BENIN CITY-Again, Edo State Police Command has been enmeshed in another case of extra-judicial killing as two suspects arrested by its operatives were allegedly shot dead in custody, last week.
This came after several similar allegations, like the death in police custody of one Chibuike accused by management of Protea Hotel of stealing N42,000, the Ute 4 incident and the killing of a UNIBEN student, Ibrahim Momodu by police in Ogida, Benin City on March 14, 2015, November 24, 2013 and May 27, 2013, respectively, hit the command.
The command operatives were alleged to have secretly executed the two suspects in their custody at the state police command headquarters in Benin City.
It was learnt that the suspects identified as one Ota Osagie and his two gang members were arrested in company of three ladies in a hotel at Saint Saviour area of the state capital on April 15, 2020.
They were accused of armed robbery and cult-related killings that have been recorded in and around Ogbelaka Street in Benin City.
A landlord in Ogbelaka Street said he had earlier reported that Ota led others to kill his son early this April.
He added that following the arrest, he was privileged to interface with one of the suspects, Ota, at the Anti-cultism Unit and later, the CP’s office when operatives took the suspects before their boss, CP Jimeta Lawan on April 16, 2020.
“About 5pm yesterday (April 16) I met Ota and another boy in handcuffs at the police commissioner”s office….
“The commissioner after seeing them said match them down…
“They asked me to come today, (April 17.)
“When I got to police headquarters this morning, they said they have finished them and took me behind their office where I saw their (Ota and his friend) corpses with bullet marks”. He stated.
When our reporter visited Ogbelaka area, some residents expressed mixed feelings over the incident.
“If it is true that police killed Ota after arresting him, then they have spoilt their investigation.
“Killing of suspects in police custody without diligent prosecution amounts to pervasion of justice and uncivilised strategy of crime prevention and control.
“Edo State government and Human Rights Community should demand the true position from the police authorities, they are not above the law. It could be anyone, Edo is not a Banana republic”. The residents maintained.
Contacted, the Commissioner of Police in Edo CP Jimeta Tanko Lawan confirmed the arrest.
Asked on whether two of the suspects were actually killed in police custody CP Jimeta replied “who killed them? where? Don’t record me, meet my PRO”.
In his response, the Public Relations Officer for police in Edo DSP Chidi Nwabuzor said “I am not aware”.