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IG orders arrest of Police officers over death of INEC staff

By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—INSPECTOR General of Police, Mr. Ogbonaya Onovo, has ordered the immediate arrest of policemen from Aideyan Police Station in Benin fingered in the alleged killing of a staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Miss Amanda Uhunmagho, last month.

The action of the Inspector General of Police in detailing his men to Benin to effect the arrest of the officers was sequel to the petition written by the family of the late INEC staff, appealing to him to step into the matter.

Family of the deceased led by their lawyer, Mr. Abraham Uhunmagho, had told journalists at a press conference last month that the late Miss Amanda Uhunmagho had gone to Aideyan Police Station to persuade the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) probing a case of fraud that she had earlier lodged at the station to testify in the case which had suffered several adjournments in the court.

But policemen at the station, including the IPO, were said to have allegedly given her the beating of her life, pushed her into the cell in an unconscious state for allegedly gripping the IPO.

She was, the following day, charged to the court for insulting a police officer on duty among other charges and died in prisons custody later.

Among the policemen whose arrest were ordered by the Inspector General of Police and currently detained at the AIG Zonal 5 Headquarters in Benin, are the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Divisional Crime Officer (DCO), IPO and two others within the rank and file.

However, the Zonal Police image-maker, Mr. Ebi Orubi,  and the State Command Public Relations Officer, Mr. Peter Ogboi, told journalists in a telephone conversation that they were not aware of the arrest of the police officers, but an anonymous source disclosed that the arrest of the aforementioned officers was carried by a Chief Superintendent of Police from Abuja.

The source added that the arrest of the policemen was to enable the officers from Abuja  investigate the circumstances that led to the death of Miss Uhunmagho and made its independent findings to the Inspector General of Police.

It would be recalled that Edo State Police Command, through its Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Peter Ogboi (ASP), had told a press conference in Benin that the deceased INEC staff died of complications arising  from diabetes and pneumonia and absolved the policemen of any blame in her death.


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