.Police

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, ABUJA

The Nigerian Police Force, on Wednesday, denied the allegation that it extra-judicially killed one Ogaga Ohore, insisting that he died as a result of a beating that was given to him by his cellmates.

A Police Inspector, Ekeinde P. Edwin, who testified before the Independent Investigative Panel on human rights violations by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, and other Units of the Nigeria Police Force, sitting in Abuja, narrated how Ogaga got the beating of his life after he attempted the impose himself as “President” inside his cell.

The Police witness told the panel that Ogaga was arrested and locked up after his gang robbed one Sunday Adache of his Tecno phone and other valuables.

He said Ogaga later died in the Abuja University Teaching hospital Gwagwalada, in the custody of the police.

Insp. Ekeinde recounted before the panel that was led by Dr Garba Teteng, SAN, who stood in for the Chairman, Justice Suleiman Galadima (rtd), how on December 6, 2019, one Pastor Daniel Adache, reported on behalf of his son, Sunday Adache, a case of criminal conspiracy and armed robbery by some unidentified men, in Mararaba, Karu LGA of Nasarawa State.

He said immediately the complaint was received, a team of the Federal Intelligence Bureau- Intelligence Response Team (FIB-IRT) swung into action by tracking the stolen phone.

“On the 13th January 2020, the stolen phone was traced to one Destiny Temitope, who was immediately arrested and he led the operatives to the person he(Destiny) bought the phone from, one Joshua Auta. The same day Joshua Auta was interrogated, and he( Joshua ) led the police to Ogaga Ohore” Insp Ekeinde added.

He told the panel that an attempt by Ogaga and his gang to resist arrest led to a shootout.

“In the process, a gang member named Williams, who was trying to disarm a police officer was shot”.

The witness told the panel that Ogaga was eventually arrested and taken to the FIB-IRT office where he confessed to the theft of the phone and the involvement of his other gang members who are presently at large.

Continuing his testimony, Insp. Ekeinde said on he had on March 23, 2020, received a call from the cell where Ogaga was being held he was sick, having complained of severe headache.

“I was directed by Commander IGP- IRT to take Ogaga to the police hospital in Area 1 Garki where he was treated and brought back to the cell”.

“After the visit, I inquired from Ogaga what happened in cell and he told me in confidence that there was a dispute between him(Ogaga) and other older inmates.

“Ogaga wanted to impose himself as the president within the cell, this led to a fight between him and the inmates which led to him being sick.

“Two days later, I was informed that Ogaga had fallen sick again. I immediately informed my Commander, who directed that he should be taken to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital(UATH) Gwagwalada.

“After some hours in the specialist hospital, the doctor on duty pronounced him dead.

“Concerned by the sad incidence, DCP Abba Kyari directed that I deposit the body in the morgue at the Specialist Hospital and ordered for a post-mortem to be carried out, to find out the cause of death”, Insp Ekeinde added.

Meanwhile, after his testimony, lead counsel for the panel, Chino Obiagwu, SAN, asked for an adjournment to enable counsel to the Complainant, Elum Wisdom, who was absent, to cross-examine the witness.

Lawyer to the Complainant, Elum, had at the last hearing, narrated before the panel, on behalf of the petitioner, how Ogaga was on January 12, 2020, arrested by operatives of IGP-IRT while watching an English Premiership match that involved Manchester United.

He said since then, all efforts by his family to see him, proved abortive.

The panel, on Wednesday, adjourned further proceeding on the case till December 2 for cross-examination of the witness.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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