By Esther Onyegbula
The family of Francis Idum who was allegedly killed by some policemen two months ago in Palmgrove area of Lagos has appealed to the Police high command to release the corpse of its son for burial.
The family has also expressed disappointment over the conduct of policemen investigating the case, as it alleged that detectives demanded N20,000 to conduct autopsy on late Idum.
There were different accounts of how Idum was killed. A version of the account said he was shot by some rival cultists who attempted to ambush a team of policemen that stormed the area to effect the arrest of suspected cultists while another version alleged that he died from a stray bullet that hit him during a gun battle with some cultists.
Crime Guard gathered that so far, investigation by detectives at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, revealed that the bullet found at the scene of the killing was that of a pistol and not AK 47 riffle, usually carried by policemen.
However, while briefing journalists on the killing, National President of Path of Peace Initiative, Dandy Eze, described it as callous, explaining that “he was killed when he was going about his work at Ajisegiri street, as the policemen were chasing some hoodlums. Few minutes after Idum was killed, the policemen returned to the area with a Toyota Corolla with plate number TAB 725 AP, accompanied by a senior police officer from Area F and took the deceased away to the mortuary without contacting his family. After the policemen evacuated the corpse, residents of the area, were able to pick the bullet shells used to kill Idum”.
Eze further said, “since the ugly incident that claimed the life of Idum, the police have been visiting the siblings to intimidate and harass them. They are also requesting for evidence of his death despite being in mourning mood.
The deceased’s younger brother, Mr. Sunday Idum, said effort to get justice was being frustrated by a policeman whose identity he gave simply as ASP Fatai, who is the Investigation Police Officer (IPO).
He alleged that the IPO had been demanding money from him and his siblings stating that after much pressure, they gave the policeman N5, 500 out of the N20, 000 he initially demanded.
Release his corpse
He disclosed that when they visited the mortuary at Yaba where Idum’s corpse was deposited, they were informed by the mortician that their late brother had been listed among corpses for mass burial.
He said, “When we appealed to the mortician to remove his corpse from the mass burial container, he also demanded N15, 000 before he would do so. But my family managed to give him N10,000 before my brother’s corpse was removed from those dumped in the container for mass burial.
“All our effort to get justice through petitions written to the Police authorities, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, and Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 2, Area F Command, Ikeja, did not get yield result. As I speak, our father is bedridden with stroke and our aged mother is also sick. We are appealing to the Inspector General of Police, IGP Muhammad Adamu, the Senate President Ahmad Lawal, Speaker of the House of Representative, Femi Gbajabiamila and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to come to our aid and prevail on the police to release the corpse of our brother to us because we want to give him a befitting burial.”