My 81 Days Awkuzu SARS Experience

By Dr. Justin Nwankwo

I arrived Awkuzu SARS on the 1st day of August, 2013 with my boss Chief Bonaventure Mokwe-Dikeh in a weakened body after 6 hours being locked up in a police ‘Black Maria’ van, with 12 other staff of
Upper Class Hotel, Onitsha.

I had kept my mind alert refusing to faint or collapse in the van. Upon arrival, I could read the bold inscriptions on the wall of that abattoir camp which says “Welcome to hell fire”.
I quickly told myself that we are in for the worst. I have heard tales of this abattoir. I always thought and believed that it was the land of mongrels and that it was absolutely reserved for hardened criminals until I arrived.

But no, I was mistaken. It was a
center for butchering both the innocent and the guilty. A theatre of human death and sale of human parts.

Remind me, I shall tell you about the doctor who was always on flowing white agbada at Awkuzu Sars, who comes to treat gunshot wounds. His expertise is in
negotiating sale of human parts.

I was marshalled straight by the almighty O.C SARS to an open rickety hall upon our arrival. All other victims were separated, each to his or her own fate.

Torture in the Abattoir: (Only the lucky survives)
Standing by one end was a police officer with two suspects who were chained together, tempo of the interrogation was getting higher. Momentarily forgetting my own ordeal, I kept a gaze on all corners of the hall abandoned with an ominous look of a 2nd world war torture camp.
Ropes were streaming down from ceiling tops, bags of sand were elevated on perimeter wall fence of the hall and all types of rod and metal varying in shape, length and size were starring at you while you hear shouts of people from the back of the hall screaming the
name of their late great grandmothers to come and intercede on their behalf.

Buckets of water are kept on standby in case one faints or opts to die before appending signature to already written statements. I was still mentally surveying the entire facility when I was jolted back
to reality by the sound of a rapid military rifle, ‘tem tem tem’.

“You no wan talk…you wan follow am go, you wan travel”?, were the words resonating from the other end of the hall. I tried looking but slaps from my I.P.O (Investigating Police Officer) reminded me that I was
not in this camp for excursion or tourism.

“That guy don travel ooo”, said my IPO. “So make you tell me the truth otherwise I go travel you”, were the words from the officer.

Meanwhile, the O.C Sars, the 2IC (2nd in command) and about 4 other police officers started asking
me questions ranging from personal to family to academic background questions
When I got to the part that I was a PhD student,the questions ceased and the O.C shout, ”Mr. Tell us what happened”, or in his Abakaliki accent,”ma agbajisie gu ukpa la abo (I will shoot your two legs)
I started my story of what happened but that was not what they wanted to hear. The questions were already made and I must be categorical in my answers
“Your director kills people”, “No Sir”, I retorted!
And the torture started properly.
Make him talk (ordered the OC James Nwafor
) before he went to supervise the torture of Chief Bonaventure Mokwe at the back of the hall.

Ropes were tied by my two hands, by the two legs, then both legs and hands bent and tied together with a rod passing through them and then elevated to a perimeter wall.
In fact, if you have watched a goat being prepared for suya barbecue, then you are close to the picture.

At the turn of each question and non-compliance, a bag of sand is added at my back to add extra pain. Cries upon wails until you pass out. “Ooh you want to die?”,
A cold bucket of water quickly spoils your trance and brings you back to reality.

From minutes to hours, the torture lasts ontop of the beam. In the cell, we call it ”Hanging”, the boss of the cell will always differentiate ”ndi agbara” hanging with others because you will be
laid flat at the cell for at least 3 days before your joints start to heal.

The ”hanging” never stops until finally you start saying that you killed XYZ so that you can be brought down meanwhile XYZ is alive.

From hanging on the beam, tying of rope in a strangulation mode
around the neck, inserting of pin and rope inside the penis to shooting of bullets in a circular fashion, increasing the tempo of the questions at each turn, one is immersed into a theatre of pain and your pre-written statements, a product of individual pain threshold.
In the midst of my torture, I opted to set forth at dawn, dragging myself to crossover the threshold of death but they were Anthills in the Savannah.

