Widow begs police to release son’s corpse for burial - OPID News

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Monday, 27 September 2021

Widow begs police to release son’s corpse for burial

 Widow begs police to release son’s corpse for burial

A widow in Ebonyi State, Maria Ogbonna-Urehu, has called on the state Commissioner of Police, Garba Aliyu, to release the corpse of her son, Edwin, for burial.

21-year-old Edwin and his 18-year-old sister, Chiamaka, were allegedly shot on June 9, 2021, when security operatives suspected to be policemen invaded their compound at Ndiechi Igbeagu community, Onuebonyi Izzi area of the state.

Mrs Ogbonna-Urehu said neither the living Edwin nor his corpse has been seen since the incident.

Tribune Online gathered that Chiamaka was shot in the lap while her hand was broken by the security operatives who thereafter took her to the hospital for medical treatment.

Though discharged from the hospital, Tribune Online gathered that Chiamaka still experiences pain in her lap as a result of the gunshot injuries while her broken hand has grown stiff.

Speaking to Tribune Online, the widow accused a particular policeman, Sani Bala, of shooting the two children but Bala denied shooting them, adding that he only assisted her to get medical attention.

Bala told Tribune Online that he was an investigating police officer (IPO) that handled the matter and was not involved in the shooting.

But Mrs Ogbonna-Urehu who is a smallholder farmer in the area said “my son was the one taking care of me and his only sister. He started taking care of us when at a very young stage because my husband died when he was at a tender age. He is the one feeding us, he was very quiet and was not a trouble maker, he was law-abiding and never engaged in any criminal act.

“He finished his primary education and there was no money for him to go to attend secondary education. He decided to learn motor electrical services. We struggled to establish a shop for him when he finished learning the work and it was that work that he was doing until policemen shot him dead in our house when they invaded our compound for no just reason.

“On that morning, we heard heavy gunshots in our compound before they broke into our house and shot my son dead who was sleeping. His friend who visited him and was sleeping in the same room as my son was not shot or touched by the policemen. After shooting my son, they went to my daughter’s room and shot her on the laps like this. When I came out to know what the problem was, they forced me to lie down on the floor beside my son. The Tribune

“What I am pleading for is that should release my son’s corpse to me if he was killed or they should release him if he is still alive because since that June they shot him, I have not set my eyes on him, I want my son’s corpse to be released so that he will be buried in his father’s compound. This is what I want. They didn’t tell me what my son did that made them to shoot him.”

On her part, Chiamaka who is an apprentice said during the invasion, “one of them (security agents) peeped through the window and shot me on the laps. I told my mum that policemen have shot me on the laps.

“The policemen ordered that my brother’s friend to carry my brother whom they had shot and took him to their vehicle. They carried me and put me in the vehicle and took us to police headquarters, Abakaliki. From there, they took me into another vehicle. I asked them where my brother was and one of them told me to keep quiet or he will shoot me. They took me to the hospital while my brother was lying inside the vehicle that carried us to the police headquarters. While in the hospital, policemen came there several times.

“I am appealing for the release of my brother if he is still alive. If he is dead, they should release his corpse to us, he is the only brother I have. We are the only children of my parent. I still feel pains in my laps. The deep wound from the gunshots has not healed. I also can’t stretch one of my hands, it was stiff because they broke it.”

Meanwhile, the state Coordinator of the National Human Right Commission(NHRC), Okorie Onyekachi, has vowed to petition the state Commissioner of Police over the matter.

Onyekachi said: “As it is, we are hearing this for the first time. We will start up our preliminary investigation and we hope that the police that was mentioned will be part of the investigation as we cooperate with one another to fight crimes.

“We will definitely write the police and the commissioner of police will get our petition regarding this gruesome issue, it is very pathetic. Human life is supreme to all values, if you cannot respect human rights, nothing can be respected.

“We condemn in all totality and form of violation of human rights especially as regards to right to life, right to human dignity. No person should be killed or extra-judicially murdered and this particular case that is on our table is one of those,” she said.

Police on trail of suspected cultists, who killed, played football with victim's head

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The Anambra State Police Command has vowed to arrest suspected cultists who killed a member of a rival group and used his head to play football.

The video of the killing of the young man, which surfaced on the internet at the weekend, was said to have happened in Igbariam in Anambra East Council Area of the state, suspected to be a residence of students of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam.

The video, which circulated on social media showed a dreadlock-carrying young man, who was dragged out of his car and shot at close range.

He was later beheaded, and his head was later brought to a square, where the assailants used it to play soccer, while making jest of him.

In his reaction, the state police police Commisioner, CP Tony Olofu, who spoke through the Command’s spokesperson, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, said the Command was working hard to track down the culprits.

Ikenga said: “The Commissioner of police Anambra State command CP Tony Olofu has ordered investigation on the shooting incident on 25/9/2021 by 4pm along Igbariam road.

“Preliminary investigation reveals that the shooting was as a result of rival cult clash. Meanwhile Police Operatives have intensified patrol and surveillance within the area. Further details shall be communicated,” he assured.

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