By Ogar Monday
The family of the head of Uyanga village in Akamkpa LGA, His Highness Ophot Valentine Ebani, has accused the Nigeria Police Force, particular the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) of killing and refusing to release the corpse of the monarch.
The family is appealing to well meaning Nigerians and members of the public to solicit on their behalf and compel the police to tell them the where about of their husband or provide the corpse.
The wife of the village head, Mrs. Esther Valentine Ebani, while narrating her husband arrest to the CrossRiverWatch reporter who visited the community, stated that there was a crisis between Uyanga and Ejor, a neighboring community that led to the killing of a police man by some irate youths, and that by 27th December “the army came to our compound.
“When they came they started beating him and they took him to State CID and I have not heard from him since then.
“They won’t tell us where he is and those who initially had contact with him can no longer see him. And the police have not charged him to court either.
“The younger sister of the traditional ruler, Susan Bassey also told CrossRiverWatch that the last time she saw her brother at the State CID was on the 15th of January and that when she went back on the 19th to see him, the police told her he had been transferred to a hospital and all efforts to get the police to say the name of the hospital has proved abortive.
Mrs. Bassey stated that in her earlier visit, one of the IPO’s handling the case; Martins Ekpe, had called and told her that Chief Valentine wasn’t feeling fine and needed medical attention.
She said she went and, paid to fuel the vehicle for the chief to be taken to the hospital, but much could not be achieved as they were to be presented to the press that day.
“But when I was leaving. I then gave the IPO money to take him to the clinic. That day he didn’t go, the next day, he didn’t go, so when I went to visit the station again the boys in his cell told me that he was not taken to the hospital and that Chief was seriously ill.”
She said when she confronted the IPO he demanded for more money which she gave and he still didn’t take him to the clinic.”
Speaking to CrossRiverWatch, a representative of Uyanga Community, Prince Sabestina Eku, said that the community is pleading with the police to come out plain and tell them the truth.
Sabestina stated that he has it on good authority that the village head has died in Police custody but the police are playing games with the whole thing.
He accused one of the IPO’s handling the case, Umeh Samuel, of demanding bribes from the community and having a hand in whatever might have happened to the village head.
“He denied us the right to see him. He was telling us unless we pay 5 million to him, he will not be released.
“I was always telling him that the chief was sick and remains a suspect and that only the court can pronounce him guilty.”
Several attempts to get a reaction from the state police spokes person, ASP Irene Ugbo, were still futile at the time of filing this report as calls to her phone were not taken.
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