Task force officials ‘beat’ man to death in Rivers

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 Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt


THERE was confusion in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Tuesday following the sudden death of a man suspected to be a Bureau de change operator near the Presidential Hotel.

The man, whose name could not be confirmed at press time, was allegedly beaten to death by men of the state task force on street trading, illegal markets and motor parks.

Spokesman of the state police command, Nnamdi Omoni confirmed the death, saying the matter was being investigated.

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The cordinator of the task Force, Bright Amaewhule in a telephone interview on Tuesday said his men had no hand in the man’s death, saying he slumped on his own and that his men took him to the nearby military hospital in the hope that he would be resuscitated.

Amaewhule said, “There is no truth in the rumour making the rounds that members of the state task force killed the man;  my men had no hand whatsoever in that death; instead they came to offer help to the fainting man but were turned down by the deceased’s brothers around.

“However, the man that died was not a money Bureau de change person, instead he runs a buka behind the refurbished presidential hotel busstop along Aba Road, although we have been asking him to leave the place.”