The Kogi State Police Command has commenced investigation into the killing of three persons in Ejegbo, Ankpa Local Government Area of the state in questionable circumstances.
The victims, Julius Maha, Emmanuel and one of their friends, were allegedly killed by some policemen from the Ankpa Division of the Nigerian Police Force who stormed their home in the early hours of Thursday June 23, 2016.
Our correspondent, however, learnt that the case file of the incident had been transferred to the homicide department of the police for further investigation while no fewer than seven police officers had been arrested in connection with the matter.
A rights activist and lawyer to the family, Mr. Tony Ejumejowo, in a petition to the Kogi State Commissioner of Police, obtained by our correspondent in Abuja, alleged foul play in the incident.
He claimed that unknown gunmen who were later discovered to be policemen attached to the Ankpa Division of the Nigerian Police Force stormed the home in the Onoja Ogbagidi family while they were asleep and killed the victims.
He said, “The said policemen, without warrant and without any information or explanation as to the purpose of their unholy visit, forced their way into one of the houses in the compound belonging to their (deceased’s) late father, Chief Major Daniel Maha (retd), the Adoja Ejeh of Ankpa.
“Upon gaining entry into the house, the said men of the Nigerian Police forcefully dragged the occupants which included Omachoko Julius Maha (a son of Maj. D.S. Maha), Emmanuel (Major Maha’s nephew) and one of their friends out purporting to arrest them for an undisclosed offence. Gun shots were heard moments later a few metres from the house.
“While all these took place, the policemen threatened to shoot at anybody who dared to come out of his/her house to challenge their unlawful conduct. It was only after the policemen left and upon daybreak that they (the people) were able to summon the courage to go to the place where they heard gunshots and saw pools of blood.
“It was only when some elders in the compound went to the Ankpa Divisional Police Station to report the matter that they were confronted with the gory sight of the corpses of the three young men. Apparently, the innocent young men had been shot at and murdered in cold blood just a few metres from their rooms where they slept a few hours before.”
Ejumejowo alleged that when the elders demanded for an explanation from the DPO of Ankpa Division and his officers but they (the elders) were “intimidated and hauled into detention for daring to ask” while they (the policemen) also referred to the deceased as “criminals.”
Our correspondent, however, learnt that the Kogi State Police Commissioner of Police had invited the lawyer and family members of the deceased to a meeting which was held on Tuesday in Lokoja.
Although the details of the meeting were not known as of the time of filling this report, the spokesperson of the Kogi State Police Command, Ovye Williams, said the matter was currently under investigation.
He said, “I spoke with the OC (Officer in Charge) Homicide and DCO (Divisional Crime Officer), but they are still carrying out investigation on the case. What I verified was that the police had commenced investigation to ascertain the cause of their death.”