Police react to death of murder suspect in custody

THE Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command has reacted to the death of a murder suspect, Erasmus Emhenya, on April 6, 2023, while in custody.

According to the Command, the late Erasmus was being held as one of the principal suspects in a murder case that is under being investigation.

This was disclosed by the spokesperson of the FCT Police Command, Josephine Adeh, in a statement on Wednesday, April 19.

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“The late Erasmus and one Benjamin Agbasi were arrested for their involvement in the stabbing and killing of one 25-year-old Blessing Ogbu ‘female’ at the front of Number One Hotel, Nyanya, Abuja.

“Preliminary investigations by the Command has, however, revealed that the suspect was not tortured to death by the Police,” the statement said.

The statement added that the Acting Commissioner of Police, FCT Police Command, Ahmed Musa, has ordered discreet investigations into the remote and immediate cause of death of the deceased suspect while in custody.

The statement added that as part of ongoing investigations, an autopsy to determine the remote cause of the suspect’s death has since commenced, while the report of the Medical Examiner is being awaited.

The Command called for calm, stressing that the suspect was not tortured while in Police custody.

The statement assured that the process would be transparent and that the report of the autopsy would be made public in due course.

“The Command assures the general public of its unwavering commitment to upholding the rule of law and respect for the fundamental rights of all residents in the FCT,” the statement noted.

A Coalition of civil society organisations had on Tuesday, April 18, called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba Akali and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) Solomon Arase to conduct a prompt investigation into the death of the suspect. The coalition said Erasmus died in police custody as a result of unjustified and severe torture.

The statement was signed by Osaro- Oniawu Jnr on behalf on behalf of the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Edo State.



    The groups in the coalition include the People’s Care and Advocacy Initiative, the Center for Grassroot Development and Crime Prevention (CGDCP0), and Womenfest for Betterlife Initiative in Benin City, Edo state.

    “The public’s attention was brought to this heinous occurrence, which was documented in full detail on Human Rights Radio Abuja on April 18, 2023, when the mother of the deceased, a widow, narrated her ordeal.

    “We are thus informing the Police hierarchy that, based on the deceased mother’s oral evidence, and investigations conducted by our team, the deceased was also unfairly incarcerated and detained on fabricated charges and was never charged in court until his horrific murder at the hands of law enforcement personnel”, the Coalition said.

    The Coalition pleaded with the leadership of the NPF and the PSC to launch an investigation and bring officers responsible for the deceased’s death to justice.

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