On Tuesday Emmanuel Uwa, 38, informed the Federal High Court in Abakaliki that he was tortured by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) during his 2012 arrest for a drug possession charge.

NDLEA Agents

Mr. Uwa was brought before the court on Tuesday for reexamination.  

He told the court that 21 NDLEA agents invaded his compound at 3 am on February 15th, 2012.  The NDLEA agents immediately asked Mr. Uwa about the whereabouts of his step-brother Sunday Ogbonnia.  He informed that agents that Mr. Ogbonnia was not currently in the compound. He then claimed that his step-brother framed him because of a disagreement over how to divide Mr. Uwa’s late father’s assets.

According to Mr. Uwa, NDLEA agents demanded he return with them to their offices in Afikpo North.  Mr. Uwa refused to leave with the NDLEA. In response, he claimed, the NDLEA agents beat him “mercilessly”, breaking his legs and then forced him into their car.  

After they arrived at the NDLEA offices, he testified that the beatings quickly took the form of outright torture.  He claimed they, “tortured me to the extent that I started urinating blood, to this day I still urinate blood.”

Mr. Uwa was so fearful for his life that he signed a prepared statement in which he confessed to drug possession and trafficking.  However, Mr. Uwa insisted that he was a trader of palm oil and other goods, but never hard narcotics.   

During the cross examination, the prosecution counsel, M.C. Onyia, informed the court that when the NDLEA agents arrived Mr. Uwa was found with a polythene bag of 1kg Indian hemp.  He dismissed Mr. Uwa’s claims of torture, stating that the defense had willingly signed a prepared statement.  

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