Senate asks police to pay N10m for killing undergraduate

The Senate, yesterday, indicted the Nigeria Police Force for extrajudicial killing of one Chinedu Obi, a final year student of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The apex legislative Chamber also asked the Nigeria Police to pay the sum of N10 million as compensation to the family of the deceased.

The late Obi was arrested on July 19, 2019 after a disagreement with a phone seller, who accused him of assaulting her, and died in a controversial circumstance in the custody of the police, who denied him access to his family and medicare. In a petition to the Senate by the lawyer to the family, Omemiroro Ogedegbe, the deceased had gone to Otta, Ogun State, to visit his friend, when he met his untimely death.

While testifying before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition, Ogedegbe said that the deceased did not resist arrest contrary to a claim by the police. A Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ogbadu Aliyu, in his presentation, had claimed that the deceased was arrested, detained and later granted bail.

“That after his release, he went back to the woman and started beating her and even tried to throw her down from a storey building,” he said. Thepolicebosssaidthatthe deceased, who was rearrested, became violent and tried to demobilise an officer, who shot him on his buttock instead of on his legs that he aimed. But Ogedegbe, who countered the presentation, stated that the deceased was shot from behind in the right buttock, “which meant that it was not the officer he was alleged to be pursuing that turned round and shot him from behind.

“That all entreaties by the deceased, who was in the pool of his own blood to speak to his father were rebuffed by the officers of the NPF, who allowed him to die before taking him to Otta General Hospital.

“That the men of the police lied as the deceased neither committed a capital offence, resisted arrest nor was he armed at the point of his arrest.” In the report presented to the plenary, by the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo Central), it was observed that the offence of assault alleged by the phone seller was not a capital offence and should not have led to the suspect being handcuffed. “That the men of the NPF did not handle the matter professionally and therefore, the force is culpable over the death of Obi.”

Consequently, the Senate condemned the action of the police for the unprofessional manner it handled the civil matter between the phone seller and the late Obi. In his remarks, Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over the plenary, urged the police to fish out the police officer, who shot the late Obi to death for prosecution, according to the laws of the land. Meanwhile Senate has directed the police to liaise with the family of late Obi in order to assist the family foot the bills of his burial while also mandating the NPF to pay N10 million as compensation to the family, to mitigate the pains of his demise




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