How DPO killed retired army officer, son tells Edo judicial panel
Smart Ofagba, the son of a deceased retired army officer, Samuel Ofagba, on Thursday, told the Edo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for victims of SARS how his father was allegedly murdered by a Divisional Police Officer on March 9, 1999.
He identified as Aisabor, and said the incident happened in Usenu Irrua, Esan Central local government area of Edo State
The 41-year-old Mr Ofagba also told the panel that his uncle, Abhulimen Ofagba, and his father’s worker, Kingsley, were allegedly murdered alongside his father by the same police officer.
He said he was 20 when the incident happened.
Mr Ofogba told the panel that Kingsley, who worked with his father in his farm, was accosted by the police officer when he was coming from a night burial and was taken to his father (Samuel Ofagba) for identification.
He said when his father saw the late Kingsley, he identified him as one of his workers.
The deceased army officer’s son, who later broke down in tears before the panel, appealed to the panel to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of his relatives, and demanded N50 million compensation.
He said his father asked Mr Kingsley what brought him to his house that early morning in his native language but was stopped by the police officer from conversing in his native language instead of English language.
“So, the said police officer made an attempt to slap my father (now deceased) but he quickly held his hand and one argument further led to the other, which eventually landed them at the police station,” he said.
Mr Ofogba said his father, uncle and his father’s labourer were kept behind the counter and were told to come and bail themselves with N40,000, adding that they were only able to raise N 23,000, which the police allegedly rejected.
He said he was later told by the Investigative Police Officer to come back the following day to see the DPO since it was late in the day, only for them to hear that they had been shot dead and their bodies dumped at the Irrua Police Division and labelled “armed robbers” by the DPO.
“The police claimed that they engaged them in a shoot out with his men at Ewu Junction, Irrua, and the police proceeded to produce a cut to size locally made barrel gun and 10 live cartridges alleged to have belonged to my late father and uncle,” Mr Ofogba said.
He said to make the matter worse, their bodies were not released to the family for burial.
He prayed the panel to compel Mr Aisabor to lead him to where his father was buried so that he could exhume him and give him a befitting burial.
He also asked for the prosecution of officers who were involved in the killing of his father, uncle and his father’s worker.
He further sought a public apology from the Nigeria Police Force for defaming his father, uncle and his father’s worker.
The chairperson of the panel, Ada Ehigiamusoe, a retired judge, upon listening to the petitioner, 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,” he said.
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