Joe Effiong, Uyo
A police inspector, Mr Bassey Peter Ikpe, has been arrested and detained on the orders of the Akwa Ibom State Police Commissioner for allegedly murdering a widow on the premises of the state police headquarters, Ikot Akpanabia, Uyo.
Daily Sun learned that the suspect had invited the deceased, Mrs Deborah Nkereuwem Nkpenie, to the police headquarters on a trumped on investigation for which he was the Investigating Police Officer (IPO).
The invitation, it was gathered, was against the advice of the state Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Police in charge of the state CIID, since the deceased was said to be hypertensive.
A commercial tricycle (‘Keke’) rider, Mr Ukpono Sunday Umoren, who brought the widow to the state police headquarters following the invitation issued to her by Inspector Ikpe, said Ikpe came to his Keke and started shouting at the woman that she was lying that she was sick.
“He made efforts to drag her out and in anger knocked her head several times by the side rail of the Keke. The woman was screaming that she well not well,” the witness said.
“She began to suffocate and found it difficult to breathe. The policeman kept insisting that she was lying. He even told her that if she wanted to die, she should die.
“As she was screaming while the policeman kept trying to pull her out of the Keke, her voice grew faint. We were begging the policeman to refrain from his hostile act towards the woman. He even refused our taking her to hospital. It was after she breathed her last that he eventually ordered that she should be taken to the hospital.”
A human rights lawyer, Mr Clifford Thomas, told our correspondent that after interacting with the DC in charge of CIID, he had found that the invitation issued by Inspector Ikpe to the deceased was unilateral and against the directive of the DC, Mrs SU Horsefall.
A sister to the deceased, Mfonobong Peter, said Inspector Ikpe, who was the IPO on an ongoing matter, had personally entered the bedroom of the deceased to forcefully dress her up, among other actions.
She said the IPO went wild with the allegation that the deceased was lying about her state of health to escape being arraigned in court.
“My late sister was beaten to death by Inspector Bassey Peter Ikpe. He had threatened her repeatedly ever since this matter came up. My sister had waist pains arising from the dislocation she had while caring for her late husband. This made it difficult for her to move about freely.
“She had become almost bedridden because of the difficulty in movement. She was highly hypertensive due to the health complications that led to the husband’s death. But this policeman refused to take even the advice of the Deputy Commissioner of Police. I don’t know what interest he had on the matter.
“He had forced her to come to the police station so that they could appear in court on a fictitious criminal charge, against the advice of the Deputy Commissioner of Police, the previous day. He beat my sister to death. Let justice be done,” she said.
Peter said in an effort to save the life of the deceased, she was rushed to the police clinic where the doctor confirmed her dead.
“On returning to the police headquarters, we were denied entry into the premises by the policemen manning the gate of the police headquarters,” said Ms Peter.
The PPRO of the Command, Mer Odiko MacDon, said in a press statement on Wednesday that the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Imohinmi Edgal, ordered the immediate arrest and detention of the police inspector, following the fear of media report on the matter.
“The attention of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command has been drawn to a publication in some dailies and online media that a police personnel attached to the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, one Inspr. Bassey Ikpe, reportedly beat up one Mrs Deborah Nkereuwem Nkpenie to death on Thursday, 16th of January, 2020,” the statement read.
“To authenticate this serious allegation, the Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State Police Command, CP Imohimi Edgal has ordered the immediate arrest of the said Inspector. The Commissioner has instructed the Deputy Commissioner, State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), to carry out a thorough investigation into the matter, while reiterating the Command’s commitment to policing with great respect for human rights.”