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Abuja Killings: 'How Police Officer Was Poisoned'

Posted by From Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja on 2005/07/14 | Views: 306 |

Abuja Killings: 'How Police Officer Was Poisoned'


The commission of inquiry investigating the killing of six civilians in Abuja, was yesterday told that late Police constable, Mr. Anthony Idah, who died shortly before he was billed to testify on the incident at the Mike Okiro-headed police panel was actually poisoned by two of the indicted police officers.

The commission of inquiry investigating the killing of six civilians in Abuja, was yesterday told that late Police constable, Mr. Anthony Idah, who died shortly before he was billed to testify on the incident at the Mike Okiro-headed police panel was actually poisoned by two of the indicted police officers.

Brother to the deceased police man, Mr. Ifeanyi Idah, told the Commission that Anthony confided in him a day before his mysterious death that he had drinks with the Garki Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Abdulsallam Othman, now on the run and ASP Zachariah, in the evening of June 18, 2005. Late Anthony was reported dead of tongilisis 'belubelu' the following day. Idah said it was during the drinking session that his late brother was poisoned by the duo.

He said after that encounter with the officers, the following morning his brother took ill and later dropped dead by 8.00 am while on duty at the office.

Idah said his brother always kept him informed about his movement since the incident which led to the killing of the six Apo traders.

"When Anthony came back from work that evening (June 18), he narrated to me how he went out with the two officers to have some drinks just before they closed for the day", he said.

He said his late brother told him that he drank coke while sitting with the duo.

It will be recalled that the late Idah before his death was said to have deep knowledge about what transpired in the killing of the Apo traders and was in the process of spilling the beans when his life was terminated.
He was also believed to be passing information to counsel to the families of the deceased traders, Mr. Amobi Nzelu with he hopes to nail the indicted police officers.

Yesterday's testimony confirmed the publicly held suspicion that the sudden death of Police Constable Idah may not be unconnected with attempts by those responsible for the Apo killing to conceal evidence on the matter.

Chairman of the Apo Traders Association, Mr. Mortimar Ihejerika who first mounted the witness box, gave testimonies as to the integrity and innocence of the slain traders. He said the deceased were all credible members of the association with known means of livelihood.

Ihejirika gave insight into what led to the riot in which the Apo village Police Station was completely razed, accusing the police of instigating the violence.

He said on the day, the traders acting on a tip-off that the police was planning to organize a hurried burial of the victims, mobilized to hold a peaceful demonstration to protest the killing.

But on sighting the protesting traders, he said policemen fired live bullets indiscriminately at the crowd, killing about two persons and wounding many others.

As a result, the crowd scattered in different direction while running for their dear lives. He said the traders never attacked nor destroyed police properties.

The leader of the traders said there is no way they could have been party to the burning of the police station which they contributed money to erect.
"I as chairman of the association made a personal donation of N50,000 towards the building of the police station", he said, adding that even the maintenance of the office was being borne by his members.

Ihejerika lamented the frequent harassment and intimidation which residents of Apo village, especially traders have had to live with in the hands of the police in the area.

He gave instances where police arrest people along the road for flimsy reasons such as wandering as early as 7 - 8p.m.
He said in most cases the arrest and detention of people became a ploy to extort money from them in form of bail to regain their freedom.


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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.