Delta State police command has been accused torturing to death a security guard with the Delta State Ministry of Oil and Gas, Mr. Ebi Ogodobiri.
Mr. Ogodobiri, SaharaReporters learned, was arrested and taken to the 'A' division police station, in Asaba over a missing laptop from his place of work. While in police custody he was tortured by the police and thrown into the cell, only to be found death two days later.
Speaking with SaharaReporters, a spokesperson for the deceased's family, Mr. Cletus Kwalekeme, disclosed that all effort to secure the bail for Mr. Ogodobiri proved impossible following the demand of N100,000 by the police.
"They deliberately refused to release him on bail even when I introduced myself as a senior civil servant in the State, with a promise to provide him, whenever he is needed. The police released the other suspect on bail, but when I went to secure Ebi's bail, the police refused," Mr. Kwalekeme said.
"The IPO, one Inspector Simon Onwuegbuzie, and the DCO1 DSP Arvehi Atairo Timothy, demanded that I give them N100,000 if I wanted my nephew released. I objected, telling them that I don't have such money," he continued.
Mr. Kwalekeme also told our SaharaReporters correspondent that when he returned to the police station he noticed that Ebi Ogodobri had his name removed from the crime notice board. He said it was then that "an inspector called me aside and broke the sad news that my nephew is dead."
"Ebi, my nephew, a father of four, was hale and healthy when he was arrested. He did not have any ailment and has never complained of any health problem. He was arrested along side another person, detained, and eventually tortured to death in police custody," Kwalekeme said.
The Ogodobiri family has said that they believed the police were conspiring with officials in the State Ministry of Oil and Gas, and has demanded answers from both groups in order to understand the nature of his death.
The has also petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, calling on him to intervene in the matter to ensure justice is done and all those involved. The three-page petition, written by the law chambers of Michael Ororho & Associates, states that the inhumane treatment Mr. Ogodobiri received by the police while in their custody resulted in his death.
The petition specifically said that "the other suspect who was later released informed (the family) that from the first day when they were brought into police custody, they were severely beaten by the IPO and others in a bid to force them to confess to the stealing allegation."
When contacted, Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Celestina Kalu, said the suspect died from "severe headache."