By Deborah Coker
The Zone 5, Headquarters of the Nigerian Police Force, has warned a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) in Edo against misleading narrative concerning the murder of one Edwin Ogiamen.
Ogiamen was the Okaighele and youth leader of Ubiaza community in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government of Edo, who was murdered on March 29, 2023.
A statement by DSP Tijani Momoh, Zonal Police Public Relations Officer (ZPPRO), and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday, said that the case was no longer with the police but in court.
According to Momoh, the CSO, Talakawa Parliament, had at a press conference attempted to mislead the public over what transpired with regards to the case.
He noted that the claim by the CSO that one of the suspects, Emmanuel Aigbogun, was unlawfully arrested over the murder case, was a calculated effort to divert the focus of the case.
He added that the allegations were unfounded, baseless, false and a calculated attempt to manipulate the public for Aigbogun to evade prosecution.
“For the avoidance of doubt and for members of the public not to be misled by the false narrative, the zonal command wish to state the following facts:
On March 1, a petition dated 27/02/2023 written by Legal Minds law firm on behalf of one Edwin Ogiemwense, the Okaighele/youth leader of Ubiaza community along Benin/Sapele Road, Ikpoba-Okha LGA was received and referred to the Anti-vice section for discreet investigation.
“On March 29, two operatives of the Anti-vice section while at Ubiaza community to serve letter of invitation to the suspect, one Lucky Ogiamen ‘m’ a fight ensued between the said Lucky Osifo Ogiamen and the petitioner, late Edwin Ogiemwense.
“Which was followed by sporadic gunshots from the armed thugs stationed around the community bush by the said Lucky Ogiamen.”
The ZPPRO added that the Police operatives who were not armed tactically escaped unhurt, while the armed thugs held the petitioner hostage and later shot him dead.
“When the information on the attack was received at the Zone, serious efforts were made to reinforce and rescue the petitioner, but before reaching there, he had already been killed and their vehicles burnt.”
Momoh said that the matter was referred to the Homicide section of the Zone for discreet investigation.
“On March 31, the team with some vigilante members arrested four suspects in connection with the murder of the said Edwin Ogiamen.
“At the close of initial investigation, the suspects made confessional statements and investigation report was submitted and the four suspects were arraigned in court on charges of conspiracy, murder and malicious damage,” he said.
He further said that duplicate case files were sent to the state Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice, which was done and the suspects were charged to court by the DPP.
Momoh added that on Sept. 14, three other suspects, including a human right activist, were arrested and joined in the pending case before the court.
“It is pertinent to state that the human right activist was arrested by SWAT operatives from Abuja after being pointed out by the deceased family and not operatives of the Zone.
“The Zone wish to state that in respect of the allegations made against the O/C Anti-vice and his team, they were earlier invited and interviewed by the IGP’s Monitoring unit in Abuja on May 18, and were thereafter released.
“The allegations made against the Policemen are therefore not only false and malicious, but a calculated effort to divert the focus of the investigation,” he added.
The spokesman said the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 5 Headquarters, Mr Arungwa Nwazue, has urged the public to remain calm as justice would be served in the matter.
“The AIG further warned all those fond of spreading false information to the public to desist from such as they could be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.
“Additionally, the AIG reminded the CSO that the human right activist is not in the custody of the Police but in the custody of the court, and therefore his release cannot be ordered by the Police.
“If he actually has an alibi on the day of the murder and could be verified, he should bring it to the hearing of the court,” Momoh said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Maharazu Ahmed