Hello Charles Chukwuma Soludo sir, ensure nothing happens to this man. We should stop subjecting our people to untold suffering, look at this man, look at his age and see how his two hands were tied like a hardened criminal. This is very unfair and unfortunate; the Nigeria security are fond of this Inhuman treatment against mostly our people. This act must be condemned and swift release of this man must be ensured. An accused must be treated with respect. We cannot continue this way.
Family Demand Whereabouts Of Bar Owner Tortured, Arrested By Nigerian Security Agents For Allegedly Selling Food, Drinks To ‘Unknown Gunmen In Anambra
The bar is in Ukpor town in the Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
SaharaReporters learnt that a combined team of security agents made up of police, officials of the Department of State Services and soldiers, who were hunting for 'unknown gunmen’ terrorising the area, stormed Ezechukwu's bar on Tuesday, August 2, 2022, destroying and looting it.
It was gathered that the ferocious-looking security operatives who were led by soldiers of the Nigerian Army accused him of allowing ‘unknown gunmen’ to drink at the bar.
In a statement made available to SaharaReporters on Wednesday titled "Where Is Mr. Anochie Fidel Ezechukwu???", the family said Ezechukwu was neither a criminal nor an unknown gunman.
Signed by Ijeoma Florence, the family narrated, "On Tuesday the 2nd of August, 2022, he woke up like every other hard-working, responsible family man and went about his normal business.
"He runs a Bar/Relaxation spot in his home town in Ukpor, Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State. His business has been boosting the economy of our community in its little way.
"Mr. Ezechukwu was in his spot preparing for the day's business when men of the Nigerian Army and other security forces in full uniform with about 20 vehicles in convoy invaded his business premises and totally destroyed his Bar! They tied him up like a Ram about to be slaughtered, inflicted some fatal injuries on him and took him away to an unknown destination.
"Note that in all these, Mr. Ezechukwu was never on the run, never have any criminal questions/allegation/records on his head. He was not in hiding, and never gave any form of resistance to the arrest. So why tie him up like a chicken? Why trample on his human dignity? Why naked him and reduce him to nothingness? Why destroy the place of business he runs with his wife?
"To date, none of his family members, wife, or friends have been able to locate him.
"The accusation against Mr. Ezechukwu is that unknown gunmen may be patronizing his business. Like how on earth are we reduced to this level in this country? How can someone who runs and manages a Bar/Relaxation Spot offence be that ‘unknown gunmen’ comes to take a drink in his establishment?”
"These are supposed to be unknown gunmen right," the family said, adding "so if they are unknown to the Army and all the security formations whose job is to catch them, then how come these security formations that know these unknown gunmen and the fact that they visit Mr. Ezechukwu's place of business left the unknown gunmen and more or less ‘kidnapped’ Mr. Ezechukwu? Something is not right."
They lamented that "this fate that has befallen Mr Ezechukwu is duplicated all over South East. You are an endangered species if you are a young man living in any part of the South East, especially in Imo and some parts of Anambra.
"The general public should please come to the aid of the family. Help us ask questions. Where is Mr. Anochie Fidel Ezechukwu? HQ Nigerian Army, Nigeria police, members of Civil Society Organisations, ordinary Nigerians, and the masses, help us, please.
"The life of Mr. Ezechukwu, a responsible hard-working Nigerian must not be wasted just like that. He is a family man. His wife must not be made a widow for no just cause.
"All the family asks is that they should know his whereabouts. It is his constitutional right to be entitled to a fair hearing, and be treated with dignity no matter the allegation. He has the right to his family and legal representation!"
His twin brother Anochie Dennis Ezechukwu, who spoke with SaharaReporters, also stated that his family had visited all the security formations in the state and all of them claimed that his brother was not in their custody.
"If my brother is not in their custody, where is my twin brother?" he asked.
He stated that his brother was not a criminal or an unknown gunman, saying if he was a criminal, his community would not have trusted him with leadership positions given to him.
According to him, his brother is the ward leader of Umuolisa-Ehim village, Umunuko Ukpor.
"He is the Secretary of Umuolisa-Ehim village. A revenue officer for Ukpor town union, (covering the Ukpor Central market), and then Security officer at the Celtel Mast in front of his bar/relaxation centre."
Also speaking to SaharaReporters, his wife, Onyinye who witnessed the incident, said that the security agents after looting their business destroyed their shops and took away goat meat pepper soup they had prepared for the day's business.
She noted that they seized her phone to ensure she didn't video their atrocities.
She said, "N50,000 goat slaughtered that day and cooked was taken away together with the pot.
"They took away drinks worth over N200,000 inside three deep freezers. Fish inside the ‘point-and-kill’ worth about N30,000 were all taken away.
"Two electricity generators, two gas burners and a stove, large screen TV sets and several phones they seized from neighbours to ensure that nobody recorded their activities were taken away."
She said the things destroyed by the security officers include several crates of empty beer bottles, tables, chairs, a tarpaulin, and a GP water tank.
She said they also stole some money, a grinding machine, foodstuffs - rice, garri, beans, tomatoes, onion, seasoning cubes, crayfish and other food items she sells.
Onyinye, who said she is taking refuge in a neighbouring community, noted that even her cooking pots, breakable plates, glass cups, ladles and mat were taken away.