The family of a 37-year-old man said to have died while in police custody at the New Nyanya Police Division, Nasarawa Police Command, has accused the police of torturing him to death.
Donald Agbenge, who was last seen at his place of work, AWID Hotels, One Man Village, in Karu Local Government of Nasarawa State on Sunday, September 6, 2020, was discovered dead at a hospital in New Karu, where the police allegedly dumped him in the early hours of Monday, September 7.
An elder brother of the deceased, Iornumber Agbenge, who spoke to Aso Chronicle, said he fainted when the police told him that his younger brother was dead.
According to him, when he came to and went to see his brother’s corpse, he saw clots of blood smeared on his face and neck, adding that his ribs and face were also swollen.
He explained that the police came with a patrol van looking for him on Tuesday, September 8 and when he saw them armed, he wondered what crime he had committed that the police would come for him.
“One of the officers beckoned me to come and when I summoned courage and approached, he asked me if I knew that my brother had died.
“He callously told me that my brother died while he was with them,” he said.
He lamented that the police have so far not given the family any satisfactory explanation on what happened that killed Agbenge.
He said the police claimed that they responded to a distress call from security men at St. Monica Catholic Church, One Man Village, who informed them that an unidentified man was lying unconscious in front of the church.
“The police claimed when they picked my brother at the church, they took him to Asokoro District Hospital, Medical Centre Mararaba and Federal Medical Centre Keffi but they all refused to treat him so they brought him back to the station in New Nyanya and later took him to a private clinic.
“But the medical director of the clinic said when my brother was brought at about 3:00 am on Monday, he was already dead,” he said.
When Aso Chronicle visited St. Monica’s Catholic Church last Wednesday, a security man who was on duty said no security man called the police.
The man, who preferred to remain anonymous, however, said that he saw the police pick up somebody close to the church on Sunday night, but he was not in a position to say who it was and the state the person was in.
The late Agbenge’s colleagues at AWID Hotels also expressed shock over the brutal death of the man they referred to as gentle, caring and dedicated to work.
They said they never had a premonition that when they saw him at work penultimate Sunday, it was the last day they would be seeing him.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of the command, ASP Ramhan Nansel, did not reply to a WhatsApp message and an SMS sent to him.
Meanwhile, a similar incident occurred penultimate Sunday in which a 20-year-old woman was allegedly tortured to death while being held in custody at a police outpost along Calvary Road, Mararaba, Karu LGA of Nasarawa State.