOLATION
Nnachetam Anthony Nnamani was arrested by police at Agbani Police station and detained for 5 days on spurious allegation of stealing money belonging to Moses Chikezie. The arrest was masterminded by Mr. Afam Nnaji alias Okity, who had issues with the applicant arising from Akpugo community dispute.  He was not charged to court, and the complainants were not arrested for giving false information. Months later, Nnachetam bought 3 buses for his commercial business and Mr. Afam Nnaji again brought the police to arrest him and seize the vehicles and transferred to SARS Enugu where he was detained for 4 months. He was severely tortured by policemen at SARS, especially by the IPO, Ugochukwu Ozoude, alias Orthopedic. He was tied upside down and hung for hours. He was made to carry corpse of other suspects they had shot and killed, and told him someone else would shortly carry his own corpse. They used wire to flog his back, leaving bumpy scares. They made him roll on blood of other suspects they shot and killed at the station. His lawyer, Ray Nnaji, filed a suit in court, and obtained an order for his release. He was rather charged to magistrate court on 31 July 2009 on a holding charge of robbery and remanded in prison for 5 months. He was released by the court following DPP’s legal advice that there was no evidence to sustain the charge.

Their lawyer Ray Nnaji Esq., in the course of defending his clients, was arrested by 10 fully armed policemen and taken to Agbani Police Station and he petitioned the police authorities but got no response. He went to court for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights and bail to his client. The court made orders that the police refused to obey. He filed forms 48 and 49 which were to be served personally but the police refused to accept service. He got order for substituted service but the courier service man that went to serve the court order was beaten up by the police.

Mr. Charles Maduka Ede and Mr. Onyekachi Edenta had visited Nnachetam at the police and they were arrested, detained and tortured for a month and 2 weeks and later released without any charge.

6.    APPROPRIATE CAUSE OF ACTION:
•    Investigate and discipline policemen at Agbani Police Station, and SARS Enugu state, who were involved in the unlawful arrest and torture of the victims, especially, Supol A.T. Husanni, and CPL Ugochukwu Ozoude alias Orthopedic.

•    Pay compensation for long detention of victims in police cell and in prison

•    Release of the buses of the victims held by the SARS Enugu, and payment of compensation for loss of income from commercial use for a period of more than 1 year.

7.    AUTHORITY TO COMPLAIN TO:
•    Enugu State Police Command
•    AIG, Zone 9, Umuahia
•    Inspector General of Police
•    Governor of Enugu State

8.    POSSIBLE REMEDY(IES) FOR VICTIM(S)
•    Release of seized vehicles
•    Payment of compensation for unlawful detention and for loss of use of income for use of commercial vehicles

9.    APPROPRIEAE SANCTION(S) FOR PERPETRATOR(S)
•    Investigate and prosecute the perpetrators

10.    ANY OTHER RECOMMEDATION
•    The IGP should as a matter of urgency re-organize SARS and the entire anti-robbery operations of the Nigeria police force, so as to insulate them from abuse of office as in this case. The police in SARS, Enugu and many other places in the south east are being used by politicians and other influential persons to victimize their opponents or to settle dispute that are purely civil or communal, therefore a human rights desk, as a matter of urgency, should be established in all the police stations in Nigeria manned by a senior police officer
•     Rule of law must prevail in Nigeria and so the Nigeria Police Force must obey court orders and allow court processes to be served on it without hindrance

1.    NAME OF CASE:
Ekwedum Community seeking justice for murder of late Mr. Augustine Igbokwe and attempted murder of Chinedu Ngumas.

2.    NATURE OF THE ABUSE/VIOLATION:
Summary execution, Murder, attempted murder, police failure to investigate and prosecute perpetrators, abuse of power by Attorney General of Imo State to frustrate prosecution of the perpetrators.

3.    VICTIM(S)
•    Late Augustine Igbokwe
•    Mr. Chinedu Ngumas, also shot but survived the gunshot by the perpetrators.
•    Ekwedum community, Imo State

4.    PERPETRATOR(S)
•    Hon Jasper Ndubuaku
•    Mr. Richard Azubuike Ndubuaku
•    Imo State police command
•    Attorney General of Imo State

5.    BRIEF ACCOUNT OF ABUSE/VIOLATION
On 14 April 2007, following long-standing community-related dispute, Mr. Jasper Ndubuaku was engaged in an argument with late Mr. Augustine Igbokwe along Okpo-uhuru road, Umuakum, Isiala Mbano LGA Imo state during the community’s palm fruit harvest festival. Eye witnesses testified that Jasper Ndubuaku pulled out a gun and shot Mr. Igbokwe point blank and he fell and died on the spot. Mr. Chinedu Ngumas rushed to carry Augustine Igbokwe when he fell down, and Mr. Richard Azubuike Ndubuaku, who was with Jasper at the time, pulled his own gun and shot Mr. Ngumas on the chest and abdomen. He was later taken to the hospital and survived the injury. The matter was reported to the police but Messrs Jasper and Richard Ndubuaku had not been arrested and prosecuted. Jasper Ndubuaku is currently the Special Assistant to the Imo State Governor on Inter-governmental Affairs. The police reportedly completed its investigation and forwarded the file to the Attorney General for legal advice, a procedure that is not known to Imo State Criminal Procedure law. Ordinarily under the law, the police should charge the suspects to the magistrate court, and the court would then order the case file to be sent to the AG for legal advice. However, the AG has not responded to request for legal advice to the police, or filed the necessary information before the appropriate court. When the suspects were briefly arrested, the AG on March 10 2010 wrote to the police through the Solicitor General of Imo State ordering the stoppage of arraignment of the suspects pending further instruction. The community had petitioned to the Imo State police command, Imo State Governor, AIG zone 9 Umuahia, and IGP, to no avail.

