…as 28-year-old politician disappears from custody
- Justice’ll be done – Police
The sudden disappearance of a 28-year-old politician from the police custody in Anambra State is now causing ripples in the state, The Point’s investigations have revealed.
The development has also forced the family of the missing victim to petition the Office of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, urging him to do justice.
Our correspondent was reliably informed that 28-year-old Arinze Philip Nweke, who was an active youth leader in Injikoka Local Government Council, was also a chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance.
The missing Nweke was said to have been massively favoured by people in his constituency to run for the post of Councillor in the 2014 elections held in Anambra State. However, findings revealed that, days to the election, Arinze was arrested by operatives of the Department of State Security Service, who accused him of being a member of a car-snatching syndicate, operating in the Aba axis of the state.
He was said to have denied the allegation, saying that he must have been set up by one of the two politicians who were also interested in the position he was contesting for.
Family sources told our correspondent that his arrest was effected by the DSS operatives on September 9, 2014 at Amaco Hotel in Aba. Investigations by The Point revealed that the young politician was consequently transferred to the Anambra State Special Anti-Robbery Squad, where he was paraded as a member of a syndicate that specialised in robbing people of their cars at gunpoint.
Aside from this, it was learnt that family members of the suspect were not allowed to see him. In a three-page petition, the detainee’s family members alleged that the police in Anambra State must have murdered their son over an offence he did not commit. The petitioners also stated that two politicians (names withheld) who reportedly laid the false accusation against Nweke, could be the masterminds of his sudden disappearance.
“For over a year, the police in Anambra State have not told the family the state of health of their son, if alive or dead,” the family members said. The petitioners also claimed that their son was initially offered a sum of N700, 000 by one of the politicians for him to step down and allow the politician who offered the money to contest for the position. But Arinze reportedly rejected the idea.
The petitioners demanded that the Chief Superintendent of Police in charge of the case should as a matter of urgency tell the police high command the offence the DSS alleged against their son. They also implored the IGP to order a proper investigation to determine if Nweke had actually been charged to any court in the state.
While all efforts to hear out the two lawmakers indicted by the petitioners failed, a source within the family, who would not want his name mentioned, told our correspondent that Nweke might have been killed after all.
“Since it has taken more than a year for us to know the whereabouts of our son, we suspect that he might have been killed within the police facility,” the family member said. The petitioners’ lawyer, Barrister E.O. Ewetade of the Aden Chambers, said, “It is our humble belief that the Police, particularly the Officer-in-Charge, Anti-Robbery Squad, has been used as an instrument of injustice by the aforementioned persons.
“The aforementioned persons had also boasted, with an air of arrogance, to explore their police connections at all costs to arraign our client’s son with trumped-up charges of armed robbery, and to remove our client from circulation. And behold, since Sept 9, 2014, till date, our client’s son’s whereabouts are unknown.”
Another suspect, Waidi, missing A 26-year-old musician, Waidi Kabiru, also suffered the same fate as Nweke about two months ago. He was reportedly arrested by a team of policemen, who raided Shelewu Road in the Ikorodu area of Lagos, on November 21, 2015.
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