A human right group, Conference for Actualization of Human Right has petitioned police officer attached to the Sango division of the Nigerian Police in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State before the Inspector general of police Mohammed Adamu to commence investigation into the extra judicial killing of Mr. Chinedu Obi who was allegedly shot dead by a police officer attached to the Sango division of the Nigerian Police.
The right group in a letter dated 5th September, 2019 signed by Omemiroro Ogedegbe and Ozobo Austine, national Coordinator and Secretary of the group and addressed to the Inspector General of Police demanded speedy investigation on the matter and allow justice to prevail.
They noted that they will take a legal action against the police if after seven days their demand for justice in the matter is not obliged.
Giving an insight into the circumstances surrounding the killing of Chinedu Obi and the surreptitious moves by the police to cover up the crime and deny family members of the victim justice, they explained that the killing was nothing but total abuse of weapon.
Chinedu Obi, a native of Utagba- Ogbe, Ndokwa West Local Government of Delta state, did not know that his first visit to Sango Ogun state in July will as well be his last, he has travelled there to advance his musical career, but died on the 19th of July.
According to reports, while the 26 year old, final year student of geophysics, Uniport was at Otta, a case of assault was levelled against him by a phone seller, this led to his arrest by the Police and was subsequently handcuffed and taken into detention.
The Police said that at the point of interrogation, Chinedu became irrational and picked an axe in the interrogation room, went outside with it and destroyed some vehicles parked at the premises with the hand cuff still in his hands.
The report further said, after destroying the vehicles he turned around and started chasing an armed Police man who eventually shot him in the leg to disarm him, a claimed that has been rebuffed by video evidence.
”As if that was not enough he was left on the ground within the police station wriggling in pain and bleeding for a long time without immediate medical attention. The video clip showed the last moment of the deceased while on the plain ground asking that he be allowed to speak to his father which was refused by the police neither was he taken to a hospital. ” they said
In its press statement, the Police Public Relations Officer of Ogun state command, Mr. Abimbola Opeyemi told the public that the deceased ” started chasing the officer, while armed with an axe and the officer shot him in the leg to demobilize him, he was immediately taken to the general hospital where he died”
With these seemingly had to believe version of the police story, the right group has raises series of question which it want the Police to answer. First, could Chinedu have been a notorious criminal in Ogun State within one week of his visit as alleged by the police?
The said ”Demobilized with a lethal weapon, the officer with respect was far away from the truth and speaking from an informed position. The deceased was shot in the right buttock not the leg as alleged by the police and he was shot from behind. Could the policeman whom the deceased was pursing turn around to shoot him from behind?
”An attempt to cover up is insulting. It is akin to turning day light to darkness. Dancing on the grave of the deceased is not fair to the young man ” they revealed also that the deceased was taken to Ottah general hospital probably after he must have even died and not to Ife general Hospital as stated by the PPRO.
Other fundamental questions they are asking the police are, was Chinedu alleged of a capital offence? was he armed with a weapon of any kind? did he resist arrest ? even if he did, was shooting the deceased the only option to get him restrained? They maintained that the answer to the above questions is No
Asking further, they challenged the police to tell at ” what point he become so irrational that he was stripped to his boxers part as shown in the video clip which has gone viral ? was the deceased still hale and hearty when he was restrained with the handcuff ? When he further behaved irrationally as alleged, what effort or steps were taken to either isolating him in a cell or put a leg chain? At what point did the deceased remove the handcuff put behind him to go and pick an axe to destroy the vehicles and threatening people as alleged? ”
”Where were the policemen that witnessed the irrational behavior of the deceased who still kept an eye in the picking up an axe? If the deceased was pursuing an armed policeman as alleged, who and where is the policeman that shot the deceased and at what part of his body? ”
A nephew of the deceased Anita Okwumagba had gone to the Sango police station where she met with the Divisional Police Officer DPO on the July 21 , she confirmed that the DPO admitted that the office actually killed the deceased saying he ” angrily shot him ”
The group said ”We state further that the statement credited to the Divisional Police Officer at Sango Police Station, Ogun State when the nephew of the deceased MADAM ANITA OKUMAGBA met with the DPO, on Sunday the 21st July, 2019 that a policeman “angrily shot” the deceased summed it all.
The said Statement from the DPO is a clear evidence that he was killed as alleged, but added that there is no justification for the use of maximum force on the deceased to restrain him considering that he was in handcuffs.
They are urging the IG to wade into the matter by setting up a high powered investigation of inquiry to single out the trigger happy corp for prosecution for involving in such unfortunate act.
”We urge you to use your good office to set up a high powered and dispassionate investigation into this killing, and bring the culprit to book the delay in the investigation of this matter is most unfortunate. ”
”We shall be compelled to institute an action without further notice if within seven days our demand for a thorough investigation of this matter is not complied with. ”
Reacting to the death of their son, the parents of the deceased decried that the operation of the police is becoming unbearable , noting that it is shameful and disgraceful for the PPRO to have coordinated such a cover up ”this case portray a 21th century wonder, the police became very quick in recording the sequence of event” Barr. Ogedegbe said.
They lamented saying ”Since this incident occurred, our hearts have been bleeding, our son is a very innocent son, he is very simple, he has no criminal record, the police painted a totally wrong story about our son, justice must prevail, the spirit of my son is hoovering round the place crying for justice, it will never be well with all the police officers that killed my son especially the one that shot Chinedu, our son still lies there under the mortuary.
”We are calling on the IG of police to let justice prevail, we know him as a man of integrity, I saw him last on April during our 30th years in marriage” Elder Benedict Obi & Mrs Dcn Racheal Obi. Mother and father of Chinedu cried.
They also said, ”The DPO must also be brought to book, because he was the one that covered the killing by justifying it.”
Till date.”The police have not contacted the family ” The family of the deceased stated.