NOPRIN is a network of 46 civil society organisations spread across Nigeria and committed to promoting police accountability and respect for human rights. It was set up in 2000 to provide opportunity for civil society input to police reform and the enhancement of safety, security and justice.

NOPRIN is constrained to write you this open letter and to use its medium to express the utter shock of its network members over the continued unlawful, arbitrary and unjustifiable detention of Chief Bonaventure Mokwe at the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), Awkuzu, Anambra State since August 1, 2013 despite irrefutable evidence that the allegation over which he was arrested and being indefinitely detained is clearly fabricated and malicious.

You will recall that the police arrested Chief Bonaventure Mokwe after a stage-managed police search of his UPPER CLASS HOTEL in Onitsha on  August 1,  2013 and the ‘recovery’ of incriminating objects, including two old dry human skulls, two AK47 riffles and some ammunition, as well as a military cap.

The police also arrested 10 of his hotel workers, including Mr. Justin Nwankwo a PhD student at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University who works in the hotel to earn income to pay for his academic program.

The police then proceeded to the Anambra State Ministry of Justice, Onitsha where Chief Mokwe’s wife- Mrs. Nkiru Mokwe, a lawyer, works as a Chief State Counsel and also arrested her.

Chief Mokwe and his wife were brought back in handcuffs, left in a police vehicle parked opposite his hotel and made to watch as the hotel was pulled down to rubbles on your orders and under your personal supervision.

Recall that you ordered the demolition of the hotel without any prior investigation to ascertain the veracity and credibility of the information you and the police claimed to have received that Chief Mokwe is a ‘ritualist’.

You carried out the demolition with the aid of your security details and a large number of Onitsha youths whose leader has now been identified as the kingpin in the set up plot against Chief Mokwe.

Prior to the demolition, some police officers had watched as a mob of youth invaded, vandalised and robbed several shops belonging to Chief Mokwe's tenants in his Plaza located beside the hotel.

In our earlier reaction to this sad incident, we already stated and hereby restate that your hasty ordering of the demolition of the hotel based on unverified allegations and under the pretext of fighting crimes in the state subverted the due process. It was an affront on the rule of law and offensive to civilised democratic governance.

We further stated that even if investigation were to confirm the allegations to be true, your action would still be arbitrary, prejudicial, reckless and unlawful because as governor, you have no powers or authority under any Nigerian law to confiscate or order the demolition of any citizen’s property without a valid court order, unless we have to accept that Anambra State under you has turned into a jungle.

It is in this context that we find it extremely saddening that eventually-and as the Mokwes have consistently maintained, Chief Mokwe was framed up by some businessmen acting for themselves and on behalf of some powerful people in authority in Anambra State who see him as a rival, and whose identities have now been fully unravelled.

We are shocked that the police continue to hold Chief Mokwe in unlawful and prolonged detention despite the lack of any shred of evidence to substantiate the allegation against him, and despite the unravelling of the identities of the people involved in the frame up.

The man who lodged and planted the incriminating objects in room 102 of Upper Class Hotel and went away with the room key has been identified as one Mr. Olisa Egbuchiem who checked into the room under the disguised identity of John Obi. His father is said to be in the mortuary business for several years.

Also identified as the chief plotter is one Mr. Ayadi Mba who contracted Mr. Olisa Egbuchiem to plant the incriminating objects in the room. Many others who played various roles in the whole set up have also been identified.      

It is worthy of note that prior to Chief Mokwe' arrest and the demolition of his hotel, he had written petitions to the police and  the Obi of Onitsha alerting them of the invasion of his Plaza/Park by some armed youths led by the self-same Mr. Ayadi Mba. Mr. Ayadi Mba was said to have assaulted, injured and dispossessed traders at the Plaza and also collected at gun point all the money generated from the day's business from the Plaza caretakers.

Chief Mokwe had on several other occasions alerted the police and traditional authorities in the state about persistent threats by this same man and his gang, but no action was taken by either the police or traditional authorities before this frame up leading to his current ordeal.

In all the cases of threat and attack which Chief Mokwe reported to the police and to the Obi of Onitsha, the same group of youths from Umudei village in Onitsha were involved. They were on all ocassions led by Mr. Ayadi Mba who also hails from Umudei village.

Following the incessant threats, harassment and attacks by this same Mr. Ayadi Mba on the life and business of Chief Mokwe, and the failure and neglect by the police and the Obi of Onitsha to respond to his written complaints, he approached the court and obtained a court order restraining Mr. Ayadi Mba and a police officer whom he was using to harass drivers in his Park. The Court issued restraining Orders which were served on Mr. Ayadi Mba, the aforementioned police officer and the Commissioner of Police, Anambra. A copy of the Order was also sent to the Obi of Onitsha through his palace secretary, by one Mr. Dubem Chude. With this Court Order, Anyamelum bus drivers started loading at Chief Mokwe's park.

