‘We want justice for our brother’
They accused the Nigeria Police of planning to steal his corpse from the morgue allegedly to cover-up on true autopsy analysis on the corpse.
The death of 26-year-old Benson had sparked protests by his aggrieved family and civil society organisations, who accused the police of allegedly killing him and concealing his death for over two months. The family had in several petitions dismissed the claim that Benson had died in a mob action, an incident believed to be strange in the state.
Elder brother of the deceased, Solomon Obode, told journalists in Benin City that several efforts by the family to conduct the autopsy at its own expense was being frustrated by the security agency, through delay tactics.
He said: “But to our greatest dismay, the police has refused to turn up for the autopsy and has also refused to advance any reason to the family on why it does not want to appear for the autopsy.”
“The family’s discovery indicates that there is a grand plan by some unscrupulous policemen to steal the corpse from the morgue, hence the delay by the police in conducting the autopsy even after the family has made payments available.”
He also alleged that the policemen who effected his arrest and “unlawfully killed the boy” had forcefully obtained his ATM pin which they used to withdraw the total sum of N330,000 from the deceased’s bank account.
A copy of the bank statement was made available to journalists.
Solomon also noted that the policemen alleged to be responsible for his brother’s death had after his death “proceeded to Port Harcourt where the police used the First Bank ATM cards to transfer the sum of N300,000 to one Fasasi Adesina Kazeem, with Guaranty Trust Bank Account No. 0011009936 on May 23, 2015.
“They went ahead to withdraw the sum of N100,000 on May 24, 25 and 26, 2015, at First Bank Artillery, FCMB Rumukoro and Ecobank Rumukoro respectively, with ATM camera footage clearly showing Corporal Adeleke Adedeji making the withdrawals,” he added.
The family urged the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase to intervene in the matter, as they vowed that they would not relent in their efforts to bring the issue to a satisfactory end.
“We, therefore, want to reiterate and intimate the entire public on the gimmicks being employed by the subordinates of the Inspector-General of Police to subvert justice in this cause.”
“If they run to the ocean, the family of Obode will develop fins and wet feet and we will swim in the deepest part of the ocean until we bring them to justice.”
But the state police spokesman, Stephen Nwochei, said the Command was not competent to speak on the matter since the family had petitioned the Force Headquarters.
“Originally, that case was reported to Edo State Police Command. For good reasons best known to the family of the deceased, they petitioned to the Force Headquarters and force CID personnel (homicide section) came and took over the case from the Command.”
“And, as I speak, that case is being handled from Force Headquarters, Force CID, Abuja. So, Edo State Police Command is not strictly competent to comment on an investigation that is going on at Force CID level,” he explained.