Tony Osauzo, Benin
The family of Ibrahim Momodu, a young man who was murdered by police in 2013 in Benin, the Edo State capital, has petitioned the chairman of the State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on the EndSARS protest, Hon Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe (retd), over the gruesome murder of their son.
In the petition filed by their lawyer, Jefferson Uwoghiren Esq. dated 27th of October, 2020, the family is demanding for an urgent invitation, investigation and prosecution of one Mrs Carol Afegbai, a Chief Superintendent of Police and others at large over the alleged murder.
Besides, it urged the panel to invite Mrs Afegbai and others now at large for alleged complicity and conspiracy to murder, obstruction of Justice and conducts prejudicial to public peace.
In addition, the late Momodu’s family is also asking for N50m compensation for loss of affection, emotional distress and grave injustice done to them by agents of the government, sworn to protect lives and properties.
According to the family’s Counsel, Jefferson Uwoghiren, the criminal complicity of Mrs Afegbai, a senior police officer and former Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Ogida police division, Siluko road, Benin City and others, “have caused our client untold emotional distress, loss of affection and grave injustice”.
He said on 27th May 2013, at Obayuwana Junction along Siluko road, Benin City, one Mr Amadin Idahosa, a Corporal with the Nigeria Police and orderly to then CSP Carol Afegbai (DPO), Ogida Police station at about 7 pm, without provocation, legal justification, illegally and wrongly shot and killed Mr Ibrahim Momodu.
They, “subsequently in attempts to cover up, buried the said Mr Ibrahim Momodu in a shallow grave in a public cemetery in Benin City”.
The family, therefore, appealed to the panel chairman to “invite, demand, request and clarify from Mrs Carol Afegbai, immediate steps she took to arrest and abate the callous killing by her Orderly right in her presence, as a senior law enforcement officer, paid with taxpayers money to protect lives and properties”.
It also requested the panel to find out from the former DPO and others the following: “Whose initiative it was to attempt to mislead Nigerians with the provision of a Q-Link Motorcycle, purporting it to belong to late Mr Ibrahim Momodu and whose initiative it was to attempt to mislead Nigerians with the provision of a cut to size Russian made barrel gun and five live cartridges alleged to belong to late Momodu, when in fact from the evidence it was a planted gun to destroy the image of Mr Ibrahim Momodu.
“The location of phones and personal properties of Mr Ibrahim Momodu carted away by the police, after the killing but ordered returned to our client by the court.
“Who ordered the post-killing cover-ups of complicity, the murder of Mr Ibrahim Momodu, as noted by the trial judge, in his Lordship’s judgement”.
The family further demanded a public apology from the Nigeria Police for defaming parents of the deceased as armed robbers and criminals as well as the renaming of the Administrative block at Ogida police station after Mr Ibrahim Momodu.
“We further demand the renaming of the adjoining road to Ogida police station as Ibrahim Momodu Street by the police authority.
“In addition, We demand the arrest and prosecution of all police officers who were and present during the killing of Mr Ibrahim Momodu, for complicity in his murder”.
The petition revealed that “On the 5th of June 2013, on the order of Court, the body of Ibrahim Momodu was exhumed from a shallow grave at the Third Cemetery, New Benin, Benin City for autopsy
“The result of the autopsy showed that late Momodu was shot in the chest, lacerating his heart and embarrassed by the circumstances of the killing the police arrested Mr Amadin Idahosa, subjected him to orderly room trial, dismissed him from the force and charged him to court for murder on charge No. B/CD/24C/2014.”
It said at the close of trial, Hon. Justice R. Irele-Ifijeh, in 2016 found Mr Amadin Idahosa guilty of manslaughter in the unprovoked and illegal killing of Mr Ibrahim Momodu and sentenced him to life imprisonment.