A middle-aged man Emmanuel Oko Uwa yesterday told the Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital how he was tortured by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) which led to his frequent passing out of blood while urinating.
A native of Agboride village, Amaizu community in Afikpo North Local Council of Ebonyi State, Uwa, who was arrested and arraigned by NDLEA officials in 2012 for being in possession of 1kg Indian hemp, said that he suffered humiliation in the hands of the Agency.
Addressing the court, Uwa said men of the NDLEA numbering 21 invaded his compound at 3:00am on February 15, 2012 and started ransacking his rooms after asking the whereabouts of one Sunday Ogbonnia who resides in the compound.
Uwa said when he told the NDLEA officials that Ogbonnia was not in the compound, they started forcing him to follow them to their office in Afikpo North.
“Because I refused to follow them, they started beating me mercilessly. They later bundled me inside their car and left. They broke my legs and inflicted injuries on my face as can be seen even till now.”
“When they got to their office, they continued the torture to the extent that I started urinating blood each time I want to urinate and it is still happening to me.”
“They said I should admit that I am a drug dealer to free myself which I refused because I am a trader who trades in palm oil, not hard drugs.”
“They later forced me to sign a prepared statement which I did to save my life because I was seriously down,’’ he narrated.
Uwa said his step-brother framed him up because of struggles for his late father’s assets, which he said has polarized the family.
While interrogating him, the prosecution counsel M.C Onyia told the suspect that he was found with a polythene bag containing Indian hemp when officials of the NDLEA surrounded his compound.
He further told the suspect that no official of NDLEA tortured him and that he voluntarily wrote a statement where he admitted committing the crime.
Similarly, the Agency also yesterday arraigned two persons, Inya Samuel Ali and Okorie Onyekachi Kingsley at the same court for being in possession of hard drugs.
Ali was accused of being in possession of 400 grams of cocaine, heroin, cannabis and other drugs while Kingsley was accused of being in possession of 110kg of cannabis sativa, cocaine and heroin.
The two suspects who were arraigned separately committed the offence punishable by Section 19 of the NDLEA Act.
When the charges were read before them by a clerk in the court, they pleaded guilty to the offence.
The trial Judge, Maureen Ada Onyetenu ordered that they be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the matter till December 3, 2015. (The Guardian)