From Ogbonnaya Ndukwe Aba
Several months after the gruesome murder of 19-year-old Friday Arunsi by an alleged drunken police constable in Ebem Ohafia, Abia State, his body is still lying in a private hospital mortuary and this is not going down well with his family members.
While they have made efforts in seeking the release of his body from the authorities and preparing for interment, the police high command in Abuja and Umuahia think otherwise, and seem to have actually abandoned them to their fate.
An Aba based businessman and uncle to late Arunsi, Chief Kingsheart Ukpai, said after visits by top police chiefs to the family house in Ebem Ohafia, leading to assurances and issuance of a warrant authorizing the release of the corpse for burial, nothing had been heard again from the police.
Ukpai told Daily Sun in Aba that the family had been confused on why the authorities reneged on earlier promises made by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Dr Celestine Okoye, to cooperate with them to ensure proper burial for the slain teenager.
He further accused the police of hiding the identity of the trigger-happy constable, whose name was yet to be made public, months after he committed the heinous crime and had continued to be shielded from being arraigned in a competent court of law for trial. He recalled that soon after the shooting many senior government officials including the DIG, former Abia Commissioner of Police and Mr Eneh Okon, his successor in office, CP Janet Agbede, visited the family to commiserate with the members on the unfortunate incident.
Abia State governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, sent his deputy, Chief Udeh Oko Chukwu, while Senate Chief Whip, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, Solid Minerals Development Minister of State, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, as well as Ohafia Council of Traditional Rulers also identified with the family and were said to have condemned the careless use of firearms by those supposedly employed to protect the lives and properties of innocent citizens, he emphasized.
Ukpai said the family had no money to procure a burial site, purchase coffin and pay escalating mortuary bills before carrying the body of the deceased, who was the bread winner of the family with six siblings and an aged grandmother he left behind.
Meanwhile, late Friday Arunsi’s family, Umua NneIbo maternal family of Ebem Ohafia has taken the matter to the Abia State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on allegations of extra judicial killings and brutality by security operatives sitting in Umuahia, demanding a N100 million compensation for his gruesome murder by a drunken police constable attached to the Divisiona Police Station, Ebem Ohafia.