A returning student of Cyprus University, Nnaji Chidiebere Samuel, who is also the son of a former Enugu State High Court Judge, Justice Stanley Nnaji, has cried out.
He raised the alarm over an alleged threat to his life.
Chidiebere also alleged that he was being harassed by the Commander of the Ebonyi State Police Anti-Kidnapping Squad, SP Chukwu Bruno Emeka.
The son of the late judge was arrested alongside his friends namely; Obiedelu Chigozle, Ezeah Izuchukwu and their in-laws Omagba Solomon on Saturday, December 3, 2022, at GRA Trans Ekulu in Enugu State by a team of armed policemen led by Bruno in what was likened to ‘a commando raid’.
The students were reportedly taken to the state police command in Abakaliki and illegally detained for 10 days.
They were allegedly tortured and forced to confess to a crime they never committed. They were also allegedly forced to withdraw the sum of N5.5 million from their bank accounts and their cars were confiscated.
SaharaReporters gathered that after being forced to make confessions under duress, the students were charged at a Magistrates’ Court for alleged fraud and hacking of the Facebook account and phone number of the wife of the vice-chancellor of Alex Ekwueme University, Dr. Chinyere Elom.
They were accused of using the Facebook account to scam unsuspecting relations and friends by asking them to pay N600,000 for job slots.
The matter was subsequently transferred to Ebonyi State High Court where they were admitted to bail on December 13, 2022, when the matter came up for hearing.
Investigation showed that the phone numbers and bank account details allegedly used to commit the crime and listed on the charge sheet, could not be traced or linked to the students as claimed by the police. It was learnt that this had compelled the police lawyer (prosecution) to ask for several adjournments.
SaharaReporters also gathered that a few weeks after the court granted the accused persons bail, a detachment of armed policemen invaded and ransacked Chidiebere’s house in Enugu on February 4, 2023, allegedly on the orders of Bruno without any search warrant.
It was learnt that the policemen gained access into the house through the ceiling after shooting sporadically in the air and carting away personal belongings like a TV set, jewellery, laptop, mobile phones, generator, iPad, and DSTV decoder, among others.
Chidiebere said the Commander openly threatened to kill them after extorting money from them under duress while they were in detention.
Chidiebere said he had been receiving threatening messages on his mobile phone from unknown persons, fearing that his family may have been targeted for an attack.
He said, “On February 4th, the police invaded our house in the middle of the night and they carried all our properties including television, generator, jewellery, decoder and stabiliser.
“They broke and entered the house through the ceiling because nobody was at home and they could not force the door open.
“They carted away all our properties and till now our cars and school documents are still with them and we can’t travel back to our school in Cyprus.”
He called on the police authorities to prevail on Bruno and caution. He also asked Nigerians to hold him responsible should anything untoward happen to him or any member of his family.
He said the commander had no right under the law to barge into his house and cart away his belongings without any court order.
Meanwhile, the students also lamented that the police were still holding on to their school documents thereby making it difficult for them to travel to Cyprus to continue with their education.
The case was adjourned to April 18, 2023, at Ebonyi State High Court.
Efforts made by SahahaReporters to get Ebonyi police spokesperson, Chris Anyanwu were unsuccessful. Repeated calls to his mobile phone were not answered and he did not respond to the text message sent to him.