Police Brutality: Family Demands N50m Compensation over Son’s Murder in Edo


By Adibe Emenyonu

Family members of one Ibrahim Momodu in Benin-city, the Edo state capital, who was allegedly murdered by policemen in 2013, have petitioned the Chairman of the state Judicial Panel of Inquiry on the EndSARS protest, Hon Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe (rtd).

They are also demanding an urgent invitation, investigation and prosecution of one Mrs. Carol Afegbai, a Chief Superintendent of Police, and others at large over the alleged murder.

The Momodu family in a petition through their lawyer, Jefferson Uwoghiren, dated October 27, 2020, a copy of which was made available to journalists yesterday, urged the panel to invite Mrs. Afegbai and others now at large for alleged complicity and conspiracy to murder, obstruction of justice and conducts that are prejudicial to public peace.

They are also asking for N50million compensation for the loss of affection, emotional distress and grave injustice done to them by those they described as “agents of the government sworn to protect lives and property.”

In the petition, the family of late Momodu stated that the criminal complicity of Afegbai, a senior police officer and former Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ogida Police Division in Benin-city, and others “have caused them untold emotional distress, loss of affection and grave injustice.”

The petitioners explained that on May 27, 2013, at Obayuwana Junction on Siluko road in Benin-city, one Mr. Amadin Idahosa, a Police Corporal and an orderly to then CSP Carol Afegbai (DPO) of Ogida police station at about 7p.m., without provocation, legal justification, illegally and wrongly shot and killed Mr. Ibrahim Momodu.

They “subsequently, in attempts to cover up, buried Momodu in a shallow grave in a public cemetery in Benin-city.”

The late Momodu family, through their counsel, Uwoghiren, appealed to the panel chairman to “invite, demand, request and clarify from Afegbai the immediate steps she took to arrest and abate the callous killing by her orderly right in her presence, as a senior law enforcement officer paid with taxpayers’ money to protect lives and property.”

He also requested the panel to find out from the former DPO and others “whose initiative it was to attempt to mislead Nigerians with the provision of a Q-Link motorcycle, purportedly belonging to late Mr. Ibrahim Momodu, and whose initiative it was to attempt to mislead Nigerians with the provision of a cut to size Russian made barrel gun and five live cartridges alleged to belong to late Momodu, when in fact, from evidence, it was a planted gun to destroy the image of late Momodu.

“The location of Momodu’s phones and personal properties carted away by the police after the killings were ordered to return to our client by the court.

“Who ordered the post-killing cover ups of complicity, murder of Momodu, as noted by the trial judge in his judgement?”

Uwoghiren further demanded a public apology from the Nigeria Police for defaming parents of the deceased as armed robbers and criminals, as well as renaming of the administrative block at Ogida Police Station after the late Momodu.

In addition, “we further demand the renaming of the adjoining road to Ogida police station as Ibrahim Momodu Street by the police authority.

“We demand the arrest and prosecution of all police officers who were present during the killing of Momodu for complicity in his murder.”

According to the Uwoghiren, “On June 5, 2013, on the order of the court, the body of Momodu was exhumed from a shallow grave at the Third Cemetery, New Benin in Benin-city for autopsy.

“The result of the autopsy showed that late Momodu was shot in the chest, lacerating his heart and embarrassed by the circumstances of the killing, the police arrested Mr. Amadin Idahosa, subjected him to orderly room trial, dismissed him from the force as well as charged him to court for murder on charge No. B/CD/24C/2014.”

“At the close of trial, Hon. Justice R. Irele-Ifijeh in 2016 found Mr. Amadin Idahosa guilty of manslaughter in the unprovoked and illegal killing of Momodu and sentenced him to life imprisonment.”