Protest Rocks Bayelsa Community After Death Of Suspected Armed Robber In Police Detention

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Some angry youths of Biogbolo community in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital on Saturday staged a protest over the death of 27-year-old Goodluck Oviekeme in a police cell. 

Oviekeme was arrested alongside eight others over an alleged attack on a policeman and theft of his service rifle.

The police in a statement said the deceased was arrested on Tuesday in connection with an alleged armed robbery incident at Biogbolo area in which hoodlums attacked a police patrol team, injured Inspector Ugbotor Sunday, and took away his rifle. 

A police source said that the deceased was arrested alongside the youth president of the troubled Biogbolo community, Benjamin Karibo over their alleged involvement in the attack on the policeman. 

He, however, denied that the deceased was tortured or shot by the police as claimed by some of the protesters.

But the brother of the deceased, Ebitonye Michael dismissed the allegations made by the police, insisting that his brother was innocent. 

Michael alleged that Oviekeme was murdered in a police cell and that his body was later dumped at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Yenagoa.

The protesters, who comprised Epie-attisa indigenes resident in Biogbolo, accused the police of carrying out a shoddy investigation and deliberately killing their kinsman.

Confirming the incident in a statement issued on Saturday and signed by the state police command spokesman, Asinim Butswat, the state police commissioner, Echeng Echeng ordered an investigation into the death of Oviekeme. 

He also said an autopsy will be carried out to determine the cause of death.

The statement read, “The deceased suspect was arrested in connection with the armed robbery incident that occurred on 21 September, 2021, at Biogbolo, Yenagoa, when hoodlums attacked a Police Patrol team, fatally injured Inspector Ugbotor Sunday, and carted away from his rifle. 

“Preliminary investigation reveals that Goodluck Oviekeme was the mastermind of the attack on the patrol team. He was arrested on 22 September, 2021 at about 0300 hours. While in police custody, the suspect was observed to be running a high temperature and was rushed to the hospital where he eventually died.”

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