6.    APPROPRIATE CAUSE OF ACTION:
•    Arrest and prosecute Mr. Jasper Ndubuaku and Mr. Richard Azubuike Ndubuaku for the murder of Late Mr. Augustine Igbokwe, and attempted murder of Mr. Chinedu Ngumas.

7.    AUTHORITY TO COMPLAIN TO:
•    Inspector General of Police
•    AIG Zone 9, Umuahia
•    Commissioner of Police, Imo state
•    Attorney General of Imo State
•    Governor of Imo State

8.    POSSIBLE REMEDY(IES) FOR VICTIM(S)
•    Justice for the killing of Late Mr. Augustine Igbokwe and attempted killing of Chinedu Ngumas
•    Compensation for the family of Late Mr. Augustine Igbokwe.
•    Payment of damages to Chinedu Ngumas for his medical expenses, pains caused him and loss of income for the period he was hospitalized.
•   

9.    APPROPRIATE SANCTION(S) FOR PERPETRATOR(S)
•    Arrest and prosecution of Mr. Jasper Ndubuaku and Mr. Richard Azubuike Ndubuaku for murder and attempted murder.
•    Removal of Jasper Ndubuaku from office as that is influencing the proper handling of the cases of murder and attempted murder.

10.    ANY OTHER RECOMMEDATION

•    The police should file the appropriate charges of murder and attempted murder against the 2 suspects to the magistrate court in accordance with the Imo State Criminal Procedure Law, and criminal code and the magistrate court would accordingly remand the suspects in prison custody, while the case file is transmitted to the DPP for legal advice. The DPP and the Attorney General should ensure that political considerations do not interfere in carrying out their professional duties of giving legal advice.  The era of impunity must stop and the rule of law must always prevail.
 
1.    NAME OF CASE: Joseph Okechukwu Agu

2.    NATURE OF THE ABUSE/VIOLATION:
Torture and inhuman treatment, leading to total blindness on both eyes

3.    VICTIM(S)
Joseph Okechukwu Agu

4.    PERPETRATOR(S)
Sergeant Francis Ogah, of the 82 Division of the Nigeria Army, Enugu.

5.    BRIEF ACCOUNT OF ABUSE/VIOLATION
On 15 January 2009 at 8.30am, the victim was attacked by the perpetrator with army belt, hitting his face with the metallic buckle, leading to the blindness of both eyes. The incident took place along Abakpa-Ogui Road, Enugu. The victim was driving a tipper lorry and the perpetrator was driving a Mitsubishi bus, and was in his army uniform. He blocked and stopped the victim and pulled him out of the lorry and started beating him. Other soldiers intervened but he continued to beat him and seized his ignition keys. In the process, he hit the victim several times with the iron buckle of his army belt, and blood started gushing out of his eyes and face. The victim complained to army authorities but the victim was not properly treated or compensated, and the perpetrator punished. After several medical treatments spanning more than one year, the victim went completely blind. He sold all his family and personal belonging to meet his medical expenses during the treatment.

6.    APPROPRIATE CAUSE OF ACTION:

•    Pay full compensation to the victim for loss of sight and loss of income as he has become disabled and unable to undertake any work to feed and support his large family, being the bread winner.

•    Damages for medical expenses incurred.

•    Investigation and prosecution of the perpetrator, Sergeant Francis Ogah, who is still in the service of Nigerian Army

7.    AUTHORITY TO COMPLAIN TO:

•    GOC, 82 Division, Nigeria Army, Enugu
•    Chief of Army Staff, Army headquarters, Abuja
•    Minister of Defence
•    Governor of Enugu state, Barr. Sullivan Chime

8.    POSSIBLE REMEDY(IES) FOR VICTIM(S)
•    Compensation for loss of sight/complete blindness
•    Compensation for loss of income to support his family
•    Damages for medical expenses incurred

9.    APPROPRIATE SANCTION(S) FOR PERPETRATOR(S)
•    Prosecution of Sergeant Francis Ogah before the ordinary court for attempted murder, aggravated assault occasioning harm, military misconduct
•    Dismissal from army service

10.    ANY OTHER RECOMMEDATION
The Ministry of Defence should as a matter of urgency give medical treatment to the victim to ensure that further injuries are forestalled. If possible, more medical examination can be had to see if he can recover the use of any of his eyes.
 
