- Officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps have been alleged to have beat a man to coma and disappeared with his body
- The incident was said to have happened on April 11, 2017 and the officers disappeared with his body from the hospital along Opolo area of Bayelsa state
- A human rights group, Civil Liberties Organisation, is calling on the Nigeria Police and the National Human Rights commission to prevail on NSCDC to produce the corps of the brutalised man
There is rising anger and uproar in the fold of civil society and human rights groups in Bayelsa state following the beating to a coma a middle aged man by personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and disappearance with the lifeless body of the victim from the hospital along the Opolo area of the state.
The incident, which occurred on the 11th of April, 2017 at about 11.50am, also led to a serious petition filed by some legal practitioners under the Rex Ogbuku & Associates and the leadership of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) led by Chief Nengi James asking the authorities of the Nigerian Police and the National Human Right Commission (NHRC) to prevail on the NSCDC to produce the corpse of the brutalised man dead or alive.
The CLO, in the petition signed by the chairman, Chief Nengi James-Eriworio and sent to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and the NHRC, accused the NSCDC officials of alleged human rights violation, gross misconduct and abuse of office.
According to the CLO, though the initial alarm over the incident was raised by legal practitioners from the Rex Ogbuku&Associates and other notable activists over the beating and disappearance of the victim, "we wish to draw the attention of petitioned authorities over the misconduct of officers of the Civil Defense Corps, who beat up a man to the point of death and left in a pool of blood while on duty at Opolo on the 11th of April, 2017."
"Efforts by neighbours and lawyers at the scene to help the victim were rebuffed by the accused personnel of the NSCDC. When some persons tried to inquire the offence of the dead victim, they threatened to beat up the people.
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“The victim was later taken to unknown destination. The people present at the scene claimed that it was the practice with NSCDC personnel and no consequences had followed their oppressive and outrageous conduct.
"The CLO demands that the Commandant General of the NSCDC should carry out a proper investigation into the matter. And that, the said officers involved, if found culpable should be punished in accordance with the constitution and other rules and regulation guiding the NSCDC.
“That the officers of the Civil Defense Corps took the man to Diette Koki Memorial Hospital and after which took the man away, while he was unconscious to an unknown destination and his whereabouts is still unknown.
"The CLO wants to know if the man is dead or alive. That by the provisions of section 36 of the constitution of Nigeria, the man is presumed or believed to be innocent, until tried and found guilty by a competent court of jurisdiction.
“That if the man has committed any crime, he should be taken to court for trial rather than extra judicial treatment or torture of the man by the officers of the NSCDC."
Contacted on the development, the accident unit of the Diette Koki Hospital confirmed the development and stated that after the victim of the alleged brutality was rushed out from medical care by the accused personnel to avoid being identified by concerned activist and civil society members.
According to the medical report signed by the Head of Accident and Emergency Unit, Dr. Obhuo Ranami and made available to journalists, "the report attest that on the 11th of April, 2017 at about 12:34 pm, some officers of NSCDC brought in an adult male patient, whose name was given by the NSCDC officers as "NSCDC suspect.”
“He was brought into the accident and emergency unit of our facility and that one of the NSCDC officers who claimed to be a medical personnel, volunteered the history that the patient had been beaten up by the NSCDC officers after the patient allegedly assaulted one of their armed officers.
"On presentation at the unit, the patient was found to be foaming and bleeding from his mouth, quite restless with altered sensorium. He had multiple raised erythematous lines all over his back.
“Shortly after the patient was placed on the bed, he was noticed to have developed a geberalised tonic clonic seizure which was aborted.
“At 1.40am same day, the patient regained full consciousness and got up and appeared agitated. He was at that point taken away."
Attempts to reach officers of the Bayelsa state command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps were unsuccessful but unconfirmed reports alleged that the civil defense officers who manhandled the man were not of the Bayelsa state command but men on special duty from the national headquarters.
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