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The family of Mr. Peter Osuagwu, a fish farmer currently under detention and accused of being a Commander affiliated with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPoB), is reaching out to the acting Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun.
They are imploring him to exercise his authority and urge the Anambra State Police Command to unconditionally release their son and his wife, Franca.
Additionally, they request that if there are any allegations against the suspects, the proper legal channels be followed, and the suspects be charged in a court of law.
The family stressed that the police should refrain from using the alleged IPoB membership as an excuse to keep their children in detention without any communication for over two months.
This incident took place on a day when IPoB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, refuted the existence of a commander in Ogbaru and explicitly stated that the group does not maintain any camp there.
According to reports, Peter and Franca were apprehended on May 30, 2023, in Ossomala, Ogbaru, by the police a few days following an assault on US Embassy officials in the vicinity.
Speaking to reporters alongside the family’s lawyer, Nnamdi Alokalam, Nze Osuagwu, the family’s spokesperson, disclosed that the couple has been held in detention since May 30, based on allegations of Peter’s involvement as a commander with IPoB. According to them, their persistent efforts to secure the release of the couple have been futile.
Nze said: ‘Peter and his family have been living in Ossomala for over 20 years without any problem with anybody until a week after the 2020 Easter celebration when his daughter was allegedly abducted and raped by one Chisom Nwadialo.’
However, a former Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, from Ossomala who is a relative of Nwadialo, threw his weight and worked hard to prevent Nwadialo from being arrested and prosecuted by the police but Peter and his wife ensured that the suspect was arrested and prosecuted in Atani High Court, where the matter is pending.’
‘Angered by Peter’s insistence that his daughter’s abduction and rape case should not be swept under the carpet, and subsequent arrest and prosecution of Nwadialo, our brother’s family became a target of a vendetta by the former senior police officer who subsequently arrested him with his wife in their fish farm in Ossomala, Ogbaru and took them to his personal house where they were beaten mercilessly before taken to his base in Aluu, Rivers State.’
‘Our effort to secure the release of Peter and his wife in Aluu, through our lawyer, was rebuffed by the police, who were allegedly working on the instruction of CSP. We later discovered that the couple has been taken from Aluu to the Anti-Kidnapping Unit in Enugu.’
‘Peter is not a member of IPoB, let alone being their Commander in Ogbaru, and does not have any relationship whatsoever with IPoB. Even when I spoke with the Anambra State Deputy Commissioner of Police, he was taking Peter for one IPoB Commander he was calling Kito.’
‘Peter is not Kito they are calling him and has no relationship with Kito. Kito is not Peter, and Peter is not Kito. From the investigations we have made, the person called Kito is a different person, not Peter. Peter is tall and fair in complexion and Kito is said to be smallish and short, so there is disparity and distinction between the two individuals. The Deputy Commissioner of Police called Peter, Kito, because that was the name they gave him, which is not Peter Osuagwu, our brother.’
Meanwhile, a petition through the family’s lawyer to the then IGP, noted that ‘a CSP in Ossomala, tried to use his position to shield his alleged rapist relation from arrest, and equally tried to block the case from going to court, but was outwitted by the family, who ensured that the suspected abductor and rapist, was arrested and charged to court.’
The petition read in part: ‘The arrest of the abductor and rapist, and his subsequent charging to court did not go down well with the CSP who was a Commander of FCIB in Aluu, and since then he
has been arresting and intimidating Peter and his family members using the police.’
‘We sent a petition to the former IGP against the former CSP. After a thorough investigation conducted by Police, the CSP was punished with a demotion from his rank for his unprofessional conduct and he allegedly resigned from the police force.’
‘However, days after the attack on the US Embassy team, the CSP allegedly tagged Peter as commander of IPoB, who led the attack, an allegation which we can only describe as a lie from the pit of hell.’
‘Peter and his wife were subsequently arrested and kept incommunicado by the police in Anambra State, while hoodlums in Ossomala were mobilised to burn their house.’
‘We are therefore appealing to the IGP to ensure that Peter and his wife are released unhurt without further delay or they should be charged to court If they committed any offence, instead of keeping them incommunicado from their family members.’
When approached for a response, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), CSP Tochukwu Ikenga, claimed to have no knowledge of the incident and denied any information regarding the matter.