By Anayo Okoli, Umuahia
NO less than 14 operatives of the Abia State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have been picked up by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the state police over the death of a school principal, Magnus Obinna Ezeugo.
Ezeugo was of Bende Junior Secondary Grammar School, Umuorie in Bende Local Government Council of the state.
He was said to have collapsed and died hours after he was allegedly “severely beaten” by the members of the Civil Defence Corps, including his younger brother, a member of the corps.
On account of family quarrel, the brother of the deceased was alleged to have invited his colleagues “to deal with his brother”. And in dealing with him, Magnus was said to have sustained head injury which led to his death.
According to Magnus’ wife, Emilia, the Civil Defence men had, in the early hours of June 7, 2011, stormed their home at Ipupe Ubakala in Umuahia South Council, and in a Gestapo manner, kicked their door open, grabbed her late husband and gave him the beating of his life before he was bundled into a waiting van.
Lamenting further, she said that the entire family, including their three children, was taken to NSCDC office at Umuahia, where her late husband allegedly received more knocks, before he was allowed to go to his school to conduct the examination that was going on then.
She alleged that when her husband got to the school, he collapsed and died instantly.
While the Abia State commandant of NSCDC, Mr. Nathaniel Ukpong, admitted the arrest of the deceased and members of his family, he denied that the deceased died as a result of the beating, as, he said, his men did not beat the late Ezeugo when he was arrested.
Ubong, however explained said that since the police had invited some of his men for questioning over the matter, anyone of them found culpable would face the music because “our men are civil, we don’t take advantage of our uniform to beat people”.
But not leaving anything to chance, lawyer to the deceased family, Mr. Eze Ihekoronye has written a petition to the state commissioner of police, urging him “to investigate the suspects and bring them to book in accordance with our criminal justice system; murder is the highest offence known to law.”