A 33-year-old man, ThankGod Okere, has accused men of the Inspector-General of Police Monitoring Team of extorting the sum of N750,000 from his family while he was illegally detained at the Borikiri Police Station in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Okere said the policemen arrested him on Thursday, February 27, 2021, during his uncle’s burial in Umuechem, in the Etche Local Government Area of the state, adding that they accused him of kidnapping and armed robbery.
The victim alleged that the Investigating Police Officer, Bello Yusuf, asked him to accept that he was a cultist after he rejected the initial charges levelled against him.
Okere further alleged that the IGP’s team tortured and threatened to kill him in an attempt to make him accept the charges.
“After interrogating me, they said they agreed that I was not an armed robber or a kidnapper, but I should accept being a cultist. I said, ‘Did you arrest me for cultism? Tell me why you arrested me? You said I am innocent, allow me to go!’ They started torturing me to accept. My leg and hand were broken.
“They didn’t give me food; it was people in the cell that fed me. They collected N700,000 from my people,” he added.
Our correspondent gathered that Okere was released on Wednesday after the state Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka, intervened and ordered that he be charged to court or released if there was no evidence against him.
Meanwhile, a group, Centre for Basic Rights Protection and Accountability Campaign, has called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to investigate the allegations against the tactical unit.
The group’s Coordinator, Prince Wiro, said cases of human rights abuse and extortion should be checked, especially as the victim was detained for almost a month.
A spokesman for the state police command, Nnamdi Omoni, said he would find out about the case and get back to our correspondent.
He had yet to do so as of press time.