One Mr Smart Odojie Ofagba, who lost his father, Mr. Samuel Udojie Ofagba, uncle, Abulimen Ofagba and father’s labourer, Kingsley, to alleged police brutality has demanded N50 million compensation from the federal government.
He made the demand while narrating to Edo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for victims of SARS and related abuses how the Deceased were allegedly murdered in March 9, 1999 by the then Divisional Police Officer, Aisabor in Usenu Irrua in Esan Central Local Government Area of the State.
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Explaining how it happened, he said his father’s labourer, Kingsley was arrested by the police while coming from night burial and was brought to his late father for identification.
“When my father (now deceased) saw his labourer early in the morning, he asked what brought him to his house at that hour in his native language but was stopped by the police for speaking his native instead of English language that everyone could understand.”
“So, the said police officer made an attempt to slap my father (now deceased) but he quickly held his hand and that one argument further led to the other which eventually landed them at the police station”, he said.
He said his father, uncle and his father’s labourer were kept behind the counter and were asked to bail themselves with the sum of N40, 000, adding that they were only able to raise the sum of N 23,000 which the police allegedly rejected.
Speaking further, Smart who was 20 years then, said the Investigative Police Officer then asked him to come for the following day to see the DPO since it was already late.
“But we were surprised to hear that they have been shot dead and their bodies dumped at the Irrua Police Division and were labelled “armed robbers” by the DPO.
He explained that the police claimed that they engaged them in a shoot out at Ewu junction, adding that the police even produce a cut to size locally made barrel gun and 10 live cartridges alleged to have belonged to his late father and uncle.
He prayed the panel to compel Mr. Aisabor to show him where his father was buried so that he could exhume him and give him a befitting burial.
He also demand for N50 million compensation, prosecution of officers remotely involved in the killings among others.
Chairman of the panel, Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe (rtd), thereafter ordered that the said Aisabor be summoned before the panel.
“This is the collective view of the panel that the said police officer named in the petition, one Mr. Aisabor be summoned before this panel to answer to issues as contained in the petition”, she said.