When the Kaduna Riot erupted in February 2000, the late Chibuike Ikeagwuchi was nonetheless in his mom’s womb. The riot, which led to over 200 deaths and plenty of properties destroyed, later prolonged to Kano, the place Chibuike’s mother and father lived on the time.
As Chibuike’s mom, Agnes’, due date drew nearer, the riot had intensified. Chibuike’s father, Dominic, determined to prioritize the security of his spouse and household by evacuating them from Kano.
One night time in March 2000, Dominic managed to get his plan of escape in movement. However there was an issue. When he and his household arrived on the Sabon Gari Park, the final bus of the F.G. Onyenwe Transport Firm to Owerri was virtually full, unable to accommodate all six members of the family.
Dominic determined to place his pregnant spouse and 4 youngsters on the bus so he may keep behind and be part of them later. He wished to, as he recollects, “enable my spouse and youngsters to reach dwelling safely with none strain on the being pregnant.”
His household did arrive safely, and so did he, a month and two weeks later. The household had relocated to their hometown at Oboukwu Obizi within the Ezinihitte native authorities space of Imo State. There, Chibuike Ikeagwuchi was safely delivered.
“I prevented each hassle. I dogged each bullet,” Dominic remembers. “I did all the things I may to make it possible for the kid was secure and safe.”
However twenty years later, Dominic wouldn’t be within the place to guard his son, who was murdered in chilly blood.
It was the afternoon of September 19, 2020. when an officer named Isaiah Bene, connected to the Nigerian Cellular Police Drive (MOPOL) on the Elelenwo space of the Obio/Akpor native authorities in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, killed Chibuike, who had turned 20 simply months earlier than.
Chibuike and his good friend, recognized as Reuben, had been reportedly strolling alongside the highway after they noticed operatives of the Particular Anti-Theft Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigerian Police Drive. Having beforehand heard and seen atrocities dedicated by the unit, the 2 pals began operating in concern. The officers chased after them and, after they couldn’t sustain, raised a false alarm with shouts of “thieves! thieves!”
To keep away from being killed, Chibuike and Reuben finally stopped to elucidate themselves to the SARS officers, who had been nonetheless operating in the direction of them. Throughout their quick await the SARS officers to catch as much as them, the duo was approached by MOPOL officer Bene, who was stationed in Elelewon.
Reuben recollects emptying the bag he was carrying when he heard a gunshot behind him. Chibuike had been shot within the again by Bene and had fallen face down on the bottom. The incident was videoed by eyewitnesses and posted on social media.
When the SARS operatives lastly arrived on the scene, they handcuffed Reuben. At the moment, Chibuike was nonetheless respiratory, however the SARS operatives refused to take him to the hospital. Fairly, they put him on the ground of a tricycle the place he breathed his final breath round 3:00 pm.
Whereas Reuben was taken to the police station, Chibuike was taken to the College of Port Harcourt (UPTH) mortuary.
Dominic heard about Chibuike’s taking pictures from his (Dominic’s) eldest son, Michael. When he heard, he went to the Elelewon police station, the place he requested to see his son, however was knowledgeable Chibuike was not of their custody.
He then acquired a telephone name from Reuben’s mom, who instructed him to not go away the police station. When Reuben’s mom arrived on the station, they had been allowed to see Reuben, who instructed them Chibuike had been killed and brought to the mortuary by the SARS operatives. Dominic slumped.
“I didn’t know after I fell,” he says.
He was shocked but in addition indignant that his son had not solely been shot, however taken to the mortuary with out his consent. “They allowed my boy to die slowly,” he says.
When Dominic obtained to the UPTH mortuary that night, the mortuary attendants didn’t doubt his declare of being the daddy of the deceased, due to the placing resemblance.
By the point I noticed his physique, he was very darkish,” Dominic remembers.
The SARS operatives had apparently dumped Chibuike’s corpse and registered him beneath the title Daniel Anambra, a 30-year-old accident sufferer.
Dominic took his son’s corpse and travelled to their hometown, the place he ensured Chibuike was buried within the household compound on December 21, 2020.
“The boy was a son I didn’t know I might lose like that,” the 69-year-old Dominic laments. “He was not a cultist – it was confirmed past cheap doubt. All through the time of his loss of life until now, I by no means noticed any group come to say he was their member.”
Dominic describes his late son, who was his fifth and final baby, as a possible music famous person who glided by the stage title Modern. Chibuike, Dominic reveals, was in a gaggle that already had an album to their credit score.
In 2020, Chibuike was admitted to review civil engineering on the Federal College of Owerri (FUTO), however couldn’t attend due to issues attributable to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Along with being an artist, he additionally put in aluminium home windows and roofs.
On October 27, 2020, Dominic instituted two separate circumstances – prison and human rights – in opposition to the Rivers State Command of the Nigerian Police Drive within the Rivers State Excessive Court docket. The human rights case was speedily carried out and on November 27, 2020, Dominic was awarded the sum of fifty million naira for damages. The prison case was adjourned to April 14, 2021, whereas officer Bene was remanded in jail.
Chibuike’s mom, Agnes, cries as she displays on her son’s life. “Life has by no means been the identical,” she says, sobbing. “I preserve calling his quantity. I used to be there after they had been burying him however I nonetheless name his quantity [to see] whether or not he would reply me.”
“Although I’ve different youngsters, the departure of that boy appears as if 20 folks left my home,” she provides.
Dominic, in the meantime, says the lack of his son has shattered him, virtually driving him to madness. “His loss disorganized me,” he explains. “Since his loss, I’ve turn into disoriented.”
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