Detained Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr Chidi Lloyd is undergoing a regime of torture in police custody, his counsel, Mr. Beluolisa Nwaofor (SAN) has cried out.
“This is not only condemnable but regrettable. Rivers State Police Command under Mbu seems not to be bothered by the fact that any evidence that is obtained by force, torture, intimidation or by any form of abuse is not admissible in the court of law, and this is unfortunate.”
Chidi Llyod has since been facing a panel of police interrogators and was flown to Port Harcourt on Friday ostensibly for the commencement of his trial and the hearing of the suit he filed to restrain the police from inviting and arresting him.
The day ended without the police arraigning him in court or the suit being heard, his lawyers, friends and associates having waited for several hours in court.
He told the state High Court, presided over by Justice Esor Teetito, which is hearing Lloyd’s suit that the continued blindfolding and detention of his client is dangerous to his health and life.
He appealed to the court to make an interim order for his release pending the hearing of the motions before the court. Mr. Nwaofor wondered why the police failed to bring Lloyd to court on the suit filed by him.
His words: “The applicant was brought from Abuja this morning (Friday) by the police blindfolded and now being detained at the Police Officers’ Mess here in Port Harcourt.
“Based on the rules governing fundamental human rights, the court should make an interim order for his temporary release pending the decision on the suit. This is necessary because the safety of my client cannot be guaranteed in the hands of the police.
You are aware of what is happening now. Anything can happen before next week.”
A member of Lloyd’s legal team, Mr. Emenike Ebete, who accompanied the detainee to Port Harcourt from Abuja threw light on Lloyd’s ordeal.
Speaking to reporters at the end of the court’s sitting, Mr. Ebete said: “We reported to the IGP on Tuesday. We held a meeting with the IG and the DIG. My client, Chidi Lloyd, turned himself over to the police at the Force Headquarters.
“They treated us with respect.We were with them for about four days, and they did their investigation. Late yesterday (Thursday) we were told that he would be charged to court this morning (Friday) and we left Abuja as early as 7am. By 8.45am, we landed at the Air Force base, Port Harcourt.
“Thereafter, there was a signal that the place was not safe, and that we should hold on. That was when I started smelling rat. We waited for over two hours, after which we were asked to go.
“Over 500 policemen in their Hilux vehicles and Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) were all over the place. At a point when we started moving, we stopped for over 30 minutes; they said they were waiting for another vehicle.
“At the end of the day, we got to the office of the state Commissioner of Police, Mbu J. Mbu. My client emerged from the Black Maria. He was brought in with a black blindfold, as if he is a common criminal. He walked into the CP’s office, and they spent about three minutes. The CP then drove off to where God knows.
“Later we went to the Police Officers’ Mess where we were waiting for his charge sheet to be prepared, so he could be brought to court. Since 12noon, we have been waiting. Till now, that charge has not been filed.
“What that means is that they are going to keep him there throughout the weekend. I am not even sure if they will even charge him to court on Monday.
“What that means now is that he will remain in their custody, exposed to all sorts of inhuman treatment. His life is even in danger. We are not sure if he is going to survive because this place is not safe for him.
“I am calling on everybody to know that our client (Chidi Lloyd) is in the hands of Rivers State Police Command unsafe.
“We brought him from Abuja to be charged today (Friday); his charges are ready. The prosecutor came with us from Abuja. Uptill now 5:10pm, the charge has not been filed.