1.    NAME OF CASE:
Late Chibueze Ibezim and Late Innocent Nlewem Azunna

2.    NATURE OF THE ABUSE/VIOLATION:
Extra judicial killing

3.    VICTIM(S)
Late Chibueze Ibezim and Innocent Nlewem Azunna
Mrs. Ihuoma Nlewem Azunna (widow of Late Innocent Azunna)
Emmanuel Ibezim (father of Late Chibueze Ibezim)

4.    PERPETRATOR(S)
Head of SARS Abia State
Head of Mopol 55
Commandant Aliu, head of Mopol 55
Mr. Jonathan Johnson, CP Abia State

5.    BRIEF ACCOUNT OF ABUSE/VIOLATION
On 19 October 2009, the deceased persons who were motor mechanics and panel beater respectively based in Umuahia were sent to Aba by Mr. Chimobi Onuegbu to repair his (Chimobi’s) SUV car. Along with them were one Uche, a mechanic, and a Mobil policeman attached to Mr. Chimobi Onuegbu’s hotel in Umuahia. The policeman was in mufti. On their way along Umuahia-Aba Road, at Ntigha junction, they were stopped at a roadblock mounted by policemen from Mopol 55. They identified themselves and Late Chibueze called Chimobi on phone to inform him they were stopped by the police, and 5 minutes later called him again they had been allowed to drive off. However, the policemen took them away and shot all the four persons point blank, loaded them on the SUV and brought them to Federal Medical Center Umuahia, Claiming they had killed a gang of armed robbers. The victims were later identified not to be armed robbers and one of them a policeman on duty. Despite petitions by the family members, the policemen responsible for the shooting had not been prosecuted. Though 11 of them were arrested by police from Abuja but no further information on the investigation in the matter have been provided to the families of the deceased.
 
6.    APPROPRIATE CAUSE OF ACTION:
-    Prosecution of the 11 policemen involved in the killing before the court
-    Compensation to the families of the deceased for loss of breadwinner
-    Investigation and possible prosecution of Commandant Aliu, who allegedly ordered the shooting of the deceased.

7.    AUTHORITY TO COMPLAIN TO:
Inspector General of Police
Abia State Governor
AIG Zone 9, Umuahia

8.    POSSIBLE REMEDY(IES) FOR VICTIM(S)
•    Adequate Compensation to the families of the deceased persons
•    Prosecution of the perpetrators for murder

9.    APPROPRIATE SANCTION(S) FOR PERPETRATOR(S)
Prosecution of the policemen involved in the killing
Investigation and prosecution of Commandant Aliu, head of Mopol 55

10.    ANY OTHER RECOMMEDATION
•    Training and education of police officers on the sanctity of human lives and the need to preservation of same.
•     Police officers must be made aware of during their trainings, and at all times, be guided by the United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials.
 
Late Francis Chukwujekwu Okeke

2.    NATURE OF THE ABUSE/VIOLATION:
Extra judicial killing

3.    VICTIM(S)
•    Late Francis Okeke
•    Family of Late Francis Okeke
•    Umudara ancient village, Amaifeke, Orlu (community of Late Francis Okeke)

4.    PERPETRATOR(S)
Constable Cletus Eze, attached to Central Police station Onitsha

5.    BRIEF ACCOUNT OF ABUSE/VIOLATION
The deceased was a commercial driver. On June 11, 2010, he loaded his vehicle from Orlu to Onitsha. At down flyover Onitsha, he was stopped by policemen at a checkpoint. They demanded for his papers which he showed one of them. The policeman looked at his papers and asked him to go. As he was driving away, another policeman asked him to give him money, and then moved away to accost another vehicle. The policeman who earlier asked him to go came to him and asked him what he was still doing that he should drive away. As he was driving off, the policeman who asked for money raised his rifle and shot at him twice, and he died on the spot. The name of the policeman is Constable Cletus Eze.

Despite petitions to the commissioner of police Anambra state, the killer policeman has not been charged to court or prosecuted. On 13 July 2010, the Commissioner of police met with the family members and admitted the policeman wrongly used his firearm, and apologized to them, but no compensation has been paid to the family or the perpetrator has not been prosecuted according to law.

The deceased is the only son of his parent and a father of 9 children, most of them infants.
 
6.    APPROPRIATE CAUSE OF ACTION:
•    Arrest, charge and prosecute Constable Cletus Eze for murder of the deceased
•    Compensation to the family of the deceased
•    Police authorities take over or pay damages for upkeep and education of 9 children left behind by the deceased.
•    Dismissal of the police officer, Cletus Eze

7.    AUTHORITY TO COMPLAIN TO:
•    Commissioner of Police, Anambra State
•    AIG, Zone 9, Umuahia
•    IGP

8.    POSSIBLE REMEDY(IES) FOR VICTIM(S)
•    Payment of compensation to family of the deceased
•    Damages for upkeep and education of 9 children of the deceased

9.    APPROPRIATE SANCTION(S) FOR PERPETRATOR(S)
Charge and prosecution of the perpetrator in court of law

10.    ANY OTHER RECOMMEDATION
11.    A serious task force manned by high ranking, disciplined police officers to ply all roads in the South East states in unmarked vehicles to curb the high incidence of extortion of money from motorists by policemen in all the check points in the zone leading often times to loss of lives
 
