Group Accuses New Haven Police Station Enugu DPO Of Involving In An Alleged Attempt To Subvert Justice, IGP petitioned
The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of New Haven Police Station, Mrs. Hope Isiani Okereke, has been accused of alleged attempt to subvert justice by an Enugu-based human rights organization Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN).
The CSO made the accusation in a petition addressed to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, on behalf of one Mrs. Chizoba Mgbatogu, a resident of New Haven, Enugu.
The complaint by CRRAN captioned ‘Case of Gender-Based Violence; Demand for Justice attempted murder and assault occasioning grievous harm on Mrs. Chizoba Mgbatogu and damage to her vehicle by Okechukwu Nnaji’ was brought to the attention of the Executive Director of Rule of Law And Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), Okechukwu Nwanguma, who in turn drew the attention of ElombahNews.
CRAAN informed the IGP that Mrs. Mgbatogu was sitting in her shop at Marcus Garvey Street New Haven on the 21st day of June 2020 when one Mr. Okechukwu Nnaji, while trying to do a reverse with his Lexus Jeep damaged her car parked in front of her residence, close to her shop.
The petition, which accused DPO Okereke of standing the truth on its head, further stated :
– That Mr. Okechukwu Nnaji, came down from his vehicle, checked the back of his jeep and was about to enter his vehicle to drive away when Mrs. Mgbatogu stood up from her shop and walked up to him and told him that she is the owner of the vehicle he just damaged while reversing his car and told him he has to repair her car.
– That Mr. Okechukwu Nnaji immediately pounced on her, rained several slaps and fist blows on her; further gripped her on her neck and twisted it in an attempt to strangulate her. It took the intervention of passersby who came to her rescue to save her from further assault and possible murder by Mr Nnaji.
– That Police from New Haven Police Station, Enugu were called in and they took Mr. Okechukwu Nnaji and Mrs. Mgbatogu to the Police Station, along with their vehicles.
– That at the Police station Mrs. Mgbatogu collapsed as a result of the beatings she received from Mr Nnaji and her husband who just arrived at the Police Station had to take her in his own car, assisted by a Police officer, to the hospital.
– That Mrs. Mgabtogu spent 2 days at Park Lane Hospital, Enugu before she was discharged. An X-ray was done to ascertain the extent of injury to her neck from the assult. Copies of the police Medical Report and report of the Neck/Cervical X-ray were attached to the petition addressed to the IGP
– That to their chagrin, the DPO Mrs. Hope Isiani Okereke, ordered the release of the assailant’s (Mr Okechukwu Nnaji)’s vehicle while still ‘detaining’ the victim’s own damaged vehicle. The victim, Mrs. Mgbatogu said the Police asked her to pay some money to ‘bail’ her vehicle from the Police Station without investigating her complaints of damage to her car and the violence on her by Mr. Okechukwu Nnaji.
– That the Police asked the parties to go and settle, but the assailant Okechukwu Nnaji who brags that he just returned from Brazil was boasting that Mr. Mgbatogu cannot do anything because of his ‘influence’.
– That dissatisfied with the posture of the DPO New Haven and her apparent bias in favour of the assailant/accused, the Mgbatogus’ got a lawyer to write to the Commissioner of Police Enugu State, demanding impartial investigation and justice. A oopy of the said petition was attached to the petition to the IGP.
– That the delay and/or failure by the CP Enugu to respond to their petition has left them at the mercy of the DPO New Haven whom they believe has compromised and taking sides with the assailant/accused, Mr Nnaji.
– That the DPO now started to portray the couple as trouble makers and trying to compel them to collect the sum of N50,000 Naira offered by the assailant for the treatment of Mrs. Mgbatogu.
– That Mr. Mgbatogu said he borrowed over N300,000 Naira for the treatment, X-ray and scan conducted on his wife.
– That owing to the insistence by the couple on proper investigation being carried out to ensure that truth and justice are upheld in the case; and because of their rejection of the DPO’s order to accept the paltry sum of N50,000 from Mr Nnaji, which is far too below the cost they already incured on medical treatment, the DPO now decided that the matter is “two fighting” and that both the complainant (Mrs. Mgbatogu) and the accused (Mr. Okechukwu Nnaji) would be charged for “Affray”.
– That however, Mrs. Mbgatogu was thereafter turned to the accused person as she was charged to court alongside Mr. Okechukwu Nnaji for Affray. Copies of the Police Arraignment Notice and the Charge Sheet were attached to the petition to the IGP.
RULAAC, therefore, demanded and sought the action following from the IGP:
“We agree with CRAAN that this case is one of gender-based violence where manifest injustice has been done to the victim by the DPO New Haven, Mrs. Hope Isiani Okereke, simply because she is a poor citizen and the accused/assailant is a rich man who ‘just returned from Brazil’.
“Mrs Mgbagogu’s vehicle was parked in front of her house and the assailant/accused rammed into it causing damage and then wanted to just drive away as if nothing happened.
“The two cars belonging to the complainant and the accused respectively were taken to the police station ostensibly for investigation. But without any proper investigation, the police released the assailant’s car while still ‘detaining’ that of the complainant who is required by the police to pay money to ‘bail’ her damaged car, without her complaint being properly investigated.
“The accused/assailant, due to his self acclaimed ‘influence’, and money power is now the one dictating to the Police and the DPO then decides that the case is ‘a case of two fighting’ and then decides to charge the innocent woman for ‘Affray’ alongside the assailant.
“We urge the IGP to immediately intervene and order a prompt.impartial and thorough investigation into this case with a view to ensuring truth and justice.
“Nobody is above the law.
“We believe that Mr. Okechukwu Nnaji should be made to account for the offence of damage to Mrs Mgbagogu’s car and for the violent assault against her.
“We also demand that Mrs. Mgbatogus’ car be released to her unconditionally.”
ElombahNews tried to reach the Enugu Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Daniel, via phone call and WhatsApp.
His phone, however, rang without response while the WhatsApp message was not responded to.