From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
A suspect, identified simply as Ogbonnia, from Ishiagu in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, yesterday, reportedly died in police custody in Abakaliki, where he was being detained alongside other suspects, following a petition against them by a prominent politician in the area.
National Youth Leader, Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, Damian Okafor, who hails from the area alleged that Ogbonnia, who was the only surviving son of his family, died in the police cell. He said he made several efforts to ensure that the deceased was granted bail, but alleged that all his efforts were frustrated by the police.
“In the matter of unfortunate political arrest of Ishiagu Youths, which led to the untimely death of one Mr Ogbonnia (the only surviving son of their family) from Ihie Ishiagu, in police detention, I recall that I was in Owerri when I received the call about the arrest of innocent Ishiagu youths. I tried calling the Commissioner of Police, but he was ‘busying’ my calls.
“I told the youths to maintain the status quo till I return. I drove to Ishiagu and assessed some of the damages. I left for Ebonyi Police Command and requested to see the CP, but was denied access. I met the OC SWAT who told me part of what happened and I requested the bail applications of the detainees, but was turned down.
“Earlier yesterday (13/09/2021), I received calls that one of the detainees had given up the ghost while in police custody. I embarked on a risky journey to the village knowing the implications of such an occurrence. I had met with the family and relevant stakeholders as regards mitigating the recent uproar in Ishiagu.
“Yes, it is a sad one as one of our own innocent brothers has, again, died in police custody. But we are Ishiaguans and should know that what is trying to separate us is less than what is holding us together. In view to that, we make the following demands from Ebonyi State Police Command,” he said.