Four police officers are currently under investigation following the death of a 23-year-old man over his refusal to confess to a crime he claimed he did not commit.
The officers are reportedly attached to Mararaba Police Station in Nasarawa State and are reported to have beaten the victim, Abel Umoru, to death when he insisted that he was innocent of the crime he was accused.
Sister of the deceased, Mrs Sadait Audu, told Sunday Punch that her brother who was a graduate of Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, was murdered because he refused to confess to a crime he did not commit.
Mrs Audu explained that Umoru had gone for the friend’s birthday party on October 2 at about 9pm, where a fight reportedly broke out.
She said that the policemen at Abacha Road were alerted of the scuffle by the event centre’s manager, and upon their arrival, Umoru decided to leave.
According to Mrs Audu, the police arrested her brother who was pounced on and severely beaten when he demanded to know what his offence was.
She said, “Abel felt the need to know what his offence was. Upon asking, the policemen descended on him and started beating him thoroughly for no reason. Abel pleaded with the policemen that he wasn’t among those who fought, but his pleas fell on deaf ears.
“The policemen continued with the beating, asking Abel to agree that he was among those who fought and destroyed property at the event. He didn’t agree, so they kept beating him till he died. The next day, they dumped his body in the mortuary.”
However, the Police Public Relations Officer in Nasarawa State, Mr. Idirisu Kennedy, denied the allegations, claiming that Umoru was killed while trying to evade arrest by angry youths in the area.
The PPRO told Sunday Punch in a telephone interview that the IPO then raised the alarm, shouting “Thief!” which attracted a mob which lynched the suspect.
Kennedy added that the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Abubakar Bello, has ordered that the case is transferred to the Criminal Investigative Department and that any officer found guilty would face the full weight of the law.
According to him, the police IPO who arrested the deceased is also being questioned over the incident.