‎ Deceased Car Dealer’s Family Accuses Police of Planning To Steal Corpse

IGP Solomon Arase
IGP Solomon Arase

By Jefferson Ibiwale, Benin

The family of late Benson Obode, the Benin car dealer who died in the custody of operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Lagos State, have accused the Nigeria Police of planning to steal his corpse from the morgue.

The family, at a press briefing in Benin on Wednesday also alleged that police officers took his ATM card and forcibly obtained his pin number with which they have withdrawn the total sum of N330,000 from the late car dealer’s bank account.

The family also also alleged that the police was frustrating efforts to process the autopsy report of the deceased.
Speaking for the family at the media briefing, Solomon Obode, said that attempts by the deceased man’s siblings to conduct the autopsy had been frustrated by the police through delay tactics.

“The family discovery indicates that there is a grand plan by some unscrupulous policemen to steal the corpse from the morgue, hence, the delay by the police in conducting the autopsy even after the family has made payments available,” Solomon alleged.

He stated further: “To our greatest dismay, the police has refused to turn up for the autopsy and has also refused to advance any reason to the family on why it does not want to appear for the autopsy.”

To buttress their allegation that policemen had withdrawn money from their late brother’s bank account, a copy of his bank account statement shown to journalists.

Solomon alleged that following Benson’s death, the policemen “proceeded to Port Harcourt where the police used the First Bank ATM cards to transfer the sum of N300,000 to one Fasasi Adesina Kazeem, with Guaranty Trust Bank Account No. 0011009936 on May 23, 2015.‎”

“They went ahead to withdraw the sum of N100,000 on May 24, 25 and 26‎, 2015, at First Bank Artillery, FCMB Rumukoro and Ecobank Rumukoro, respectively with ATM camera footage clearly showing Corporal Adeleke Adedeji making the withdrawals,” he added.

The family, however, urged the Inspector-General of Police to intervene in the matter, adding that it would relent in its efforts bring the issue to a satisfactory end.

“We, therefore, want to reiterate and intimate the entire public on the gimmicks being employed by the subordinates of the Inspector-General of Police to subvert justice in this cause.

“If they run to the ocean, the family of Obode will develop fins and wet feet and we will swim in the deepest part of the ocean until we bring them to justice,” he said.



    Responding to the allegation, Edo State Police Public Relations Officer, Stephen Onwochei, said the command was not “strictly competent” to speak on the matter, as it was being handled by the Force Headquarters in Abuja.

    “Originally, that case was reported to Edo State Police Command. For good reasons best known to the family of the deceased, they petitioned to the Force Headquarters and force CID personnel (homicide section) came and took over the case from the command,” the police spokesman explained.

    The corpse of the late Benson was discovered by his family in a hospital morgue in Benin, two months after he was arrested by the police. His family had been searching for him and did not know that he had been in police custody all the while.

    Four police officers attached to the Special Anti – Robbery Squad in Lagos are being investigated for involvement in Benson’s death.

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