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Saturday, June 22, 2024


This is going to be unusually lengthy for my piece but, it is necessary to enable a comprehensive understanding of the modus operandi of Awkuzu Sars under CSP James Nwafor. I will try as much as possible to narrow it down to the essential points. My coming in contact with the outfit started on August 1st 2013 when my Upper-class hotel was demolished. On the very date, I drove into my hotel from my residence at around 7.30 in the morning. Minutes after that, a truckload of Policemen arrived and surrounded my hotel. It did not take long before the crowd started gathering outside of the hotel as I looked through my office window. It took some time before some of the police officers walked into my office with Dr Justin Nwankwo. My other hotel staff has already been beaten to a pulp downstairs. I introduced myself and they said that they wanted to search the whole of the hotel premises and I said no problem. 

We started from the last floor of the hotel, room after room and most of the rooms were occupied by guests that are mostly traders from Cameroon. We finally got to the first floor but before then, one of the officers had demanded that we show them to room 102. When we got to room 102, the door was locked and I turned and asked Dr Nwankwo Justin whether a guest had paid for the room the day before and he said yes. I asked about the manifest of the hotel lodging and he said that he had submitted the police copy to SCIB at the Central Police Station Onitsha which every hotel is obligated to do before 7 A.M. every day. I instructed him to bring our copy which he hurriedly did and we showed it to the police. The guest gave his name as John Obi. The officers insisted on breaking the door and I pleaded with them to wait for the guest for some time. the customers of Upper-class hotels are predominantly traders from Cameron and Niger Republic and they carry a lot of cash with them. That has been the case since 1974 the hotel was built because of its nearness to the main market Onitsha. Before I could finish, they broke the door and entered the room. We saw black polythene bags (waterproof) all over the room with an open suitcase. The officers then opened the wardrobe and brought out a bag. Inside the bag were two human skulls with sand all over them and two rusted and unserviceable AK-47 guns. 

I was promptly leg chained on both legs and Dr Justin Nwankwo was handcuffed. I was taken to the outside corridor of the hotel and made to kneel while holding the exhibits and they took pictures. At that point, from the faces I saw amongst the crowd with axes and matchet, I then knew where the whole incident came from, Hazzard of land business along with motor park duel. By the time I was led downstairs, practically most of the police officers had all headed back to the station except the ones that accompanied me. The crowd were surging to mob me. Luckily for me, I came to the office with my Q56 Infinity SUV and the leg chain gave me some space to drive. As I entered my SUV started the Engine and pushed down the vehicle auxiliary, I turned around to the police officers and told them that I already knew what happened and that if the crowd rushed at me, I would fill up the MORTUARY at the general hospital Onitsha including myself. As I surged on, one of the police officers opened the vehicle door and started firing rapidly in the air. That pretty well saved me and some of those people. 

From the Area command Onitsha, we headed to Awkuzu SARS with CSP James Nwafor and his team. Dr Justin Nwankwo and the staff were packed in one vehicle while I, CSP James Nwafor and three other SARS officers were in another vehicle. When we got to the present ROAD SAFETY office along the Enugu / Onitsha before you get to Awkuzu Sars, James Nwafor turned around and said to me: 

1. You will never see that hotel again. 

2. He will kill me whether I am innocent or not and if I am innocent, may my blood be on him and his children. 

When we entered Awkuzu proper, Dr Justin Nwankwo was kept in their torture hall while I was taken behind the torture hall where James Nwafor mostly does his killing. Behind the very torture hall, I was chained to a local weight-lifting device. After some period James Nwafor came back with some officers along with one other officer I later discovered to be his deputy by name CSP Sunday Okpe. Sunday Okpe inspected the exhibits for some time and asked me the following questions: 

1. Were the exhibits recovered in my office and I said no, it was recovered in a guest room. 

2. Do we have the hotel manifest I answered yes that we submitted the police copy early in the morning but that my manager has a duplicate copy. 

He inspected the exhibits yet again and said that the skulls looked old and that the guns had not been in use for a long time, why all in one bag he asked while the rest looked on. As he turned to leave, he muttered; this looks like mago mago. His observation did not stop James Nwafor. Not long after that, one of the officers came back with an already written statement and I was asked to sign. I refused to say that I am quite capable of writing my statement. My torture commenced immediately. I was overpowered and my shirt was removed from me. They then wrapped my neck with the shirt and then followed it will a green rope and they started pulling from both ends. Gentlemen, I was gone. They then appended my thumbprint on the prepared statement that substantiated the allegations against me. Meanwhile, Dr Justin Nwankwo was seeing hell in the torture hall. 

