The death of Mr Nelson Akporido Sini in the hands of operatives of B-Division, Warri Area Command of the Nigeria Police, has taken a twist as the family of the deceased has petitioned the Federal Government.
They are also pressing for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of “B” Division, Warri, CSP Eyoh Aniete who, they said, masterminded the killing of their son.
The petition channeled through their counsel, Oghenejabor Ikimi of Ikimi Oghenejabor & Co chambers based in Udu, also requested justice and compensation to his family for the alleged murder of their 36-year-old son.
But DPO Aniete, spoke to Nigerian Tribune when contacted denied the allegation, insisting that the victim, who was arrested with two other suspects over alleged robbery, was shot in the leg when he attempted to bolt away.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Delta State Command, Mr Andrew Aniamaka, corroborated the claims of DPO Aniete on phone.
He said the trio were believed to have masterminded the snatching of a Toyota Camry car with registration number Lagos F2349EKY belonging to one Chima Peter Chukwemeka at Orerokpe in Okpe Local Government Area of the state some time in 2016.
Luck, he said ran out of the suspects when the owner of the car, who, incidentally, was at the function, raised the alarm after he had identified his car which still had its army-green colour and plate number intact.
According to him, if the deceased had not attempted to escape, he wouldn’t have been shot in the leg which eventually led to his death in spite of frantic efforts made to save him.
The Sini family had, however, described the police claims as a hoax and an attempt to cover up a deliberate, cold murder of Akporido.
A member of the deceased family, Mr Joseph Sini, a lawyer, disclosed that the DPO allegedly shot Akporido Sini dead and arrested the two others, Efe Otikpo and Urhuemu Otikpo, over a purported stolen car on Wednesday, March 15, 2017.
Sini also stated that the deceased was allegedly shot in the leg and was allowed to bleed to death by the DPO and his men while his remains was later deposited at the Warri Central Hospital Morgue by another police officer simply identified as Akhigbe.
He insisted that the Police Service Commission should prosecute DPO Aniete for being fond of killing innocent children including Akporido Sini and pay compensation the family in the interest of justice.
According to him, late Akporido Sini, who was the owner of Dynamos Barbing Plaza at Enerhen near Warri, was a calm and gentle person who had never engaged in any form of criminality in his neighbourhood.
Elder sister of the deceased, Betty Esini, who also spoke to journalists, claimed that the late Nelson Akporido went for the Service of Songs held in honour of one Chief David.O. Oghen, an in-law to the Sini family at Ometan Street in Warri at about 5:30p.m of Wednesday.
While returning home, late Akporido, she said, decided to join the vehicle of one of his neighbours, Mr. Urhuemu Otikpo, who offered him a free ride.
According to her, the late Akporido, Uhuemu Otikpo and one other Efe Nelson Sini were about to enter into the vehicle (Toyota Camry) when some policemen attached to the Nigeria Police Station, “B” Division, Warri swooped on them, claiming it was a stolen vehicle.
Subsequently, the policemen arrested the trio and drove them in the vehicle to the “B” Division in handcuffs.
She added that family members and sympathisers of the deceased were barred from the police station until the following day, Thursday March 17 when they were informed that the corpse of Akporido had been deposited at Warri Central Hospital morgue!
Meanwhile, the human rights lawyer, Ikimi, in his petition on behalf of the deceased family, described DPO Anietie of being fond of shooting suspects brought to his station in the leg.
“Between the month of February, 2017 and 16th March, 2017, he had shot several suspects on the leg amongst whom are Mr. Lucky Eba and Mr. Ugojoh who are presently being held at the Federal Prisons, Warri on holding charges.
The two inmates whose bail applications are been handled by our law firm are presently been treated of gun wounds in the said prison by their doctors.
We believe that under the Nigerian Constitution, every person is innocent until proved guilty in the Law Court.
We are however yet to come to terms with the above sinister action of the Divisional Police Officer of the “B” Division, Warri and his Men for killing an unarmed suspect while in their custody for no just cause,” he disclosed.
Ikimi, therefore, urged the Inspector General of Police to commence an independent and unbiased investigation into the killing of innocent and unarmed citizen for an allegation that was yet to be substantiated.