BATTERED phone repair man Peter Onyuike who was physically assaulted on the orders of Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) chairman Danladi Umar has said that he will not be taking any further action on the matter in order not to infuriate the powers-that-be.
Mr Onyiuke, a phone repairer at a shopping outlet at Banex Plaza in the Wuse of Abuja, was detained without charge on March 29 and was only released by at the Police Station in Wuse on April 6 after a public outcry. He had been detained on the instructions of Mr Umar, who had him arrested for daring to challenge him after he physically attacked Clement Sargwak, the plaza’s security guard.
Recollecting his ordeal, Mr Onyuike said that with the suffering and humiliation he passed through in the hands of security agents for one week, he would not want any more trouble from any big man in this country. He added that he will not be making any case against the public officer, who is still grappling with the backlash of the assault he unleashed on a security guard.
Mr Onyuike said: “Whatever happened I leave it to God who has seen me through all my troubles in the hands of that big man. I do not want any more trouble from any big man in this country.
“With what I went through throughout last week in the detentions of the police and Department of State Security (DSS), I was only saved by God and I do not want to go back to it. I was beaten and my clothes were torn down to my underpants and when I was taken away to DSS custody, I was still beaten.
Witnesses at the scene of the incident, said Mr Onyuike was severely beaten by the security agents who acted on Mr Umar’s orders. Mr Umar, according to the witnesses account, accused Mr Onyuike of being rude in an encounter they had shortly after the CCT chairman attacked the plaza’s security guard.
Mr Onyuike had helped Mr Umar to pick up his phone that fell to the ground without him knowing and was trying to return it to him when the CCT chairman picked a quarrel against him. He was later picked up by security agents suspected to be State Security Service operatives who later handed him over to the police.
Upon his arrest, the police detained Mr Onyuike until last Tuesday, clearly violating the constitutional provision that prohibits the detention of any person without charge for more than 48 hours.
Mr Onyiuke added: “I was put in a small cage, the same place I was urinating for more than two days before I was later taken to the police station. I don’t have a lawyer, my family are in the village and I am not sure any of them knew or was aware of my ordeals.”
Since the incident, Samuel Ihensekhien, the lawyer who broke the news, has filed a petition against Mr Umar at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), asking for a probe into the March 29 incident. Mr Sagwak, in the April 9 petition signed by Mr Ihensekhien, accused the CCT chairman of abuse of power, assault, torture, and xenophobia.
Aside from the case filed at the NHRC on behalf of Mr Sargwak, a petition was also filed by two national officers of the Nigerian Bar Association at the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee, seeking Mr Umar’s trial for what they described as his unlawyerly and ungentlemanly conduct. Mr Umar was caught on camera assaulting the security guard, Mr Sargwak an employee of Jul Reliable Guards Services and in the five minutes video footage that went viral, he was seen slapping and kicking the 22-year-old, on March 29.
According to eye witnesses, the altercation was over the space where the CCT chairman parked his car on the premises of the mall. Mr Umar, who also accused Mr Sargwak of being rude, insisted he was the one assaulted by a mob of Biafran Boys, a characterisation that was widely condemned as a slur on a particular group.