An hotelier/businessman in Anabara State have been arrested and detained by officers of the Nigeria Police Force, area command Onitsha over alleged involvement in ritual activities. Mr. Bonaventure Mokwe’s arrest took place on Thursday, August 1, 2013 at about 11am. He was arrested in his office at Upper Class Hotel Onitsha.
The Upper Class Hotel is a the victim’s inherited property, originally built by his father- G. C Mokwe in 1971.
The police displayed two dry human skulls and an Ak47 assault rifle which they claimed to have discovered in one of the rooms in the 22 room hotel. Reports reveal that the room in question was on the 1st floor of the three floor hotel. Sources confirmed it is a room regularly used by lodgers and had been occupied by different lodgers at different times during the week.
Mr. Mokwe’s wife, Mrs. Nkiru Mokwe was also arrested and bundled into police cell moments after her husband’s arrest. Mrs. Mokwe is a Chief State Counsel at the Ministry of justice, Onitsha. The couple was
subsequently taken to Anambra State SARS headquarters at Awkuzu. During their detention, the couple were denied access to legal counsels and family members. After about 12 hours, the wife was released while Mr.
Mokwe was still detained.
Surprisingly, the hotel which is supposed to have served as a relevant evidence in further investigations, which I suppose should have been sealed with the crime scene tape, was bulldozed down at about 7pm of the same day. Investigations reveal that this activity was ordered by Mr. Peter Obi, Anambra State Governor.
Mr. Mokwe’s property located in another area was said to have also been demolished by the same team. The tenants were evicted before the demolition took place.
It is quite bewildering how the hotel which is the alleged crime scene and could have aided investigations was destroyed on the same day the arrests were made without any forensic investigation. It is also curious that the other rooms in the 24 room hotel were not searched before the demolition.
It is basic intelligence to expect that if one is in possession of illegal firearms, it would be in a secure/secret place and not somewhere accessible to the public, like the hotel room. Nigeria Police Watch gathered that the police came into the hotel and went straight into a particular room on the first floor which is open to customers. The police claimed they found fresh human heads dripping with blood but what they displayed to the press were two old, dried human skulls.
Neither Mr. Mokwe’s attorney nor his family has been granted access to him by the Awkuzu SARS commander till date. There is a grave concern about his safety and the chances of being maltreated or murdered extra
Owing to past security records of the state, eyebrows are beginning to go high on Mr. Mokwe’s safety in the hands of the police. According to Okechukwu Joachim Mokwe, the victim’s brother; “we are aware that my
brother who is also involved in land speculation had some issues with some of his associates and one of them threatened to slip in a corpse to the hotel in order to get back at him”.
He continues; “the SARS commander has treated to deal ruthlessly with my brother. We do not know if my brother is still alive or dead. He (the SARS commander) claims there are a lot of graves he has dug up to
prove that my brother is a ritual murderer. The question is; can he show these graves to the press? Who was there when he dug up these graves? My state is under siege by criminals but destroying people’s
property over a skull obviously planted there and subjecting people to inhuman treatment, does that constitute crime fighting”.
In a statement made available to Nigeria Police Watch, the Amokwe family expressed discontent on the way and manner their son is being treated by the police describing it as a pure witch-hunt demanding that due process be followed while seeking justice. They equally expressed fears that the state government has a hand in Mr. Amokwe’s ordeal, describing it as a conspiracy.
Nigeria Police Watch therefore call on the Anambra State commissioner of police to order a proper investigation into Mr. Mokwe’s case.