1.    NAME OF CASE:
Late Uchenna Nkwuda

2.    NATURE OF THE ABUSE/VIOLATION:
Extra judicial killing, disappearance,

3.    VICTIM(S)
Late Uchenna Nkwuda
Mr. Andrew Nkwuda, (father of the deceased, Uchenna Nkwuda)

4.    PERPETRATOR(S)
DPO and Policemen at Abakaliki Road police station, Enugu

5.    BRIEF ACCOUNT OF ABUSE/VIOLATION
On 7 September 2007, police from Abakaliki Road Police station Enugu, on road block at GRA Enugu accosted the deceased, who was a commercial motorcyclist. He was taken with his bike to the police station. The next day, the policemen came to his one-room residence and conducted search and packed away all his belonging in the presence of the neighbours. Later that day, message reached his father that his son had been shot by the police. On reaching the police station, he was initially told his son was not in their custody, but weeks later when the lawyer hired by the family wrote to the police, the police claimed the deceased was an armed robber. His motorcycle is still at the police station but the DPO and his men have not explained to the family or released the corpse of the deceased to the family. None of the policemen in the Abakaliki Road police station has been arrested or investigated for the death of the deceased, including those who arrested him, searched his house and took away all his belongings and who were responsible for his killing and or disappearance.

6.    APPROPRIATE CAUSE OF ACTION:
•    Investigate and prosecute the DPO  and policemen of Abakaliki Police station who are responsible for the death or disappearance of the deceased
•    Release of corpse of the deceased to his father and family
•    Release of all properties of the deceased taken away from his apartment on 8 September 2007
•    Compensation to the father of the deceased.

7.    AUTHORITY TO COMPLAINED TO:
•    Commissioner of Police, Enugu state
•    AIG, Zone 9, Umuahia
•    Inspector General of Police.
•    Police Service Commission

8.    POSSIBLE REMEDY(IES) FOR VICTIM(S)
•    Release of corpse of the deceased
•    Release of properties of the deceased
•    Compensation to the family of the deceased

9.    APPROPRIATE SANCTION(S) FOR PERPETRATOR(S)
Investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators

10.    ANY OTHER RECOMMEDATION

Police authorities to ensure that the family of the deceased are informed and carried along in the investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators.

1.    NAME OF CASE:
Umuoyirim village, Owerri municipal council

2.    NATURE OF THE ABUSE/VIOLATION:
Police harassment, police abuse of powers

3.    VICTIM(S)
Youths and leaders of Umuoyirim village

4.    PERPETRATOR(S)
Imo State Police command, SARS Owerri

5.    BRIEF ACCOUNT OF ABUSE/VIOLATION
Following the release of large expanse of land by the Imo state government to the Umuoyirim community, a communal dispute arose around the land. One part of the community interested in the dispute continuously used the police to arrest and detain the other faction, leading to threat to life and security of the leaders and youths of the community. Specifically, on 11 July 2010, policemen at SARS Owerri arrested and detained for 3 days without charge one of the community’s youth leaders, Onyechere Anukanu.

6.    APPROPRIETE CAUSE OF ACTION:
•    Police in Imo State to refrain from being involved in civil or community disputes
•    Police should arrest and prosecute those who write petition and seek to use the police to settle civil or community dispute, for the offence of giving false information to the police.

7.    AUTHORITY TO COMPLAIN TO:
Commissioner of Police, Imo State

8.    POSSIBLE REMEDY(IES) FOR VICTIM(S)
Apology for unlawful arrests and detention

9.    APPROPRIATE SANCTION(S) FOR PERPETRATOR(S)
•    Investigation and discipline of policemen who arrest victims on purely civil disputes
•    Arrest of complainants who give police false information in order to use police to settle civil disputes.

10.    ANY OTHER RECOMMEDATION
Imo State police command should insist that all complaint should be registered in writing at the divisional level where the offence is alleged to have been committed, to reduce the incidence of disputants sending petitions directly to the office of Commissioner of Police, or to SARS, in order to use police high authorities to intimidate or harass their opponents in matters that are purely civil or community dispute.

1.    NAME OF CASE:
Okpo Okoro, electronic/electrical engineering student, Federal Polytechnic Nekede, native of Arochukwu.

2.    NATURE OF THE ABUSE/VIOLATION:
Torture.

3.    VICTIM(S)
•    Okpo Okoro
•    Udoka Nteh
•    Jude Nkerewe

4.    PERPETRATOR(S)
Imo State Police CID, particularly, Inspector Oliver, and CSP Nwagbara

5.    BRIEF ACCOUNT OF ABUSE/VIOLATION
Okpo Okoro was arrested on 10 February 2010 by police CID of Imo state command and Nekede vigilante groups on suspicion of involvement in kidnapping. He was detained for over 6 months in “Crack Squad” cell and CID cell. He is now remanded in prison custody, after he was recently charged to court on holding charge. He was shot in the leg by the police, and the untreated injury has infected his leg.

There are so many similar cases in Imo state where police arrest people on allegation of kidnapping, and extort money from them and those who cannot pay are detained indefinitely.