Rather than being restrained by the Court Order, Mr. Ayadi Mba became more determined in his excesses culminating in his hatching the frame up  plot which saw him and others planting incriminating objects on Chief Mokwe with the intent to use the police to eliminate him in custody.

Despite several petitions by Chief Mokwe's lawyers informing the Police authorities in Anambra about the criminal activities of Mr. Ayadi Mba and his cohorts, and linking them with the planting of the objects at the hotel, the police are yet to arrest them or commence investigations into the complaints against them.

Dear Governor Obi, it is over  three months now  since a man who is entitled, under the due process of the law,  to be presumed innocent, has been held in police custody without being charged to court and without any court order warranting his continued detention. And this is even despite the fact that his innocence has been established.

In their defence in the suit filed by Chief Mokwe at an Onitsha High Court for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights, police tendered written Statements credited to Chief Mokwe and his co-detained workers implicating them. However, they collectively disown all the statements credited to them as they are outright fabrications.

The desperation to nail Chief Mokwe is illustrated by this narrative by Chief Mokwe himself: 'Few days after I was sent to Awkuzu SARS, I was called up one morning along with a team of policemen who took me to Nkwelle Ezunaka Area to an expanse of land that was fenced, mistakenly believed to belong to me and an old decayed dead body covered with brand new waterproof was exhumed inside the fenced land. Depth of the grave was shovel length. The intention of the plotters was to place the dead body on any of my lands but I thank God that fortunately they placed it on another person’s land. My picture was taken with the body. The owner of the very land was not contacted for any information whatsoever. The person that lodged in the Room 102, Mr. Olisa Egbuchiem knows the source of all these dead body and old human skulls.'

We understand that part of the original plan was to eliminate Chief Mokwe in police custody and then malign him in death with the false allegation of being a ‘ritualist’; this will create the leeway for the masterminds of the evil plot to take over his property. However, this plot was foiled by the early alert sent out by NOPRIN and others.

Seriously concerned about the condition and safety of Chief Mokwe in SARS custody, NOPRIN made a telephone call to the O/C SARS, Awka- CSP Nwafor who assured that Chief Mokwe was alive and well. NOPRIN later sent communications to the Inspector General of Police pointing out the illegality of the actions of Governor Obi and the police in Anambra. We have not received any further feedback after the IGP forwarded NOPRIN's petition to the CP Anambra.

We are also informed that the reason the police have been unable to charge Chief Mokwe to court is because they found no evidence to prosecute him. They found out the truth about this whole shocking episode.

However, we are further informed that there is a concern that if Chief Mokwe is released, he will reveal the shocking details of how he was framed up and all those involved, thus highlighting the lack of any justification for, and the irrationality of, Governor Obi’s role in this scandalous episode.

To save Governor Obi this embarrassment, it has therefore been deemed necessary that Chief Mokwe has to be continually held in unlawful custody. The liberty and dignity of an innocent man have to be sacrificed on the altar of Governor Obi's personal ego and the consideration of his self preservation. 

We are informed that in furtherance of this higher consideration of Governor Obi’s self-preservation and to save him a self-inflicted embarrassment, the police are under pressure to frame charges against Chief Mokwe, arraign and have him remanded in prison custody. The scheme is to consign him to rot for a longer period in custody- perhaps until Governor Obi leaves office, so that Chief Mokwe will not have the opportunity and space to reveal the truth and to pursue a legal action against the Governor for his illegal, criminal and barbaric action of demolition of his property.

It has become necessary that the police disclose the identity of the person who gave them information about the human skulls and other incriminating objects purportedly found in Chief Mokwe’s hotel. It is also necessary that the police disclose those behind the burying of a dead body on a piece of and mistaken to belong to Chief Mokwe. 

It is an unjustifiable act of wickedness to continue to detain a man more than three months after he was arrested over a fantom crime. Why should people in authority partake in or acquiesce to punishing a man unjustly? Why should a man's business be destroyed to settle scores? Why should a whole family, dependants and employees be denied the presence and responsibilities of their bread winner and employer?

Dear Governor Obi, NOPRIN challenges you to demonstrate courage to face the truth and allow justice to prevail in this matter. Chief Mokwe should be released without further delay and the injustice of the unjustified demolition and/or confiscation of his property redressed.

The Nigeria Police and Governor Peter Obi must, as the law requires of them in such circumstance, apologise to and compensate Chief Bonaventure Mokwe for unlawfully detaining him, violating his human dignity and destroying his means of livelihood.

We call for the arrest and prosecution of all those found to be responsible for or involved in this wicked act of frame up and causing untold suffering to an innocent man.

