Police want us to bear mortuary bills, says late Rivers mechanic’s family

THE family of late Chima Ikwunado, an auto-mechanic, who was tortured to death while in custody of the Eagle Crack Team of the Nigeria Police, Mile One Police Station, Port Harcourt, said the police had ask them to pick the remains of the late victim from the mortuary for burial.

Elder brother of the deceased, Mr. Anthony Ikwunado, disclosed this at a joint media briefing with members of the Civil Society in Port Harcourt on Thursday.

Anthony further said the police was asking the family to bear the burden of the mortuary bills, which runs from December 2019 till date

He wondered why the police would ask the family to pay the mortuary bills when his late brother was tortured to death and his remains deposited in the mortuary without the knowledge of the family.

Anthony noted that their father’s health had deteriorated since death of his sibling, as well as caused untold pain to the family.

“The police have refused to pay the mortuary bill of my late younger brother. They (Police) killed him and took him to the mortuary without our knowledge, now they want us to go and pay the mortuary bills.

“The police have refused to release the autopsy result and the test result. So, we are saying that the burden of paying the mortuary bills should not be upon us, the bereaved family, but on them (police),” he added.

Also speaking, a surviving friend of the victim, who was detained and tortured alongside late Chima, all known as the Ikoku five, Ifeanyichukwu Onyekwere, insisted on justice and wondered why the state government had not made any comment on the matter nearly two years since it occurred.

“We need justice and we need the court to give us justice. The government is not helping matters; up till now, the Rivers State Governor has not said anything concerning this matter. The frustration has been too much,” he stated.

On his part, the Chairman, Rivers State Civil Society Organizations, Enefaa Georgewill, disclosed that the House of Reps Committee on Public Complaints said the Committee could not entertain a matter that was already before the court when they were informed on the issue in a petition.

Georgewill maintained that state civil society would not withdraw the matter in court, but will rather exhaust all legal options to obtain justice for the victims.

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