6.    APPROPRIATE CAUSE OF ACTION:
•    Investigation and possible prosecution of policemen of Imo state CID that arrested, tortured and shot the victims
•    Speedy prosecution of the charge against the victims

7.    AUTHORITY TO COMPLAIN TO:
•    Imo State police command
•    Attorney General of Imo State

8.    POSSIBLE REMEDY(IES) FOR VICTIM(S)
•    Speedy prosecution
•    Medical treatment of the victims for gunshot wounds
•    Compensation for torture and unlawful detention

9.    APPROPRIATE SANCTION(S) FOR PERPETRATOR(S)
Investigation and possible discipline of perpetrators
10.    ANY OTHER RECOMMEDATION

1.    NAME OF CASE:
Jasper Okereke (deceased),

2.    NATURE OF THE ABUSE/VIOLATION:
Summary execution, police extortion, improper investigation.

3.    VICTIM(S)
Jasper Okereke (deceased), 3rd year pharmacy student, University of Nigeria Nsukka.

4.    PERPETRATOR(S)
•    Group of 11 persons who were indebted to the deceased and conspired and killed him.
•    DSP Elijah of homicide section, CID Enugu for improper investigation.

5.    BRIEF ACCOUNT OF ABUSE/VIOLATION
On 21 March 2010 at Ede Obala, Nsukka the deceased was invited by a group that owed him money. The deceased was a pharmacy student at UNN but also runs a private micro finance business through which he lent money to the group to their purchase of motorcycle that they used as commercial motorcyclists. After the murder was reported to the police, all the 11 persons were arrested by police but immediately released. As a result of petition by deceased family, the suspects were charged to magistrate court for murder on 28th April 2010 and remanded in prison custody while legal advice of DPP is awaited. The police deliberately carried out sloppy investigation in the matter. DSP Elijah demanded N350, 000 before suspects’ statement could be taken and autopsy conducted. He was offered N150, 000 but he refused. The autopsy could not be conducted because the family could not pay the bribe demanded by the policeman for the autopsy. There is therefore no evidence of cause of death in the case file, an important element in prosecution’s proof of case of murder. The deceased corpse is still in the mortuary. For absence of autopsy, the DPP Enugu advised that 9 of the suspects had no case to answer, and 2 of them who confessed in their statements that they participated in the killing were said to have cases to answer based on their written confessions. Despite the earlier legal opinion, the Attorney General of Enugu state issued authority for the entire 11 persons to be discharged one week after they were charged to court for trial on 5th May 2010. The police are influenced by political interference. The deceased family says the chairman of PDP in Enugu state is from the village of the culprits and therefore interested in ensuring that the accused persons were not prosecuted, and hence the political pressure on the Attorney General to discharge them.

6.    APPROPRIATE CAUSE OF ACTION:
•    Police in Enugu state to conduct proper investigation in the matter, conduct autopsy to determine cause of death, and obtain statements from the accused persons, etc.

•    The attorney general of Enugu state to de-politicize the case and issue legal advice in consonance with the facts and evidence in the case.

7.    AUTHORITY TO COMPLAIN TO:
•    Inspector General of Police,
•    Commissioner of Police, Enugu state
•    The Attorney General of Enugu
•    Governor of Enugu State

8.    POSSIBLE REMEDY(IES) FOR VICTIM(S)
•    Conduct proper investigation and prosecute the suspects.
•    Transfer case file to another police team for proper investigation and prosecution of the suspects.

9.    APPROPRIEAE SANCTION(S) FOR PERPETRATOR(S)
Police authorities to investigate the shoddy investigation by the Enugu state CID in the case, and demand explanation from those involved.

10.    ANY OTHER RECOMMEDATION

The police in all the state commands in south east Nigeria confirmed they have difficulties in carrying out autopsy in homicide investigations unless the families of the deceased or of the suspect pay for it. Since there are few police doctors, the police use the state government hospitals but the doctors (pathologists) in these hospitals charge money to carry out autopsy and unless the families are able to pay, it is difficult to conduct autopsy. As a result, in many cases, there are no autopsy conducted, leading to absence of essential evidence for proof of charge of murder. The average amount demanded by government pathologists is N50, 000 in most states. These are unofficial (bribe) payments to the doctors.

Police authorities have to find a way to ensure that police criminal departments take responsibility and pay for autopsy rather than passing the responsibility to the victims or families of the deceased.

The government hospitals should conduct autopsy without the doctors charging or extorting money from the victims. It should be part of their daily duties.

Political office holders must desist from interfering with police investigation and prosecution of criminal cases and in this case, the Chairman of PDP in Enugu state must allow the rule of law to prevail.

Attorneys General of the various states must realize that they are first and foremost legal practitioners subject to the code of conduct for legal practitioners and so, must uphold the rule of law even when holding political offices.

