IGP Usman Alkali Baba

IGP Baba

was paraded for killing four policemen while in police custody

Juliana Francis

A concerned Nigerian, Ikechukwu Amaechi, has taken to social media to shed further light on how policemen attached to the Imo State Police Command arrested a tailor, Thaddeus Ikechukwu Ojokoh, on trump up charges of being an IPOB member, then later paraded him as among those that killed four policemen in the state.

The Nigerian Police magic in the whole drama is that the tailor, Ojokoh, was already in detention, with the police refusing his family to have access to him before the four policemen were killed.

How Ojokoh vanished from a police detention facility, under the noses of several policemen, right in their thick-walled cell, to join others in killing the four policemen is a mystery or magic, many Nigerians, including Civil Society Organisations members are trying to wrap their heads around.

This naturally reinforces accusations of many human rights activists that men of the Nigerian Police Force were notorious for human rights violations and swapping suspects for different crimes, unmindful, and uncaring of their innocence.

The Police denying Ojokoh’s family access to him while in detention is a violation of his right and keeping him in detention without charging him to court is also a violation of his rights.

Already, a human rights organisation, the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) has stepped into the matter.

RULAAC has called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Alkali Usman Baba, to order a prompt and impartial investigation into the parading of Ojokoh by the Imo State Police Command as one of the suspects that killed the four policemen.

The Executive Director of RULAAC, Okechukwu Nwanguma, describing the whole drama as a mystery, said the IGP should unravel the mystery surrounding the claim by the Imo State Police Command that a man who had been in police custody was among those who carried out the dastardly killing of police officers in Imo State on a date that the man was still in the custody of the police.

Below is the narration and plea of Ikechukwu Amaechi on the same matter…

“This is an SOS message to all people of goodwill, particularly Imolites to intervene before a great, irreversible injustice is visited on an innocent citizen.

This is the sad story of citizen Thaddeus Ikechukwu Ojokoh from Umugwa Umuokirika, Ahiazu Mbaise.

Ikechukwu Ojokoh, 53 years old, a professional tailor, is married with five children. In the last two decades, he has been practicing his trade at Afor Oru, where he has a shop.

On April 15, which was an Afor Oru Market Day, he was at his shop as usual and later in the day went into the market to buy some tailoring materials.

Armed men, who turned out to be personnel of the Nigeria Police Force swooped on him and whisked him away, on the allegation that he is an IPOB member. He has been in police custody at the “Tiger Base” ever since.

Then, on April 21, six days after his arrest, hoodlums attacked policemen on patrol at Ngor-Okpala and killed four of them.

On April 30, Imo State Police Command issued a statement that the man they arrested earlier was one of those who unconscionably murdered the policemen on national duty.


“Sequel to the attack of Police Officers on patrol attached to Ngor-Okpala/Mbaise Area Command at  Ngor-Okpala, Imo State on 21/04/2023 by hoodlums suspected to be members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its militia affiliate, Eastern Security Network (ESN) where four gallant police officers lost their lives, the indefatigable Commissioner of Police, Imo state, CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde PSC(+) after on the spot assessment of the incident, directed the Command’s tactical teams to commence detailed investigation and manhunt to unravel the perpetrators of the dastardly act.

“Acting on the CP’s directives, a detachment of the Command’s tactical team on 24/04/2023 at about 1730hrs after diligent gathering of credible intelligence, arrested one Mathew Chuwkuma 48yrs ‘m’ of Mpam Ahaizu Mbaise LGA, Imo State, in his hideout at Umuahia, Abia State.

“He confessed to be the Sector Commander of a dreadful IPOB/ESN syndicate in Mbaise and assisted the curious operatives in arresting three (3) of his syndicate namely; Ojoko Ikechukwu 53yrs ‘m’ of Umugwa, Chilaka Charles 44yrs ‘m’ of Umuezuo, and Anthony Iwu 50yrs ‘m’ of Umugwa all in Umuokiria, Ahaizu Mbaise LGA of Imo State in their Criminal hideout while others escaped.

“On searching the suspects and their hideout the following incriminating items were recovered; One cut to size AK 47 rifle, One hundred and Ninety rounds of live 7.62 mm Ammunition, Two AK 47 magazines, two cut to size double barrel guns, one locally fabricated Berretta pistol were recovered from the Terrorist hideout.”


According to the police, the accused had admitted to killing the policemen. With due respect and every sense of responsibility, I dare say that this cannot be true, at least not in the case of Ikechukwu Ojokoh.

It is curious that a man arrested on April 15 and who has been in police custody ever since is being accused of killing policemen at Ngor-Okpala on April 21.

Secondly, the said Ikechukwu Ojokoh was arrested at Afor-Oru market and not at any “terrorist hideout.”

Besides, even if Thaddeus Ojokoh was arrested after the killing of the policemen, I would still vouch, without any fear of contradiction, that he couldn’t have been part of that dastardly act. Why? He is incapable of hurting a fly.

And I am saying with every emphasis at my command that he is innocent.  Why is the unconscionable killing of security officers or any human being for that matter condemnable, it is equally wrong to frame innocent, poor folks for crimes they never committed.

I am putting out this message and appealing to Nigerians to intervene before an innocent soul is wasted for a crime he didn’t commit.

Thaddeus Ikechukwu Ojokoh is my cousin and I insist that he is innocent, even if for no other reason, at least for the fact that he had been in police custody before the four policemen were murdered in cold blood.

Ikechukwu Amaechi.”

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