THE families of late 29-year-old Shedrack Ocheche are seeking justice over allegations of torture to death by operatives of the FCT Police command.
The younger brother of late Shedrack, Ochewola Ocheche, told The ICIR that he was arrested with his brother and three others on Thursday, January 13, 2021, for allegedly stealing car batteries.
“It was one Chinese woman called ‘Madam PingPing’ that told them (Police) to arrest us. She told them we stole her car batteries five days after we stopped working for her because she owed us three months’ salary,” Ocheche said.
He noted that two days after the arrest, they were all released except the late Shedrack.
When contacted, the Chinese woman identified as ‘Jiang PingPing’ told The ICIR that she only reported the case to the Police and was unaware of further developments on it.
“Actually, the only thing I did is that I reported my loss of property to the Police, which anybody could and should do. And I totally have no idea about all the followings,” PingPing said.
However, before his release, Ocheche said officers of the Mabushi Police division tortured them.
After his release, he told The ICIR that he attempted to secure the release of Shedrack by paying more than half of the worth of the allegedly stolen batteries, but Shedrack was still not released.
“Although we paid N60,000, they did not release him to us. When I saw him that day, he had sustained several injuries from being tortured. Blood was rushing out from his head, nose, and mouth.
“I asked them to release him so we can take him to the hospital, but one SP Uche who was in charge of the case refused,” he said.
A lawyer Benjamin Ediga was eventually contacted to secure Shedrack’s bail on Monday, January 17, but he was told he had died.
During an interview with The ICIR on Tuesday, Ediga said he was told Shedrack died after falling sick in the early hours of Monday.
He noted that none of Shedrack’s family members was informed of his death before he got there that morning.
“It was when I got to the Mabushi Police station that I was told he fell sick and died at the hospital that same day.
“Before my arrival, they did not inform any of Shedrack’s family members of the death or the sickness as they claimed; they just kept it among themselves,” Ediga said.
He argued that Shedrack’s remains were randomly left in a Sienna vehicle inside the premises of the Wuse General Hospital in Abuja.
Shedrack’s uncle, Edoh Harrison, told The ICIR that the family was demanding justice.
“What we want is justice to be served; we want the perpetrators brought to book because we know he was badly tortured to death by the Police officers,” he said.
When The ICIR visited the Mabushi Police division, Divisional Police Officer Abu Umar was unavailable to speak to this reporter.
When he was called via telephone, he hung up and did not reply to text messages from The ICIR over the matter.
A Police officer in the station told The ICIR that he was aware of Shedrack’s death, noting that Shedrack died at the Police station but did not state whether it was out of torture or not.
Spokesperson for the FCT Police Command Adeh Josephine denied the allegation leveled by the families of Shedrack.
She said the command was investigating the case, but the deceased did not die out of torture.