When I eventually regained consciousness, I found myself in their death chamber called cell 5. It is the cell that is reserved for those James Nwafor will kill. Congested and extremely dirty. Food is not allowed in the very Cell unless periodic loaves of bread are shared in slices. One bucket of water every day for drinking. The shock of my life happened on the second or the third day of being in the very cell 5. There is this small boy between the ages of 19 and 22, a second-year Engineering student of FUTO. He calls me uncle. He told me that he was the only son of the mother and that his supremely rich uncle, based in Lagos wanted to annex his own father’s portion of family land and that his father was late. His resistance against the uncle landed him as a kidnapper and armed robber at SARS. Then, it was either the second or third night of my stay in the condemned cell and the door of the cell opened late one night. What I saw was a touch light. Names were being called one after the other, 17 names in all including the small boy and they were ordered out and the door closed back. It did not take more than 15 minutes, gunshots filled the air, Nne moo! Nne moo!! was all I could hear. The 17 young men were slaughtered in cold blood. I lost it that night. My system just shut down. 

It was either the 4th or 5th day that the door opened one morning and it was the same Sunday Okpe that called my name and told me to come out. No energy was left in me because I had not eaten real food except periodic slices of bread. He bought me something to eat along with a malt drink. I was subsequently transferred to cell 1. After some days, I was called into James Nwafor’s office to see my wife and my lawyer Professor Umenweke Nnama Meshach. I tried to get Dr Justin Nwankwo to join me but they refused. As time went on, I discovered that the case was hanged because there was no complainant. Even James Nwafor voiced out some frustration when he said, the hotel demolition was too fast. This is the same person who told me that I would never see the hotel again. He became unusually friendly towards me but I knew it was damage control. The latitude allowed me to study what truly obtained at the AWKUZU SARS. I witnessed some of the tortures and I became aware of some of their cases along with what happens in the place. 

1). I witnessed an incident when a young trading apprentice was arrested by SARS on behalf of the master over a missing 250,000 Naira or thereabout. He broke his spinal cord and died when he was subjected to what they call HANGING TORTURE. He was written off as an armed robber.

2). I witnessed an incident during what they call a verification exercise or something like that. All the inmates will be brought out in the open yard and all will be seated on the ground. When your name is called, you will stand up and answer some questions. There is this boy that was called up and James Nwafor asked him; Are you from Ogidi? Before the boy can finish saying no, James shoots him with a silver-coloured pistol which is always with him. The boy bled to death right there.

3). I also witnessed the practice of shifting inmates in the middle of the night to Nneni to dodge official inspections of the place. Nneni SARS annexe is another abattoir. 

Starvation of inmates and outright shooting is the rule there. If the government undertakes the excavation of the perimeter of the Nneni annexe, The Ezu River will be a joke compared to what will be discovered. I saw other killings at the very place. Every morning, the inmates of CELL 1 will be called to carry a dead body or two behind the torture hall. Any individual who has been detained by SARS for an extended period will tell you exactly that. Let me clarify an issue here. CSP James Nwafor does not release proven kidnappers or armed robbers, he kills them but, with a negotiated huge amount of money, James will at most, charge the person to court. The outright release of the person is off as far as I know. What I also know is that he can be bought to do a particular job, death inclusive, if the price is right. 

Let me stop here but there are more details. If the government of the day is desirous of appeasing the victims of SARS, the government should offer immunity to some officers who served under James Nwafor and they will lead investigators to the exact location of the corpse dump in the vicinity of Nneni. Some of the SARS victims can at least recover the body of their loved ones for burial.



The opinions and views expressed in this write-up are entirely those of the Writer(s). They do not reflect the opinions and views of the Publisher (Nze Ikay’s Blog) or any of its employees. The designations employed in this publication and the presentation of materials herein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever of the Publisher (Nze Ikay’s Blog) or its employees concerning the legal status of any country, its authority, area or territory or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers. Equally, the sketches, images, pictures and videos are gotten from the public domain.

Nigeria is an Enigma. The capacity to gain an accurate and deep understanding of her is undoubtedly God’s endowment to us, her citizens. As a citizen of this lovely nation, I’ve spent decades of my life trying to understand this, Mirage. Hope someday, this Mystery that houses about 250 million blacks will be globally understood, widely accepted, and given the opportunity to play its vital role in the world stage. So, help us God! #NigeriaDeservesBetter #AfricaDeservesBetter

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