 

Okechukwu Nwanguma

Program Coordinator

NOPRIN

08064974531

 

 

 

 

 

 

FACTS BEHIND THE INCIDENT AT UPPER CLASS HOTEL ONITSHA ON THE 1ST DAY OF AUGUST 2013 BY CHIEF BONAVENTURE C. MOKWE.

 

Three to four months prior to the 1st day of August 2013, I was in a hotel at Lagos when I received two phone calls from Onitsha. One was from Mr. Agbaigwe, my plaza and park caretaker, and the other was from Mr. Nnoruka, the person who rented the park. They uniformly told me that the plaza/ park was invaded by Onitsha youths led by one Mr. Ayadi Mba, and some occupants of the plaza sustained injuries and equally lost their phones, Mr. Agbaigwe also told me that Mr. Ayadi collected all the days earnings up to that point and that was on gun point.

I rushed back to Onitsha some days later and I was briefed first-hand on the incident. It turned out that Anyamelu bus divers opted out of Ose Market Park controlled by Onitsha youths led by Mr. Ayadi Mba and moved into my own park after negotiating with Mr. Nnoruka. I promptly wrote a letter to the Palace Secretary of Obi of Onitsha and equally copied the letter to the Obi of Onitsha, seeking to know their reactions to the incident. When I waited for two weeks and got no reaction, I then wrote the letter directly to the Obi of Onitsha and equally copied it to the Palace Secretary. To ensure that the letter will reach the Obi of Onitsha, I sent one Mr. Dubem Chude with a copy of the letter which he delivered at his GRA, Onitsha residence.

Still unable to get any response, then I wrote to the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State and it was subsequently minuted to the Area Command Onitsha and it was assigned to Inspector Dike at the S.I.B Section. He took the statements from Mr. Agbaigwe and Mr. Nnoruka. He is in a better position to explain why he stopped at that point.

A month or two later, I summoned a meeting between myself, Anyamelu drivers, their lawyer, Mr. Nnoruka and Mr. Agbaigwe. In the meeting, we resolved to go to court and hopefully obtain a court order against Mr. Ayadi Mba and a police officer he uses as a means, and we promptly served Mr. Ayadi Mba, the afore-mentioned police officer and the commissioner of Police. Same was sent to the palace secretary by Mr. Dubem Chude. Having done all these, Anyamelum bus drivers started loading at my park. Little did I know that that was the beginning of this present mess. Warnings came from all directions by Onitsha youths of the Umudei village floor. Mr. Ayadi Mba is from Umudei Village in Onitsha.

I took precaution by the way of personal safety. I never imagined that the threat will materialize in the direction that it did. On the very 1st day of August, 2013, I arrived at my office before 7am, due to a land transaction I had to complete. Minutes later a multitude of police officers surrounded my hotel while some trooped inside the premises. I was speechless as I headed towards my office entrance. Some police officers have already gotten to the 1st floor and that’s where my office is located.

I introduced myself and was able to identify some police officers that I know. It relaxed me a little but not for long.

The leader of the team informed me of a search warrant which was shown to me and I felt dumbfounded with all the allegations against me but at the same time I was confident that nothing criminal will be found contrary to what has been said, my office was not searched with any kind of seriousness. While one Inspector Okwo was pretending to be searching my office, I overheard a police officer who briefly showed his face in my office ask “Where is Room 102?” It didn’t mean anything to me until later. I left Inspector Okwo alone in my office and came to the 1st floor passage and observed that all the officers were standing in front of Room 102 and the door was locked.

The hotel manager was there and so was the cleaner. I asked the manager where the key to the room was, and he told me that the room was sold to a guest yesterday and that he, the guest, locked the room and left with the key. The receptionist came up with the duplicate copy of the receipt that was issued to the guest including the daily lodging manifest which every hotel submits to the police every morning. The manifest also reflected that the room was sold to a guest under the name of John Obi as in the receipt. The cleaner also told the police that she had earlier come to clean the room but the check-out time being 12 noon, she left to clean other rooms. The policemen then broke down the door and made their entrance. I saw a suitcase with polyethene lining as insulator. It was open. I also saw two water-proofs of smaller sizes on top of the bed.

One of the police officers opened the wardrobe and brought out a sack like bag and opened it, and behold two AK47s, two magazine rounds and two very old skulls in the bag. I was immediately handcuffed and taken to the building veranda where they placed the exhibits and took my pictures with the exhibits. The suitcase with which the unknown guest brought the exhibits with was not displayed or photographed. Pictures of exactly where the exhibits where seen where not taken. I, being the target, have been gotten. No attempt was made to hear out the hotel receptionist who kept saying loud and clear that the guest was a native of Onitsha and equally gave a distinct description of the guest. The police completely ignored the obvious fact that the guest that stayed in the very Room 102 holds the key to where the guns and old human skulls came from. Who sent him to do what he did? Till date no attention has been paid in that direction. The storage rooms in the hotel were not searched at the end of the day, I was taken to Area Command Onitsha along with my hotel staff where I was subjected to unquantifiable humiliation and emotional torture. Thank God for my strength of character and the person I am, I would have died in the first three days of the incident.

