Posted by The Port Harcourt Telegraph on
I had gone to the mechanic shed". Iwarimie told me, "to fix my car. That is how I met this fate (pointing to his injuries)."
“I had gone to the mechanic shed". Iwarimie told me, "to fix my car. That is how I met this fate (pointing to his injuries)."
Obviously in pain as he laboured to tell his story, Iwarimie remarked, "when my mechanic was through with my car, I asked the man to kindly ask the owner of the vehicle behind mine to wheel out so I could get moving."
"I noticed he hesitated but went behind all the same to talk with him. He soon emerged to tell me the man had not bulged. So, I took it upon myself to convince him.”
"I told him to allow me pull out, and told him I was late for a meeting. I was shocked when he asked me if I did not know him; asked me why I should disturb him and asked me if didn't know he is a chief."
If Iwarimie, a staff of the Local Government Service Commission had known he was face to face with danger, he would probably had beat a fast retreat.
The fact was there was no way he was to know he was face to face with Chief Chekwas, the one local people call Captain Chekwas, an Elelenwo chief said to have a military past.
Incidentally, Iwarimie resides at Woji but maintains his car, a Mercedes Benz, at Elelenwo, and as he explained that was why he went there in the first place.
The victim continued his tale, “I told him it was unfair for him to simply oppress me because he is a chief. The man simply turned violent, hauling stones at me. I withdrew to my car, rolled up the windows at least to avoid being pelted with stones."
"The next thing I knew, he had brought a hammer, I think it was a sledge hammer and began to smash my car. Not done with hitting the rooftop of my car, he smashed the window glass on the driver's side. Soon, he was attacking me.
"I blocked the first blow to my head with my left. He tried again and again and I raised my left hand to ward them off."
Surprisingly, nobody moved to rescue the victim, according to what we have heard. It was obvious every one around was petrified. As one source put it under conditions of anonymity “Captain Chekwas isn't the type to confront.”
Some within the community acknowledged that the man who comes from a notable Elelenwo family could be erratic.
According to these independent sources, Chekwas has high connections in the judiciary and the police, and Iwarime claims he swore nothing could happen.
"The next thing I knew he was on the phone and in no time, over 50 youths arrived the scene".
"They beat me mercilessly as they dragged me to the house of the chief, saying I had called their chief a local chief. At the residence of the chief they stripped me naked and continued beating me.
"By this time I was bleeding profusely and I begged them in my bloody state to take me to the hospital.
"Someone who was present may have sneaked out to call an elderly chief. It was he who appealed to them to let me go.
"Captain Chekwas insisted I would sign a document, saying we had made up before leaving, and that I had apologized. I said I would not sign. All I wanted was to go to hospital because I was feeling faint and very weak.
"I was persuaded to sign and I was rescued and put in a taxi. I remember telling the driver to take me to Woji. But when I knew myself, I woke in a private medical establishment, Dappa Clinic. It became clear that I passed out in the cab."
Narrating his ordeal, Iwarimie stated he reported the matter to a nearby police station and later at the SIIB.
What did the police do, we asked him anxiously? He allowed a little painful smile to come through his lips, making an effort to properly prop up himself, “They simply let him go” he told me, “It was painful and humiliating even when they could see my equally painful situation. I stood there looking like a fool”
“It was at that point, I decided to call you to narrate my ordeal. I want nothing other than justice. That’s all I want and I want you to tell the world about what happened”,
What manner of man would attack another with a sledgehammer? Could he really be above the law? We decided to do the story.
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