A chief in Delta State, Ogbe Onokpite, was handcuffed, blindfolded and killed by some policemen attached to the Warri Area Command of the State Police Command.
SaharaReporters learnt that youths in Warri, under the Urhobo New Face Youth Association, angered by the killing, petitioned the Inspector-General of Police through their Attorney, Eriata and Partners, to demand justice for the deceased.
The petition, dated February 7, 2012, was received by the police. Subsequently, the command wrote two reports, with the police itself confirming that Onokpite was killed in the Area Commander’s Office, in Warri.
SaharaReporters obtained the first police report which was written by a Commissioner of Police, Bayo Ajileye, of the Legal/Prosecution Section, D Department, Force Criminal Investigation Department, Abuja.
It reads, “The incident was reported to the Inspector General of Police in a petition written by Eriata and partners, dated February 7, 2012, on behalf of the Urhobo New Face Youth Association. The case file was compiled from the Area Commander’s office, Warri, State CIID, Asaba, and the Homicide Section, FCID, Abuja.
“In the legal advice with the subject, Re: Unlawful killing of Chief Ogbe Onokpite, by some policemen attached to the Warri, Delta State command; the background of the case – This is a case of murder reported to the IGP in a petition written by Eriata and Partners of Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos State.
“The contents of the petition revealed the following; that on November 26, 2011, at Beeland Hotel, War Chief Ogbe Onokpite was gruesomely murdered by a police team from Area Commander’s office, Warri.
“Prior to the unlawful killing of Chief Ogbe Onokpite, he had some political problems with the Delta State government. He held a press conference with other Urhobo chiefs, complaining of marginalisation of the Urhobo people and misappropriation of N2 billion allocated by the Nigerian Government for pipeline surveillance for the benefits of all the host communities.
“On November 26, 2011, Chief Onokpite was alleged to have committed some criminal offences that warranted his arrest by the police team from the Area Command, Warri. He was handcuffed, blindfolded and shot in his legs by the police team. Subsequently, he was taken to the Area Commander’s office, Warri, where he later died.”
The CP noted that those who claimed to have witnessed the killing of Chief Ogbe Onokpite also made statements.
“Finally, the petitioner requested that the killers of the deceased be unravelled, and subjected to face the wrath of the law for the crime they committed. The allegations were referred for investigation and three case files were compiled from the AC’s office, State CIID, Asaba, and the Force CID, Abuja. Statements were made on the side of the complainant and on the side of the defence.
“Those who claimed to be witnesses to the killing of Chief Ogbe Onokpite also made statements. They include: Chief Godwin Dumuje, Gbenga Onasiji, Fidelis Kadiri, Nkechi Obodiwe and Malik Okorokporo.
“The police officers who took part in the operation that led to the killing of the chief also made statements. They were: ACP Abutu Yaro, ASP Ibrahim Umara, Inspector Johnbull Anigoro, Sergeant Ogbiede Kennedy, Corporal Onyeka Kelechi, Corporal Ahanuku Michael, Corporal Benjamin Noel, Corporal Victor James, Private Constable Bethran Akpojero and Private Constable Hsida Endurance,” he added.
Meanwhile, in a second police report, a legal advice was written by a Deputy-Inspector General of Police, Peter Gana, of the D Department, FCID, Abuja.
He said, “The incident was reported to the Inspector General of Police in a petition written by Eriata and partners, dated February 7, 2012, on behalf of the Urhobo New Face Youth Association. The case file was compiled from the Area Commander’s office, Warri, State CIID, Asaba, and the Homicide Section, FCID, Abuja.
“The harmonised case file was subsequently forwarded to the Legal Department of Force CID Abuja for advice. Investigation into the murder revealed that a prima facie case of conspiracy and murder could be established against the following officers who took one victim or the other that resulted in the death of the deceased.
“They are: ACP Abutu Yaro, ASP Ibrahim Umara, Corporal Kelechi Onyeka, Corporal Michael Ahanuku, and Constable Bethram Akpojere.
“In view of the foregoing, it is recommended that the case file be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecution, Delta State, for legal advice.”
Despite the police reports, there is no evidence yet that the ACP, and the killer policemen have been prosecuted or sanctioned by the force.
SaharaReporters, New York