The guest that stayed in Room 102 knows where he got the old human skulls from. His real identity is now known as Mr. Olisa Egbuchiem.

Few days after I was sent to Awkuzu SARS, I was called up one morning along with a team of policemen who took me to Nkwelle Ezunaka Area to an expanse of land that was fenced, mistakenly believed to belong to me and an old decayed dead body covered with brand new waterproof was exhumed inside the fenced land. Depth of the grave was shovel length. The intention of the plotters was to place the dead body on any of my lands but I thank God that fortunately they placed it on another person’s land. My picture was taken with the body. The owner of the very land was not contacted for any information whatsoever. The person that lodged in the Room 102, Mr. Olisa Egbuchiem knows the source of all these dead body and old human skulls.

Now Mr. Ayadi Mba, whom as I said earlier was fighting over Anyamelu drivers with me, hails from Umudei village, Onitsha. The elusive guest that paid for and stayed in the Room 102 of Upper Class Hotel Onitsha, who locked it and went away with the key to enable police discovery of the atrocity is one Mr. Olisa Egbuchiem alias Dimkpa of Umudei Village Onitsha. Mr Ody alias Ekenweofia from Umudei village Onitsha was a principal participant in the whole set-up. Mr. Arinze Chukwurah Agazi is from Umudei Village Onitsha was the second in command in the plot. He handled the cash payment. It ought to be noted that the father of Mr. Ayadi Mba has been in the mortuary business for years. That means a lot as far as this heartless incident is concerned. Other co-plotters who played roles in the heartless setup are as follows:

i. Ogwashi also called Oyibo. Native of Onitsha and works for Mr. Ayadi Mba.

ii. Owalli, works for Mr. Ayadi Mba. Native of Onitsha.

iii. Connell, works for Mr. Ayadi Mba. Also a native of Onitsha.

iv. Ejima, also works for Mr. Ayadi Mba. A native of Onitsha.

 

Investigation of all listed persons phone usage two weeks before August 1st 2013 and two weeks after will lay to rest all suspicions. Information has it that Mr Olisa Egbuchiem is using the money he was paid to put up a structure.

I challenge Onitsha Area Command to make public their informant including his phone number. A relationship will be found that exists between him and the names I afore-mentioned.

The local police hands are tied, having found out that I have no case to answer but releasing me without any case leverage for the State Government will ridicule and equally make it abundantly clear that the State Government acted recklessly and hence my continued detention. I hereby solicit for the general public to raise their voices to enable my release from detention as I did nothing whatsoever. Till the statement purported to have been made by me and my staff annexed by the police in defence of a brief filed by my lawyer is not worth the paper they were written on. It was all in a torture guided tailored-made statement intended to legitimize the unguided acts of the State Government. How can a prolific writer such as me allow my pattern to be written for me in a matter of such nature and signed with my thumbprint as an illiterate? My thumbprint was forced on the forgery the police called my statement.

A comprehensive petition detailing the people that set up this whole mess, including the name of the elusive lodger that stayed in the Room 102 has been sent to the Commissioner of Police Anambra State. And absolutely nothing has been done till date for the simple reason that apprehending the perpetrators will leave Anambra State Government starring at itself inflicted liability sooner or later, it will be reality time.

I am by this factual narration telling the general public that my continued detention has a lot to do with creating leverage for the State Government with respect to their self-inflicted liability in my matter. The public should not and never believe any dubious and criminal fabrication that appears to suggest that I have anything to do with the planted old human skulls and body. Any police statement that appears to ascribe ownership of the old human skulls and body to me is purely to serve the purpose of creating leverage for the State Government. If it originates from an individual, it is either that such a person was subjected to a very high level of torture at the very police station the statement was made or a reward of some sort awaits him or her.

The major reason I continue to remain in detention since the 1st of August 2013 is because the case against me fell flat after due investigation. Releasing me has two consequences. Namely:

I. The police will be accused of taking bribe.

II. The State Government’s very speedy demolition of my hotel tied up their hands.

 

Fishing expedition for evidence of any sort irrespective of how brainless it is, is being looked so that I can be charged to court for anything that will keep me in prison and postpone the inevitable liability facing the State Government.

