The murder of Ochigbo Ogar Jumbo, an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Abuja has continued to raise dust. His wife, who was present on the fateful day, insists on-duty policemen had hands in his murder, Olawale Ajimotokan reports.
Mrs Ada Jumbo has hauled a blistering accusation at the Divisional Police Officer, (DPO) Area F Police Station, Nyanya and other policemen on duty for their role in the death of her late husband, Ochigbo Ogar Jumbo, on March 20.
The late Jumbo, who was promoted an Assistant Superintendent officer in December last year, died in the station, after two traffic wardens assaulted and dragged him along Nyanyan streets, following a fracas on the fateful day when he was driving to work.
Jumbo was a two-star civil defence officer, attached to the Sharia Court of Appeal, under the FCT Area Command.
His wife said that he was injured by the traffic wardens during the fracas. He also received further beatings from policemen, when he was taken to the police station.
While narrating how her husband was killed, Mrs Jumbo, 36, said the DPO even issued signals for inmates in the Area F Police Station cells to beat up the deceased. She said the DPO also threatened to lock her husband in the guard room.
She made this revelation to THISDAY while giving eyewitness accounts on the unfortunate event that led to the death of the 42- year- Benue State born civil defence officer.
She accused the policemen of complicity in her husband’s killing, insisting they repeatedly hit him on the head and body with baton, causing him to lapse into coma on that particular morning.
She said the DPO accused her husband of picking up quarrel with one of the traffic wardens, Idoko, who incidentally, is her husband’s tribesman from Otukpo.
She alleged that the DPO had been making subtle moves to rest the matter. According to her, the DPO and another female police woman in charge of homicide initiated the move, when they paid a condolence visit to the family, on Thursday, March 21.
Mrs Jumbo disclosed that the police officer pleaded with her to take heart that her husband is dead and should be allowed to rest in peace.
She also claimed the police tried to pacify her by claiming that two of the officers implicated over the killing were currently being held at Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) facilities for questioning.
Her claim reinforced the recent warning by the Association of Idoma Lawyers, who demanded for total justice in the death of Jumbo, warning that any attempt to cover up or foot-drag over the case would be strongly resisted.
They issued the warning in a letter signed by the President of the association, Chief Godwin Obla (SAN) and Dr. J. Y Musa (SAN), to the Acting Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, over the weekend, where the Idoma lawyers queried the decision of the Nigerian Police Force to prosecute a case in which it was the accused.
But the 36- year- old widow, told our correspondent that all she wanted is justice for her husband and for those that killed him to be punished in line with the laws of the land.
“I want justice because there can never be a man like my husband. Life can never be the same again without him. He was my friend, my co-gossip, and the only one that knows my secrets. I don’t have any other friend, he was the best person I had ever seen. I share with him my secrets and he tells me his own.
“We have two children. The second one was supposed to celebrate his third birthday at the Millennium Park, on Sunday (March 23). I relied on my husband a lot, he used to encourage me a lot. From Monday to Friday in fact, through Sunday, he kept taking us out. If we go to school, he will come back to bring us home. Without him, life will not be easy for me,” she said amid sobs.
While giving graphic details of what exactly transpired on that particular day, she said the late Jumbo was driving to work and intended to drop his family at Glory International School, Karu Site.
She noted that it in order to avoid the heavy traffic on the Abuja- Keffi highway, her husband decided on a shortcut inside Nyanya, through the AP Filling Station and towards the SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church.
Shortly after he burst out at the road linking the VIO Office and almost approaching Telle Motors, a traffic warden waved the traffic at the opposite lane to stop and asked him to continue.
“It was in the process when my husband was about to turn and go to Karu Site, that a traffic warden by the name Idoko, suddenly emerged and blocked my husband’s vehicle and ordered him to stop. My husband pleaded he was late for office and he intended to drop his kids and wife in their school before proceeding to his office,” she narrated.
She noted that Idoko declined the entreaties from her husband, leading to escalation of argument that further made the warden to block the vehicle.
“The traffic warden was shouting at top of his voice that he was not responsible for the snarl. He became abusive and asked my husband to come down.
“At that stage my husband had switched off the engine while other vehicles were frantically turning away from the scene. The traffic warden spontaneously made for the driver’s side and began to drag my husband, yelling at him to come down from the vehicle. I was sitting at the back with my children. As he could not succeed, another traffic warden from the Redeem Church side joined him. They both stated dragging and hitting my husband with baton on the head and body. As they were doing that I opened the door and begged them to leave my husband alone, that he was not a criminal, but a civil defence officer.
“They ignored my pleas and continued to assault him. Both of them dragged him from the spot to the Police Station. Meanwhile the car was abandoned while I picked my husband’s phone and car key and was trailing them. Immediately they pulled over at the police station, policemen that were on duty started beating him, saying they trained Civil Defence officers, who are making behind the scene moves of taking their job.”
She said the beating was so severe that her husband flatly laid on the floor and was no longing responsive. He was apparently dead.
“I was asking him to give me the pin to his locked phone, but he was not responding. I asked them to take him to the hospital because he was not answering me, they ignored me, saying he was pretending. In mockery one of them kicked him, asking him to stand up”.
She narrated that when the police finally agreed to take him to hospital, he was taken in a police van to the nearby Nyanya General Hospital, where doctors referred him to the Wuse General Hospital.
But instead of going to Wuse, the police brought him to Asokoro General Hospital. It was there that the doctor that came to check him inside the van, discovered that he was dead and told them to take him to mortuary.
Jumbo said she the police kept changing the narratives about the circumstances of her husband’s death in a bid to misrepresent the truth.
“Frank Mba, the Force PRO, said that my husband drove himself to the police station and collapsed. It is a lie from pit of hell. They asked if I could drive as the vehicle was blocking the road. I said I could not. It was one of the men on duty that collected the key from me and gave it to one driver to go and pick the vehicle from the road and drive it to Nyanya police station.
“They said that my husband went there with his vehicle, if you see all my husband’s legs, it was full of bruises. His toe nails had severed because they were dragging him on the floor from the road to police station. He was driving without his palm sandals which littered in the wake of the misunderstanding,” she said.