The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Nwonyi Polycarp Emeka, has categorically denied any casualties during the recent two-day protests in the state over the impeachment proceedings against Governor Siminalayi Fubara.
This statement comes in response to a distressed family’s plea for the release of their missing son’s remains.
CP Nwonyi addressed journalists on Friday at the Police Command headquarters in Port Harcourt, refuting claims of any fatalities during the protests.
The commissioner’s stance contradicts the anguish of the Ugiri family, who continue to search for their missing 27-year-old son, Onyekachi Ugiri, allegedly struck by a bullet to the head and presumed dead during the demonstrations on October 31, 2023.
Onyekachi, an Anambra State native residing in the Borokiri area of Port Harcourt, was reportedly lured into joining the protest by a friend.
According to his grieving mother, Calista Ugiri, their neighbor Chinwendu had convinced Onyekachi to participate in the rally supporting Governor Fubara.
Calista Ugiri shared her heart-wrenching account, stating, “On Tuesday (October 31), one boy, our neighbour, his name is Chinwendu.
I heard that Chinwendu came to the house to carry my son to go for protest in support of the governor. At night after I waited and did not see my son, I asked my daughter where her brother was, and she told me our neighbor Chinwendu took her brother for the protest.”
She continued, “On Wednesday, Chinwendu came back again and told my daughter that he took my son to the protest in support of the governor, and as the Police were shooting, a bullet struck Onyekachi in the head.
Then my son ran and entered one building where he died. Chinwendu ran away while others were arrested.”
Mrs. Ugiri’s frantic search for her son led her to various police facilities and hospitals, but she was unable to locate Onyekachi.
Her desperation escalated when she discovered a video depicting her son’s lifeless body covered in blood.
She beseeched the police to provide her son’s body and called upon Governor Fubara for assistance in her plea.
As the controversy unfolds, the conflicting narratives between the Police Commissioner’s assertion of no deaths during the protests and the Ugiri family’s desperate quest for closure continue to raise questions and concerns within Rivers State.
The exact circumstances surrounding Onyekachi Ugiri’s disappearance and alleged death remain under investigation.
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