I have spoken the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Letter to Governor Peter Obi On The Continued Unlawful Detention Of Bonaventure Mokwe At SARS Awkuzu

 

NOPRIN is a network of 46 civil society organisations spread across Nigeria and committed to promoting police accountability and respect for human rights. It was set up in 2000 to provide opportunity for civil society input to police reform and the enhancement of safety, security and justice.

NOPRIN is constrained to write you this open letter and to use its medium to express the utter shock of its network members over the continued unlawful, arbitrary and unjustifiable detention of Chief Bonaventure Mokwe at the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), Awkuzu, Anambra State since August 1, 2013 despite irrefutable evidence that the allegation over which he was arrested and being indefinitely detained is clearly fabricated and malicious.

You will recall that the police arrested Chief Bonaventure Mokwe after a stage-managed police search of his UPPER CLASS HOTEL in Onitsha on  August 1,  2013 and the ‘recovery’ of incriminating objects, including two old dry human skulls, two AK47 riffles and some ammunition, as well as a military cap.

The police also arrested 10 of his hotel workers, including Mr. Justin Nwankwo a PhD student at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University who works in the hotel to earn income to pay for his academic program.

The police then proceeded to the Anambra State Ministry of Justice, Onitsha where Chief Mokwe’s wife- Mrs. Nkiru Mokwe, a lawyer, works as a Chief State Counsel and also arrested her.

Chief Mokwe and his wife were brought back in handcuffs, left in a police vehicle parked opposite his hotel and made to watch as the hotel was pulled down to rubbles on your orders and under your personal supervision.

Recall that you ordered the demolition of the hotel without any prior investigation to ascertain the veracity and credibility of the information you and the police claimed to have received that Chief Mokwe is a ‘ritualist’.

You carried out the demolition with the aid of your security details and a large number of Onitsha youths whose leader has now been identified as the kingpin in the set up plot against Chief Mokwe.

Prior to the demolition, some police officers had watched as a mob of youth invaded, vandalised and robbed several shops belonging to Chief Mokwe's tenants in his Plaza located beside the hotel.

In our earlier reaction to this sad incident, we already stated and hereby restate that your hasty ordering of the demolition of the hotel based on unverified allegations and under the pretext of fighting crimes in the state subverted the due process. It was an affront on the rule of law and offensive to civilised democratic governance.

We further stated that even if investigation were to confirm the allegations to be true, your action would still be arbitrary, prejudicial, reckless and unlawful because as governor, you have no powers or authority under any Nigerian law to confiscate or order the demolition of any citizen’s property without a valid court order, unless we have to accept that Anambra State under you has turned into a jungle.

It is in this context that we find it extremely saddening that eventually-and as the Mokwes have consistently maintained, Chief Mokwe was framed up by some businessmen acting for themselves and on behalf of some powerful people in authority in Anambra State who see him as a rival, and whose identities have now been fully unravelled.

We are shocked that the police continue to hold Chief Mokwe in unlawful and prolonged detention despite the lack of any shred of evidence to substantiate the allegation against him, and despite the unravelling of the identities of the people involved in the frame up.

The man who lodged and planted the incriminating objects in room 102 of Upper Class Hotel and went away with the room key has been identified as one Mr. Olisa Egbuchiem who checked into the room under the disguised identity of John Obi. His father is said to be in the mortuary business for several years.

Also identified as the chief plotter is one Mr. Ayadi Mba who contracted Mr. Olisa Egbuchiem to plant the incriminating objects in the room. Many others who played various roles in the whole set up have also been identified.      

It is worthy of note that prior to Chief Mokwe' arrest and the demolition of his hotel, he had written petitions to the police and  the Obi of Onitsha alerting them of the invasion of his Plaza/Park by some armed youths led by the self-same Mr. Ayadi Mba. Mr. Ayadi Mba was said to have assaulted, injured and dispossessed traders at the Plaza and also collected at gun point all the money generated from the day's business from the Plaza caretakers.

Chief Mokwe had on several other occasions alerted the police and traditional authorities in the state about persistent threats by this same man and his gang, but no action was taken by either the police or traditional authorities before this frame up leading to his current ordeal.

In all the cases of threat and attack which Chief Mokwe reported to the police and to the Obi of Onitsha, the same group of youths from Umudei village in Onitsha were involved. They were on all ocassions led by Mr. Ayadi Mba who also hails from Umudei village.

Following the incessant threats, harassment and attacks by this same Mr. Ayadi Mba on the life and business of Chief Mokwe, and the failure and neglect by the police and the Obi of Onitsha to respond to his written complaints, he approached the court and obtained a court order restraining Mr. Ayadi Mba and a police officer whom he was using to harass drivers in his Park. The Court issued restraining Orders which were served on Mr. Ayadi Mba, the aforementioned police officer and the Commissioner of Police, Anambra. A copy of the Order was also sent to the Obi of Onitsha through his palace secretary, by one Mr. Dubem Chude. With this Court Order, Anyamelum bus drivers started loading at Chief Mokwe's park.

