Ezu River dead bodies: four years after report says police responsible for the killing
A report released by the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law on Friday in Awka, Anambra State has indicted the police for the killing and dumping of about 35 corpses inside the Ezu River, Amansea in the state in 2013.
The rights group alleged that the Special Anti Robbery Squad of the Anambra State Police command was responsible for the homicide.
In the report entitled “The Untold Story Of Ezu River Police SARS Killings, the group said there was the need to highlight the activities of the outfit (SARS), following their continued killing of Nigerian youths in the name of fighting crime.
The report signed by the Chairman Board of Trustees of INTERSOCIETY, Emeka Umeagbalasi, condemned the use of force, torture and other unapproved ways to extract information from suspects.
The report was addressed to several authorities including the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, the Amnesty International among others.
Dead bodies numbering about 35 had on 19th January 2013 been discovered floating on Ezu river, on the boundary between Anambra and Enugu States.
INTERSOCIETY said it decided to revisit the matter because of “increasing, shocking, saddening and alarming rate of torture and killing being perpetrated by the police.
It said, “Many of the arrested and detained citizens by the Anambra Police SARS operatives in the course of their so-called combating of violent crimes of armed robbery and kidnapping in the State were butchered like animals.”
It insisted that instead of a drastic reduction in the number of deaths and torture, Anambra Police SARS operatives had become deadlier and more menacing; “consolidating their atrocious practices of custodial torture and killing through their theatre of butchery”.
The group added, “The amount of torture and killing going on at Anambra Police SARS headquarters at Awkuzu and its annexes or unit locations in the State is geometrical.
“Our first reason for issuing this special report is to draw the attention of the world particularly the United Nations and its Human Rights Council, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, World Organization Against Torture, and other rights groups and research bodies and institutions as well as the generality of Nigerians over the raging and untamed unlicensed butcheries and cruel and degrading treatments perpetrated by Anambra Police SARS operatives against detained citizens in their custody.”
When contacted on the telephone, the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr Umar Garba, said he would not want to comment on the matter because he was newly posted to the state. Punch