From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The outrage over the death of Goodluck Oviekeme, an undergraduate of the Niger Delta University (NDU), Wilberforce Island, Amassoma, Bayelsa State, took a new dimension as youths of Biogbolo imposed a partial lockdown on Yenagoa, the state capital.
Also an attempt by some persons to evacuate his corpse from the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Yenagoa was thwarted by the police and the hospital security team.
Oviekeme and five others were arrested by Operation Puff Adder over a robbery incident and attack on a patrol team during which a police officer, Inspector Ugbotor Sunday was fatally injured and his rifle carted away.
The outrage in the Yenagoa followed an announcement by the Bayelsa State Police Command over the weekend that Oviekeme was rushed to the hospital and died prompting the Commissioner of Police, Echeng E Echeng to call for a probe into the circumstances of his death.
According to investigations, aggrieved youths of Biogbolo joined by youths of Opolo, Epie- Atissa youths and members of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) barricade both sides of the Melford Okilo road and Isaac Boro Expressway.
The action forced many commuters and motorists to be stranded as the youths refused to open the barricade insisting on the release of the other youths arrested and disclosure of how Oviekeme died in police custody.
The father of the deceased, Mr Oviekeme faulted the claims of the police that his son was the mastermind of an armed robbery attack and attack on a police patrol team.
He said that looking at his corpse it was clear that he was tortured to death by those who arrested him.
‘When we went to see him, we were told he was taken to the FMC for medical attention. When we got to the FMC we were told nobody of such was brought to the hospital. We went to the police clinic and he was not there too. It was when we got the hint to go back to the FMC that we saw his corpse on the floor close to the mortuary with bruises around his chest area. Government should help in this matter. What has my son done to suffer like this?’
It took the intervention of senior government officials to prevail on the youths to dismantle the barricade Sunday morning with a firm promise that government would ensure the cause of Oviekeme’s death is unravel.
Meanwhile the police have confirmed attempts by some persons to ‘steal’ the corpse of the deceased from the FMC.
Findings revealed that the strange men including a senior police officer and a member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly that came for the corpse arrived in a SUV with plate number PF 8025 C at about mid night but were accosted by men of Operation Puff Adder, operatives of anti-cultism squad and the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Operations.
‘At about midnight on Saturday, there was an attempt to steal the corpse of the deceased but it was foiled by vigilant security men,’ said a senior police officer.