A middle aged woman identified as Mrs. Ngozi Inya has appealed to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to order a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of her husband in police custody on Thursday in Ebonyi State.
It was gathered that the deceased, Mr. Israel Inya, a retired civil servant, died mysteriously in one of the rooms at the Kpirikpiri Divisional Police Station located along Old Enugu-Abakaliki road in the capital city.
In an interview with newsmen, the widow revealed that her late husband was at the police station to bail his son, Ulinna Inya, who was arrested alongside his friend, for allowing a football they were playing fall into the premises of a nearby Assemblies of God Church located on Nri Street, Kpirikpiri in Abakaliki.
She explained that trouble started when her son, Ulinna and his friend went to collect their ball that dropped into the premises of the church.
Mrs. Inya alleged that the security man refused to hand over the ball to them, but connived with the pastor of the church and a policewoman on maternity leave to handcuff her son and his friend before beating them up inside the church premises.
The widow revealed that her late husband later came to the scene and intervened in the matter, which later resulted in the policewoman dragging her son and her late husband to the police station.
He said, “The policewoman gave my son and his friend a thorough beating. She later handcuffed them, dragged them to the Kpirikpiri Police Station.
“They came to the Kpirikpiri Police Station. Immediately they arrived there, the officer started beating them and took them to the cell. I call on the Inspector General of Police to ensure that justice is done.”
Corroborating the development, the son of the deceased (Ulinna Inya), said that immediately they got to the police station, he was detained at the counter alongside his friend, while his father was taken to a different room in the station
“Immediately we got to the police station, they started beating us. They asked my father to follow them to one of the rooms. My daddy followed them to the inner room and the next thing I heard was that we should come and carry our father’s body,” he said.
He alleged that the lifeless body of his father was abandoned by the police, pointing out that he may have died as a result of an attack by the same policewoman who arrested them.
“I hired a tricycle that conveyed the body of my father to the Federal Teaching Hospital (FETHA) Abakaliki, where two doctors on duty confirmed him dead,” Ulinna added.
Reacting to the matter, the Ebonyi State Police Public Relations Officer, Lovet Odah, said that the Command had launched an investigation into the matter while an autopsy would be conducted on the corpse to ascertain what led to the death of the man.
“We don’t actually know why a policewoman on maternity leave should touch a man who had no case to answer; it is unfortunate. Let’s wait for the autopsy to come out to enable us to know what actually killed the man,” he said.
When contacted, the pastor of the church known as Nwakpakpa, warned newsmen not to disturb him when questions were posed to him at the police station.