On his part, Bonaventure Mokwe was undergoing his own routine hanging and strangulation and his shouts of “nne mooo, nne moooo,
nne moooo”, was reverberating from the back of the hall.

“I will kill you and nothing will happen”, were consistently echoing from the Chief Butcher James Nwafor. At this point, every body was carrying his own cross, nothing I could do to help the old man but to soak my own
some are better than the others. Cell 5 is the worst because it is tagged “Condemned cell”. If you happen to be there, then you are not in Awkuzu SARS because that cell for them does not exist. High profile criminals caught with military rifles are kept there awaiting
execution and because our case had all the above element, I smelled the cell for 6 hours and was transferred out in the morning of the next day while the director remained there till the 5th of August.

From Cell 5, I moved to Cell 1 and to Cell 4 where I rotted away without
taking a bath or brush, defecating in a nylon polythene and not seeing the light of day for 81 days.

Cell 4 and Cell 3 in Awkuzu SARS are dark cells. No light, no ventilation and no windows. Completely dark from morning to evening. People who are tortured
return back with ambulance services performed by inmates since you can neither walk, move or shift any part of your body. The demand for water is the case consistently but no one gives you. Your Cell boss knows the implications of giving you water and
so brotherhood of men is preserved for it transcends the sovereignty of nations.

Cellmates die from suffocations.
Cellmates die from torture effect.
Cellmates die from gunshot wounds unattended to.
Cellmates die from trauma.
Cellmates are summarily pulled out
and executed in the middle of the night.

Akwuzu SARS was a theater of death. An abattoir.
Dying in the cell is a normal occurrence and the ambulance duty each morning is to take them to the back yard for the diabolic looking doctor to confirm.
Cell 4 and 3 were total blackout
cells filled with the stench of inmates purportedly caught with locally made pistols and kidnapping cases.

In my days at Guantanamo bay, I rekindled my pastoral skills and led the two twin cells of 3 and 4 in morning, afternoon and night devotions. Sleeping was with one
eye open because gunshots fill the air at all times and people are summarily judged through the barrel of a gun. Answering your name at odd hours is risky and mentioning of your name reminds one of the ambulance job we do each day for fallen comrades.
A room of not more than 2 square feet size packed by 29 to 31 suspects.

Heat kills, hunger kills, mental switch on and off kills, and police bullets do the rest.

Who will be the next to be killed?

At the abattoir, talks of going to court is freedom itself and remanding one

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More from @mr_cjayerus

15 Oct
Behold the Idi Amin of Awkuzu Sars CSP James Nwafor

Under the Anambra state government modus of public bidding for motor parks, James Nwafor participated in the process while on active duty.

There is a motor park at the Upper Iweka of Onitsha called the Ogbaru park.
James Nwafor, in partnership with another private individual ( I do not want to mention his name) secured the management of the very motor park. One man named Darlington from the same town as James Nwafor that resides at Asaba, represented the interest of James Nwafor.
Now, within the very period, the Ogbaru youths resented the contracting of the park to a non indigen and hence, regular disturbance in the park was the norm. What James Nwafor did was to dispatch a team of his officers to the park and a number of the Ogbaru youths were killed
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15 Oct
When we got to room 102, the door was locked and I turned and asked Dr Nwankwo Justin whether a guest 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 7A.M. every day. I instructed him to bring our own 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 hotel are predominantly traders from Cameron and Niger republic and that they carry a lot of cash with them. That has been the case since 1974 the hotel was built because of its nearness to main market Onitsha.
Read 34 tweets
15 Oct



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 Image
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. One the very date, I drove into my hotel from my
residence at around 7.30 in the morning. Minutes after that, a truck load of Police men arrived and surrendered my hotel. It did not take long before the crowd started gathering outside of the hotel as I looked through my office window.
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