1.    NAME OF CASE:
Late Mrs. Ijeoma Owuamalam

2.    NATURE OF THE ABUSE/VIOLATION:
Summary execution and shoddy investigation of the case by Imo State police.

3.    VICTIM(S)
•    Late Mrs. Ijeoma Owuamalam
•    Mrs. Chinyere Eke, of Ezeowa, Emekuku, mother of the deceased
•    Mr. Ikechukwu Owuamalam, Irete Owerri West LG, husband of deceased

4.    PERPETRATOR(S)
Chibueze Okorie alias Biggy and his gang including Darlington Ujah, and “Stone”.

5.    BRIEF ACCOUNT OF ABUSE/VIOLATION
Late Ijeoma Owuamalam, carrying 3 months old pregnancy, was on 24th may 2010 on her way to her shop at Emekuku at about 6am was attacked by a group of unknown 3 persons with broken bottles and butchers knife. They inflicted severe injuries including slashing her throat and lower abdomen leading to her bleeding to death. There were eyewitnesses, including one Mr. Nwaba. The police of Owerri Urban Police division initial investigation resulted in arrest of some of the assailants including Chibueze Okorie alias Biggie, and Darlington. Case was transferred to state CID, and all the suspects arrested and transferred by Owerri Urban police station were released. The mother of the deceased, Mrs. Eke, had to pay policemen at State CID a bribe of N50, 000 before they could start investigation, and the case was later transferred to the “Crack Squad” and the mother again paid another bribe of N50, 000 to Crack Squad policemen to open investigation. She was also made to pay N60, 000 to the pathologist at the government hospital (Federal Medical Center) before they could carry out autopsy. Being a very poor widow, she had to sell all her personal properties to be able to pay the bribes to the policemen and the doctors.

The police have not arrested all those involved in the case, and have not interviewed the eyewitnesses even though these people are available and well known in the area. None of those arrested has been charged to court. Police informed the family that they sent the file to DPP’s office for legal advice, without first charging them to court. This procedure is wrong under Imo State Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Laws and is usually intended to lead to release of the suspects without prosecution.

The IPO at “crack squad” who was receiving the bribes on behalf of the others is Oliver.

6.    APPROPRIATE CAUSE OF ACTION:
•    Proper investigation and prosecution of the case by the Imo State Police
•    Police to ensure that the matter is charged to court after proper investigation.

•    Investigation of the policemen at Imo State CID and “Crack squad” who collected bribe of N50,000 each from the family of the deceased, and also the pathologist at Federal Medical Center who collected bribe of N60,000 to carry out autopsy, and full refund of the said sums to the families.

•    Investigation and discipline of all policemen and doctors involved in the bribery and shoddy investigation.

NB: At the tribunal, the Imo State PPRO undertook to take up the matter to find out what happened in police investigation and the state of the case, and report to the complainant, including the allegation of extortion by the police and also extortion at the hospital for autopsy.

7.    AUTHORITY TO COMPLAIN TO:
•    Imo State Commissioner of Police
•    Medical Director, Federal Medical Center, Owerri.
•    AIG Zone 9, Umuahia
•    IGP

8.    POSSIBLE REMEDY(IES) FOR VICTIM(S)
Pay compensation to the family of the deceased

9.    APPROPRIATE SANCTION(S) FOR PERPETRATOR(S)
•    Proper investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the gruesome murder of deceased
•    Investigation and prosecution of policemen responsible for improper investigation and taking of bribe/gratification.
•    Recovery from the police personnel involved of the various sums of money extorted from the victim, and returning same to the victim

10.    ANY OTHER RECOMMEDATION
The Imo State Police command should enter into memorandum of understanding with the Federal Medical Center and other government hospitals in the state to ensure that autopsy are conducted without the doctors or hospital staff extorting money from the victims. If the victims who have lost loved ones had to pay bribes to have their case investigated including autopsy, it is very cruel and inhuman treatment because it leads to secondary traumatization.

The police authorities must ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous crime do not go unpunished.

1.    NAME OF CASE:
Ikechukwu Iriaka, commercial motorcyclist.

2.    NATURE OF THE ABUSE/VIOLATION:
Torture, attempted extra judicial killing

3.    VICTIM(S)
Ikechukwu Iriaka

4.    PERPETRATOR(S)
Policemen from Umuguma police station, in particular, Samuel Ulanma, ThankGod, “Iyan”, Paul Henry, Samuel, surnames unknown to the victim. Samuel was the policeman that shot the victim several times.

5.    BRIEF ACCOUNT OF ABUSE/VIOLATION
On 30 July 2008 Police at Umuguma demanded bribe from the victim but he refused to give. So they seized his motorcycle. They refused to release the bike when he went to the station. Then weeks later, he accosted one of the policemen and demanded for his bike. They started fighting. His fellow policemen in the area declared him wanted for fighting a policeman. About 10 policemen accosted him and beat him severely. As the others held him, one of them Samuel Ulanma shot him in the stomach and his intestine gushed out. As he held one of them, that other policeman shot him on the hip. They thought he had died; they left him in the bush. He crawled to the road. One Major Gen Ogbona (Rtd.), behind whose house the incident took place asked his boys to go and check the source of the gun shot when he heard sound of gunshot. Those sent found the victim and Major Gen Ogbona (Rtd.) called SARS who came and took the victim to the hospital. One of the policemen that shot him, ThankGod, called one of the SARS policemen that they should not allow him to be alive. So SARS team did not take him to the hospital but took him to the State CID and dumped him there so he would die there. One policeman who was his IPO in the motorcycle case, Victor Nmeziegbulam saw him dumped and bleeding at State CID, and arranged to take him to Federal Medical Center Owerri, where he was admitted and treated for 4 months, and later went to a private hospital, Ugochukwu hospital, for more treatment. Despite reporting to police, none of the policemen who shot him has been arrested and prosecuted. Human Right and Legit Group, an NGO intervened and wrote petition on his behalf for justice against the policemen who shot him. The lawyer hired by the family, also wrote a petition but the police did not take any action. When the family went to zone 9 Umuahia to complain, the police demanded N50, 000 for them to investigate the matter. They could not afford the money and later a petition was sent to IGP who has referred the petition to Imo police command for investigation, yet no arrest had been affected. In fact, those policemen have all been promoted. The person, who shot him, Samuel Ulanma, was an Inspector at the time, but he is now an ASP and still serving in Umuguma police division, going about freely with arms as if nothing happened. The man admitted before the 2ic at state CID that he shot the victim, and was referred to Provost of the state command, but the Provost did not do anything.

