late Ugochukwu Ozuah
By Chiemelie Ezeobi
Five months after the late Ugochukwu Ozuah, the five-day groom, was allegedly killed by policemen attached to Anthony Police Station in Lagos State, silence has been the word on the fate of the culprits who were arrested and moved to the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
Therefore, tension was rife yesterday at the deceased's residence in Gbagada, when the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 2, comprising Lagos and Ogun States, Mr. Mamman Tsafe, paid the family a visit on the prompting of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar.
The AIG was in the company of the Area H Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Kehinde Longe, the new Divisional Police Officer, Anthony Division, SP Uzoma Nwaoha, the DC Force Criminal and Investigation Department (FCID) and the DC Force Headquarters and several other senior officers.
Ozuah was reportedly shot dead barely five days after his wedding in Gbagada on September 24, last year, at about 10 p.m. where he had gone to drop his friend, Omene Irikefe, at the nearest bus stop.
Following the public outcry on the incident, the IG had instituted a special investigating team led by DCP Chris Ezike, of the Federal Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), but five months after the deceased's death and three months after the arrest of the five suspects, the case seemed to have stalled.
Although the police had initially exonerated its officers, subsequent investigation by the special team proved otherwise, prompting the IG to order for the arrest of the five police officers and moving them to the force headquarters.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the deceased's family, Mrs. Nkechi Chuba Nnoyelu, expressed the family's disappointment that the IG only deemed it fit to pay their condolence five months after the incident happened.
She said, "I am a bit disappointed that the condolence visit is coming five months later and it's like opening up old wounds that is in the process of healing. Initially, we thought that this meeting was to bring us abreast with the investigation.
"Some arrests were made by the police and we would have thought that by now, the result of the investigation would have been made open rather we are being kept in the dark. And I am aware that the investigation is over, the report done and submitted."
She urged the police to reopen the channel of communication with the family as what is on ground as well as posit the way forward.
But in his response, Tsafe said contrary to speculations that the case had gone cold, the IG sent the high powered delegation to assure the family otherwise, adding that the defaulters will be brought to book.
He said: "The IG directed me to form a team under my supervision and he also commiserates with you and I can assure you that he feels your pain.
"The case is being effectively investigated and the culprits would be dealt with accordingly. The IG can never hide or condone evil and very soon, the result of the investigation will be out. "
Attempts to get him to speak on the fate of the culprits proved abortive, rather he said they have not exhausted all angles of investigation. He however pledged to write a report to the IG detailing the complaints of the family.