Rather than being restrained by the Court Order, Mr. Ayadi Mba became more determined in his excesses culminating in his hatching the frame up  plot which saw him and others planting incriminating objects on Chief Mokwe with the intent to use the police to eliminate him in custody.

Despite several petitions by Chief Mokwe's lawyers informing the Police authorities in Anambra about the criminal activities of Mr. Ayadi Mba and his cohorts, and linking them with the planting of the objects at the hotel, the police are yet to arrest them or commence investigations into the complaints against them.

Dear Governor Obi, it is over  three months now  since a man who is entitled, under the due process of the law,  to be presumed innocent, has been held in police custody without being charged to court and without any court order warranting his continued detention. And this is even despite the fact that his innocence has been established.

In their defence in the suit filed by Chief Mokwe at an Onitsha High Court for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights, police tendered written Statements credited to Chief Mokwe and his co-detained workers implicating them. However, they collectively disown all the statements credited to them as they are outright fabrications.

The desperation to nail Chief Mokwe is illustrated by this narrative by Chief Mokwe himself: 'Few days after I was sent to Awkuzu SARS, I was called up one morning along with a team of policemen who took me to Nkwelle Ezunaka Area to an expanse of land that was fenced, mistakenly believed to belong to me and an old decayed dead body covered with brand new waterproof was exhumed inside the fenced land. Depth of the grave was shovel length. The intention of the plotters was to place the dead body on any of my lands but I thank God that fortunately they placed it on another person’s land. My picture was taken with the body. The owner of the very land was not contacted for any information whatsoever. The person that lodged in the Room 102, Mr. Olisa Egbuchiem knows the source of all these dead body and old human skulls.'

We understand that part of the original plan was to eliminate Chief Mokwe in police custody and then malign him in death with the false allegation of being a ‘ritualist’; this will create the leeway for the masterminds of the evil plot to take over his property. However, this plot was foiled by the early alert sent out by NOPRIN and others.

Seriously concerned about the condition and safety of Chief Mokwe in SARS custody, NOPRIN made a telephone call to the O/C SARS, Awka- CSP Nwafor who assured that Chief Mokwe was alive and well. NOPRIN later sent communications to the Inspector General of Police pointing out the illegality of the actions of Governor Obi and the police in Anambra. We have not received any further feedback after the IGP forwarded NOPRIN's petition to the CP Anambra.

We are also informed that the reason the police have been unable to charge Chief Mokwe to court is because they found no evidence to prosecute him. They found out the truth about this whole shocking episode.

However, we are further informed that there is a concern that if Chief Mokwe is released, he will reveal the shocking details of how he was framed up and all those involved, thus highlighting the lack of any justification for, and the irrationality of, Governor Obi’s role in this scandalous episode.

To save Governor Obi this embarrassment, it has therefore been deemed necessary that Chief Mokwe has to be continually held in unlawful custody. The liberty and dignity of an innocent man have to be sacrificed on the altar of Governor Obi's personal ego and the consideration of his self preservation. 

We are informed that in furtherance of this higher consideration of Governor Obi’s self-preservation and to save him a self-inflicted embarrassment, the police are under pressure to frame charges against Chief Mokwe, arraign and have him remanded in prison custody. The scheme is to consign him to rot for a longer period in custody- perhaps until Governor Obi leaves office, so that Chief Mokwe will not have the opportunity and space to reveal the truth and to pursue a legal action against the Governor for his illegal, criminal and barbaric action of demolition of his property.

It has become necessary that the police disclose the identity of the person who gave them information about the human skulls and other incriminating objects purportedly found in Chief Mokwe’s hotel. It is also necessary that the police disclose those behind the burying of a dead body on a piece of and mistaken to belong to Chief Mokwe. 

It is an unjustifiable act of wickedness to continue to detain a man more than three months after he was arrested over a fantom crime. Why should people in authority partake in or acquiesce to punishing a man unjustly? Why should a man's business be destroyed to settle scores? Why should a whole family, dependants and employees be denied the presence and responsibilities of their bread winner and employer?

Dear Governor Obi, NOPRIN challenges you to demonstrate courage to face the truth and allow justice to prevail in this matter. Chief Mokwe should be released without further delay and the injustice of the unjustified demolition and/or confiscation of his property redressed.

The Nigeria Police and Governor Peter Obi must, as the law requires of them in such circumstance, apologise to and compensate Chief Bonaventure Mokwe for unlawfully detaining him, violating his human dignity and destroying his means of livelihood.