6.    APPROPRIATE CAUSE OF ACTION:
•    Investigate and prosecute the policemen who shot the victim, especially ASP Samuel Ulanma and his group.
•    Compensation for victim for loss of income as he has been disabled from the shooting.
•    Damages for medical expenses and trauma suffered.
•    More medical treatment for the victim.

7.    AUTHORITY TO COMPLAIN TO:
•    Imo State Police command
•    Court action for compensation
•    Inspector General of Police

8.    POSSIBLE REMEDY(IES) FOR VICTIM(S)
•    Payment of compensation for his medical treatment, and injury suffered
•    Proper medical treatment

9.    APPROPRIATE SANCTION(S) FOR PERPETRATOR(S)
Investigation and prosecution on the perpetrators
Proper disciple of all policemen involved in the case of including dismissal from service

10.    ANY OTHER RECOMMEDATION
The victim needs urgent medical attention because the stomach is still protruding with the intestine and the naval area has not fully healed. The victims also feel pains each time he stood for over 10 munities or talks for a long time.

The police authorities should undertake urgent medical treatment of the victims before it is too late.

1.    NAME OF CASE:
Samuel Nwobu

2.    NATURE OF THE ABUSE/VIOLATION:
Torture

3.    VICTIM(S)
Samuel Nwobu

4.    PERPETRATOR(S)
•    SARS, Awkuzu police station, Anambra State police command
•    CSP John Amadi, the OC SARS Awkuzu

5.    BRIEF ACCOUNT OF ABUSE/VIOLATION
On September 20 2008, the victim was in his village in Omor, Anyamelum LG, Anambra state, by 3am, police came to his house, and accused him that he was seen with one police suspect in his vehicle earlier in the day. In the morning of the next day, they took the victim to Awkuzu police station SARS. They tied his two hands with rubber. After 7 hours his hands were frozen, and they then tied his hand behind his back and put block and hung him upside down. After 2 hours they brought him down and took him to a place for a statement and asked him to sign a prepared statement. The policeman who led the team was CSP John Amadi, the OC SARS at Awkuzu. He told them that he could not sign the statement. They told him they would kill him if he did not sign the statement, and he then signed it out of fear. He was detained for 2 months. Then later, one Monday morning, they took him and 10 other robbery suspects from Awkuzu to Abuja Force headquarters. While the other suspects were taken inside to see the IGP, the policemen who brought him kept him back, and later when those other suspects came out, they joined the victim with them to parade them before the media as robbery suspects.

They later returned to Awkuzu and police demanded bribe from him before he would be released. They knew from the beginning that he was not an armed robber and that was why they refused to let him see the IGP with the other suspects. They extorted N420, 000 from him before he was released, after 4 months in detention. The victim made the payments through one Samuel, a policeman in SARS Awkuzu. Any person who visited him had to pay between N1000 and N3500 before they would see him while in detention.

6.    APPROPRIATE CAUSE OF ACTION:
•    Investigate and disciple, and prosecute policemen in SARS Awkuzu,
•    Investigate all policemen involved in the bribery and extortion of the victim
•    Refund of all money extorted from the victim
•    Payment of compensation for unlawful detention of the victim
•    Apology and media retraction of the parading of the victim with other robbery suspects.

7.    AUTHORITY TO COMPLAIN TO:
•    Anambra state Police Command
•    IGP

8.    POSSIBLE REMEDY(IES) FOR VICTIM(S)
•    Payment of compensation
•    Refund of the bribe paid
•    Apology and retraction of publicity of his parade as robbery suspect

9.    APPROPRIATE SANCTION(S) FOR PERPETRATOR(S)
•    Investigate and prosecute all policemen involved in the violation
•    Return of all money extorted from the victim

10.    ANY OTHER RECOMMEDATION
IGP should reorganized SARS operations in the south east and take measures to reduce cases of extortion by anti robbery operatives.

