By Tony Nyong
UYOâ€”Akwa Ibom State Police Command is still in the dark over how an 18-year-old boy, Kingsley Effiom, was killed and buried in a new building being constructed by a church on 170, Ikot Ekpene Road.
While the police are investigating the matter, a week after the boy was allegedly killed, the family of the deceased is crying foul over suspected clandestine moves by some elements within and outside the church to pervert justice.
The body of the boy, a junior secondary school student of Aka Community Secondary School, Ikot Akpan Abia, exhumed from a four feet foundation of the church and taken to the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital for autopsy, was unearthed two days after he was found missing.
Unsuspecting members of the family, who went to the church premises after discovering that the boy had gone there to do menial job, found his bicycle, clothes and shoes at the site of the new church building.
AlthoughÂ authorities of the church had earlier denied knowledge of the incidence and chased the family members away , it was gathered that they had quickly mobilized iron benders to the site of the new building to form the frames for concrete to be poured on the spot where the boy had been buried for a possible cover up.
It was learnt that the family members who were attracted to a particular spot where flies had gathered dug the place only to perceive some foul smell and soon discovered the body.
The Pastor of the church who also said the foul smell was that of a toad buried at the spot, but brother of the murdered boy, Mr. Ability Effiom, told Vanguard that a senior police officer who is a member of the church brought police men to the scene where they were arrested to frustrate them from confirming the corpse to be that of their slain brother.
Ability told Vanguard that they were alerted the next Monday that the police had gone there to exhume the body of their brother with the intention of disposing it of in order to conceal the alleged ritual killing, only for them to arrive the scene to be told by those engaged to do the do the digging that the brother was beaten to death and some chemicals poured on the body to make it decompose quickly.
The Police, in what seems to spark of connivance with the church authorities, manhandled a journalist working with Century Newsfront Newspaper who arrived the place ahead of others and seized his cameras and mobile phones, deleted every pictorial evidence of what he had of the exhumed body, while the Divisional Police Officer, Mr. Raymond Anyanwu, warned the journalist not to interfere in police job.
Meanwhile the Federated Chapel of the local media in the state recently in their congress issued a press statement protesting what they described as police brutality against some members of the press in the state.