Tony Osauzo, Benin
A 49-year-old widow, Mrs Esther Umukoro, has cried out to the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Babatunde Kokumo, to release the body of her late son for burial. She said that would help to end her grief after the body died in mysterious circumstance.
Mrs. Umukoro said her son, Samson, was killed last month during a protest against the Nigeria Customs Service at Ovbiogie village in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State.
It would be recalled that residents of the area had last month sacked the NCS checkpoint at the former Benin tollgate following the killing of a commercial vehicle driver who was reportedly found carrying three bags of rice. In an ensuing fracas, a vehicle belonging to the NCS was set ablaze.
Mrs Umukoro disclosed that her son was alleged to have been hit by an object from the vehicle when it exploded.
She explained that her late son had gone in search of his younger sister who was hawking plantain chips at the toll gate area when he was hit by an object from the burning vehicle.
“I returned from the market where I also went to hawk plantain chips and asked Samson to go and fetch her sister because there was a riot going on in the area.
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“After some minutes, I saw people gathered around my house. They were all looking at me; they were in a mournful mood.
“Then a little boy ran to me and broke the news that my son was dead. He was an apprentice and did not participate in the protest.
“Since then, I have been going to Ekiadolor Police Station in search of his body. They keep telling me to go and come back.
“The police said they were still investigating the matter. They said that officers of the Nigeria Customs said that they were looking for their lost pistol.
“I want to see my son’s body so that we can bury it and put an end to my grief,” the distraught woman said.