The founder of Due Process Advocates International (DPA), Emeka Ugwuonye says he is about to fight some corrupt police officers over intimidation and extortion.
The human rights lawyer confirmed this in a statement he made available to Eculaw News.
Emeka in the statement said one DCP Victor Erivwode, who is currently serving in Rivers State police command is been used to harass and intimidate a woman who is a member of Due Process Advocates International after her sister died in the hands of her husband as a result of domestic violence.
The Harvard trained attorney further noted that after he intervened in the woman’s case and also wrote a letter to the said DCP Victor Erivwode, he received a call in the morning of today from the Police SCIID, Yaba, saying they are looking for him.
The statement reads, “About three weeks ago, DPA received a report that one DCP Victor Erivwode, a Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of State CID in Rivers State and his men were harassing and intimidating the family members of a woman who was a registered member of DPA. The woman had escaped from her husband due to domestic violence. She escaped with her 6-year old daughter. She escaped sick and injured, and ultimately died in a hospital in Imo State, from her sickness. She ran to her family home in Imo State.
“The husband of the woman, in order to claim custody of their minor child, hired DCP Victor Erivwode to go after the family of the woman. So, DCP Victor Erivwode went and arrested Mrs. Scholastica Adiukwu (elder sister of the victim of domestic violence). When Ms. Onyinyechi Adiukwu (daughter of Mrs. Adiukwu) went to the police station to know why her mother was arrested, the police told her that her name was on the petition written by the abusive husband. So, they detained her too. That was when the family contacted DPA.
“We sent a lawyer in Port Harcourt to get to the police and find out why Mrs. Adiukwu and her daughter were being detained. The police refused to state the offense for which these women were arrested. Instead, the police were hostile to the lawyer we sent. They threatened him. DCP Victor Erivwode himself abused our lawyer and drove him from his office and threatened to rope him into some crime. All efforts to get these women released on bail failed. The police insisted that the only ground they would release them on bail was if their relatives in Imo State would bring the 6-year old child to the police in Port Harcourt. When the child was brought, the police simply handed the child over to the abusive husband (the father). Also, the police extorted the sum of N110,000 from the family after detaining the two women for 7 days unlawfully. That was too much for DPA to bear.
“I directed that a petition be sent to the Inspector General of Police from our Abuja office complaining about the conduct of DCP Victor Erivwode. That petition was delivered at the office of the Inspector General of Police on the 15th of August, 2022, and receipt thereof duly acknowledged. We expected that the office of the Inspector General would do something to stop the abusive behavior of DCP Victor Erivwode. But nothing happened and DCP Victor Erivwode continued to harass and intimidate the victims. Faced with this situation and pressure from the family for us to protect them, I was forced to send a letter directly to DCP Victor Erivwode. My letter was dated 29th August, 2022 and he received it yesterday, 30th of August, 2022.
“This morning, I received a phone call from the Police SCIID, Yaba, saying they are looking for me. They could not explain why they are looking for me. Based on what we know about the police, it is clear that DCP Victor Erivwode has mobilized his colleagues in Lagos for them to go after me. I am not afraid of them. But I want Nigerians to know this before these corrupt police officers will spin some lies against me, after either detaining or assassinating me.
“It is a pity that the Inspector General of Police could not do anything after receiving a petition from us. We that wrote petition are now the targets of the people we petitioned against, just like when you complain against a criminal gang. I have said this many times before and I say it again: The greatest problem Nigeria has is with the Nigerian police. If the country can remove the criminals that operate within their ranks, the country will solve its crime problem 90%. In view of the impunity shown by these officers, we shall now be filing petitions in the Nigerian courts. Of course, the Nigerian police have no respect for the courts or for the law. But we shall try our best.
“I have attached the petition and letter I sent to the police. I have also attached the picture of DCP Victor Erivwode here. Please spread this news. You may save a life by so doing. Thank you.”
See petition below 👇