We call for the arrest and prosecution of all those found to be responsible for or involved in this wicked act of frame up and causing untold suffering to an innocent man.

 

Okechukwu Nwanguma

Program Coordinator

NOPRIN

08064974531

 

 

 

 

 

 

FACTS BEHIND THE INCIDENT AT UPPER CLASS HOTEL ONITSHA ON THE 1ST DAY OF AUGUST 2013 BY CHIEF BONAVENTURE C. MOKWE.

 

Three to four months prior to the 1st day of August 2013, I was in a hotel at Lagos when I received two phone calls from Onitsha. One was from Mr. Agbaigwe, my plaza and park caretaker, and the other was from Mr. Nnoruka, the person who rented the park. They uniformly told me that the plaza/ park was invaded by Onitsha youths led by one Mr. Ayadi Mba, and some occupants of the plaza sustained injuries and equally lost their phones, Mr. Agbaigwe also told me that Mr. Ayadi collected all the days earnings up to that point and that was on gun point.

I rushed back to Onitsha some days later and I was briefed first-hand on the incident. It turned out that Anyamelu bus divers opted out of Ose Market Park controlled by Onitsha youths led by Mr. Ayadi Mba and moved into my own park after negotiating with Mr. Nnoruka. I promptly wrote a letter to the Palace Secretary of Obi of Onitsha and equally copied the letter to the Obi of Onitsha, seeking to know their reactions to the incident. When I waited for two weeks and got no reaction, I then wrote the letter directly to the Obi of Onitsha and equally copied it to the Palace Secretary. To ensure that the letter will reach the Obi of Onitsha, I sent one Mr. Dubem Chude with a copy of the letter which he delivered at his GRA, Onitsha residence.

Still unable to get any response, then I wrote to the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State and it was subsequently minuted to the Area Command Onitsha and it was assigned to Inspector Dike at the S.I.B Section. He took the statements from Mr. Agbaigwe and Mr. Nnoruka. He is in a better position to explain why he stopped at that point.

A month or two later, I summoned a meeting between myself, Anyamelu drivers, their lawyer, Mr. Nnoruka and Mr. Agbaigwe. In the meeting, we resolved to go to court and hopefully obtain a court order against Mr. Ayadi Mba and a police officer he uses as a means, and we promptly served Mr. Ayadi Mba, the afore-mentioned police officer and the commissioner of Police. Same was sent to the palace secretary by Mr. Dubem Chude. Having done all these, Anyamelum bus drivers started loading at my park. Little did I know that that was the beginning of this present mess. Warnings came from all directions by Onitsha youths of the Umudei village floor. Mr. Ayadi Mba is from Umudei Village in Onitsha.

I took precaution by the way of personal safety. I never imagined that the threat will materialize in the direction that it did. On the very 1st day of August, 2013, I arrived at my office before 7am, due to a land transaction I had to complete. Minutes later a multitude of police officers surrounded my hotel while some trooped inside the premises. I was speechless as I headed towards my office entrance. Some police officers have already gotten to the 1st floor and that’s where my office is located.

I introduced myself and was able to identify some police officers that I know. It relaxed me a little but not for long.

The leader of the team informed me of a search warrant which was shown to me and I felt dumbfounded with all the allegations against me but at the same time I was confident that nothing criminal will be found contrary to what has been said, my office was not searched with any kind of seriousness. While one Inspector Okwo was pretending to be searching my office, I overheard a police officer who briefly showed his face in my office ask “Where is Room 102?” It didn’t mean anything to me until later. I left Inspector Okwo alone in my office and came to the 1st floor passage and observed that all the officers were standing in front of Room 102 and the door was locked.

The hotel manager was there and so was the cleaner. I asked the manager where the key to the room was, and he told me that the room was sold to a guest yesterday and that he, the guest, locked the room and left with the key. The receptionist came up with the duplicate copy of the receipt that was issued to the guest including the daily lodging manifest which every hotel submits to the police every morning. The manifest also reflected that the room was sold to a guest under the name of John Obi as in the receipt. The cleaner also told the police that she had earlier come to clean the room but the check-out time being 12 noon, she left to clean other rooms. The policemen then broke down the door and made their entrance. I saw a suitcase with polyethene lining as insulator. It was open. I also saw two water-proofs of smaller sizes on top of the bed.