1.    NAME OF CASE:
Late ASP Boniface Ukwa,

2.    NATURE OF THE ABUSE/VIOLATION:
Extra judicial killing

3.    VICTIM(S)
ASP Boniface Ukwa
Interested groups: Knights of St John, and Nsukka Professionals.

4.    PERPETRATOR(S)
Policemen at Independence Layout Police Station including the DPO, CSP Wilson Akpan

5.    BRIEF ACCOUNT OF ABUSE/VIOLATION
On June 20, 2010 ASP Ukwa, a senior police officer in charge of armoury at Enugu state command was shot dead at a check point mounted by policemen of Independence Layout Police Station in Enugu. He was shot on the leg at the check point, and having realized that he was a policeman, they took him to the DPO of Independence Layout police division, CSP Wilson Akpan, who asked the team to take him away and “finish him”. The DPO reported that he was killed in a shoot-out with kidnappers who earlier that day abducted someone at No 3 Nnobi Street, Enugu. His body was later deposited in the teaching hospital mortuary and tagged “unknown kidnapper” even though he was a well known police officer and identified by all the policemen involved including the DPO. It was reported that he had a dispute with the DPO previously in relation to accommodation quarters. The police command later arrested 9 of the policemen who were at the road block who shot the victim, but CSP Akpan who authorized the killing was not arrested and he is now posted to protocol as the Provost of the Enugu State police command.

The following recommendations were made by police in Enugu after its investigation:

There was a case of kidnapping in No 3 Nnobi Street, and there was no shooting when the police went there. So the claim of the policemen that there was a shoot out following the kidnapping that involved the deceased was not true. Despite the fact that he was identified as a senior police officer, the Independence Layout police station still tagged him unidentified kidnapper. The report of the investigation did not mention DPO Akpan, though the report said one of the suspects stated that their superior told them to maintain a uniform statement.

6.    APPROPRIATE CAUSE OF ACTION:
•    All the policemen who killed or authorized the killing of the victim should be investigated and  prosecuted in court
•    Pay compensation to the families
•    Police undertake to train all the children of the deceased: 6 children, aged between 29 and 9 years.

7.    AUTHORITY TO COMPLAIN TO:
•    Enugu State police command
•    IGP

8.    POSSIBLE REMEDY(IES) FOR VICTIM(S)
•    Compensation to families of victim
•    Police undertake to train children of the victim

9.    APPROPRIATE SANCTION(S) FOR PERPETRATOR(S)
-    Investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators
-    Arrest and prosecution of DPO Wilson Akpan
-    Dismissal of policemen involved in the killing

10.    ANY OTHER RECOMMEDATION:
•    The police authorities must take the issue of human rights abuse very seriously and take urgent steps to curb it.  The tribunal views as unfortunate the inability of the commissioners of police of Enugu and Anambra states in sending representations to the tribunal sittings despite the invitations given to them.

1.    NAME OF CASE:
Ms Steiner Opara,

2.    NATURE OF THE ABUSE/VIOLATION:
Torture and police brutality

3.    VICTIM(S)
Ms Steiner Opara

4.    PERPETRATOR(S)
Constable Chinenye Nwigwe and one other female Constable

5.    BRIEF ACCOUNT OF ABUSE/VIOLATION
On 27 June 2009, a beauty pageant was held in Owerri and the victim emerged as the winner of the African queen beauty contest. On 12 December 2009, along Okigwe Road, at Rochas Plaza junction, she was driving in congested traffic and as she joined the main lane, a police constable Chinenye Nwigwe of Shell Camp police station accosted her. When she approached the roundabout, the constable asked another constable to enter her car, and she parked and pleaded with her that her car was overheating and she did not cause any traffic obstruction. The constable insisted that she should drive down to the station. She drove towards the station and stopped.  Other policemen arrived and the constable lied to them that she caused traffic obstruction. The constable seized her car key and as she asked the constable to return her key, the constable hit her several times with wooden batten, blood was gushing out and her face and body covered with blood. The constable and another policeman still took her to the Shell Camp police station and after many hours, she was taken to the hospital after she called her lawyer who then came to the police station. She was treated at the Federal Medical Center but the wound left a scare on her face.

The police later locked up the 2 constables that caused the injury.  After the incident was published in a newspaper, National Question, one of the constables threatened her life. The constables still work as if nothing had happened. The journalist who published the story, Mr. Ejike Ogbonna, of National Question, was attacked by unknown gunmen and they took away the victim’s recorded tape of the incident.

The victim lost modeling contract worth over 5 million as a result of the scar on her face. The constables who inflicted the injury on her have not been disciplined.

6.    APPROPRIEAE CAUSE OF ACTION:
•    Disciplinary action against the 2 constables who inflicted the injury on her
•    Compensation to the victim for injury, loss of income as a model.

7.    AUTHORITY TO COMPLAIN TO:
•    Imo State police command
•    Imo state public complaint bureau
•    Civil action in court for compensation

8.    POSSIBLE REMEDY(IES) FOR VICTIM(S)
Payment of compensation for violation, medical treatment and associated expenses
Payment of damages for loss of income

9.    APPROPRIATE SANCTION(S) FOR PERPETRATOR(S)
Investigation and discipline of the Constable Chinenye Nwigwe
Prosecution for assault occasioning harm against the police men and abuse of office

10.    ANY OTHER RECOMMEDATION
•    Commissioners of police to ensure that human rights abuses abate in their various jurisdictions as the incidents are assuming alarming dimensions and embarrassing to Nigeria at fifty.
 

 

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