One of the police officers opened the wardrobe and brought out a sack like bag and opened it, and behold two AK47s, two magazine rounds and two very old skulls in the bag. I was immediately handcuffed and taken to the building veranda where they placed the exhibits and took my pictures with the exhibits. The suitcase with which the unknown guest brought the exhibits with was not displayed or photographed. Pictures of exactly where the exhibits where seen where not taken. I, being the target, have been gotten. No attempt was made to hear out the hotel receptionist who kept saying loud and clear that the guest was a native of Onitsha and equally gave a distinct description of the guest. The police completely ignored the obvious fact that the guest that stayed in the very Room 102 holds the key to where the guns and old human skulls came from. Who sent him to do what he did? Till date no attention has been paid in that direction. The storage rooms in the hotel were not searched at the end of the day, I was taken to Area Command Onitsha along with my hotel staff where I was subjected to unquantifiable humiliation and emotional torture. Thank God for my strength of character and the person I am, I would have died in the first three days of the incident.

The guest that stayed in Room 102 knows where he got the old human skulls from. His real identity is now known as Mr. Olisa Egbuchiem.

Few days after I was sent to Awkuzu SARS, I was called up one morning along with a team of policemen who took me to Nkwelle Ezunaka Area to an expanse of land that was fenced, mistakenly believed to belong to me and an old decayed dead body covered with brand new waterproof was exhumed inside the fenced land. Depth of the grave was shovel length. The intention of the plotters was to place the dead body on any of my lands but I thank God that fortunately they placed it on another person’s land. My picture was taken with the body. The owner of the very land was not contacted for any information whatsoever. The person that lodged in the Room 102, Mr. Olisa Egbuchiem knows the source of all these dead body and old human skulls.

Now Mr. Ayadi Mba, whom as I said earlier was fighting over Anyamelu drivers with me, hails from Umudei village, Onitsha. The elusive guest that paid for and stayed in the Room 102 of Upper Class Hotel Onitsha, who locked it and went away with the key to enable police discovery of the atrocity is one Mr. Olisa Egbuchiem alias Dimkpa of Umudei Village Onitsha. Mr Ody alias Ekenweofia from Umudei village Onitsha was a principal participant in the whole set-up. Mr. Arinze Chukwurah Agazi is from Umudei Village Onitsha was the second in command in the plot. He handled the cash payment. It ought to be noted that the father of Mr. Ayadi Mba has been in the mortuary business for years. That means a lot as far as this heartless incident is concerned. Other co-plotters who played roles in the heartless setup are as follows:

i. Ogwashi also called Oyibo. Native of Onitsha and works for Mr. Ayadi Mba.

ii. Owalli, works for Mr. Ayadi Mba. Native of Onitsha.

iii. Connell, works for Mr. Ayadi Mba. Also a native of Onitsha.

iv. Ejima, also works for Mr. Ayadi Mba. A native of Onitsha.

 

Investigation of all listed persons phone usage two weeks before August 1st 2013 and two weeks after will lay to rest all suspicions. Information has it that Mr Olisa Egbuchiem is using the money he was paid to put up a structure.

I challenge Onitsha Area Command to make public their informant including his phone number. A relationship will be found that exists between him and the names I afore-mentioned.

The local police hands are tied, having found out that I have no case to answer but releasing me without any case leverage for the State Government will ridicule and equally make it abundantly clear that the State Government acted recklessly and hence my continued detention. I hereby solicit for the general public to raise their voices to enable my release from detention as I did nothing whatsoever. Till the statement purported to have been made by me and my staff annexed by the police in defence of a brief filed by my lawyer is not worth the paper they were written on. It was all in a torture guided tailored-made statement intended to legitimize the unguided acts of the State Government. How can a prolific writer such as me allow my pattern to be written for me in a matter of such nature and signed with my thumbprint as an illiterate? My thumbprint was forced on the forgery the police called my statement.

A comprehensive petition detailing the people that set up this whole mess, including the name of the elusive lodger that stayed in the Room 102 has been sent to the Commissioner of Police Anambra State. And absolutely nothing has been done till date for the simple reason that apprehending the perpetrators will leave Anambra State Government starring at itself inflicted liability sooner or later, it will be reality time.

I am by this factual narration telling the general public that my continued detention has a lot to do with creating leverage for the State Government with respect to their self-inflicted liability in my matter. The public should not and never believe any dubious and criminal fabrication that appears to suggest that I have anything to do with the planted old human skulls and body. Any police statement that appears to ascribe ownership of the old human skulls and body to me is purely to serve the purpose of creating leverage for the State Government. If it originates from an individual, it is either that such a person was subjected to a very high level of torture at the very police station the statement was made or a reward of some sort awaits him or her.

The major reason I continue to remain in detention since the 1st of August 2013 is because the case against me fell flat after due investigation. Releasing me has two consequences.

Namely:

I. The police will be accused of taking bribe.

II. The State Government’s very speedy demolition of my hotel tied up their hands.

Fishing expedition for evidence of any sort irrespective of how brainless it is, is being looked so that I can be charged to court for anything that will keep me in prison and postpone the inevitable liability facing the State Government.

I have spoken the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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