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Monday, 7 August 2017

Widow Cries Out Bitterly, Narrates How Police Officers Took Money From Her To Investigate Her Husband's Murder

The deceased 
Ursula Egege, a widow, has called on the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to give her family justice after the murder of her husband, Udochukwu, by suspected land speculators in Igbo-Etche community, Rivers State. According to Punch Metro, the woman alleged that her husband was killed by one Anelle and his gang on November 11, 2016, adding that the police had refused to arrest the suspects.
 
Ursula, in a petition to the IG, dated August 3, 2017, noted that two police officers assigned to investigate the case did not make any arrest despite extorting money from her as mobilisation fee in January 2017.
 
Narrating the events that led to the death of her husband, Ursula said Udochukwu had purchased a piece of land from Anelle in 2015, but could not possess the plot due to some issues.
 
She said a year after, Anelle invited her husband to Igbo-Etche community to see alternative parcels of land, adding that Udochukwu, oblivious of the plot to kill him, went to meet the vendor where he was shot dead.
 
The petition, written by the widow’s lawyers, David-West & Associates, read in part, “Our client (Ursula) after sometime called her husband’s two lines, but surprisingly, none was going through. She became apprehensive and went to check on him.

“On getting to Igbo-Etche community in company with some police officers, she saw her husband dead in a pool of blood, with bullet holes on his body, while several men, including a one-legged amputee with clutches, surrounded his corpse.

“But surprisingly, the police officers did not arrest any of the people at the scene of crime, at least for questioning.”
 
Ursula said several weeks after the incident, no investigation was carried out by the police despite assurances by the Umuebulu Divisional Police Officer that the killers would be arrested.

“When the case was transferred to the SCIID Port Harcourt, two investigating officers, Inspectors Eze Umah and Doris Allen, were detailed to investigate the case, but they did not arrest any suspect despite collecting N90,000 under the guise of mobilisation,” the widow alleged in the petition.
 
She said she was invited for an interview by a new officer who took over the homicide section, noting that on the day of the interview, she observed that a strange name was used to open the case file at the police division instead of hers.
 
Ursala explained that she later learnt the new name, Nkemakolum Nwauo, was that of the amputee she saw at the scene of the crime.
 
The widow said she became suspicious of Nwauo’s roles in the death of her husband, adding that the head of the homicide section then directed that the suspect should be invited.

“On the day of the interview, Nwauo confessed to the officer in-charge after gruelling interrogation that he knew the killers and that one of them was his boy. He said it was Anelle who lured my husband to the bush where he was killed; he promised to produce the killers within two days,” she stated.
 
When Nwauo failed to produce the suspected killers after many weeks, the mother of three said she petitioned the IG and the case was assigned to the IGP Monitoring Unit for investigation.
 
She explained that a signal was sent to Allen in Port Harcourt, to come to Abuja with the case file and Nwauo, adding that only the officer showed up on July 18, 2017.

“Allen confessed to officers in Abuja that the police in Port Harcourt cannot arrest Nwauo because he is a notorious leader of criminal gangs operating in Igbo-Etche and its environs,” Ursula said.
 
The petitioner disclosed that officers of the IGP Monitoring Team were planning to arrest Nwauo in Rivers State when she learnt that he was visiting the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department in Abuja over a petition against her.
 
Ursula said she informed her lawyer and they both attended the interview where they pleaded with DIG Hycent Dagala of FCIID to detain the suspect and hand him over to the IGP Monitoring Team to explain his roles in the murder case.

“When the officers came for Nwauo’s arrest, the DIG refused to release him and allowed him to go on bail that night; we were shocked that a murder suspect could be released without qualms by a DIG,” the petitioner stated.
 
She disclosed that the investigating police officers subsequently arrested the suspect the next day as he made to board a cab to the airport.
 
She claimed that Nwauo did not deny the confessional statement he earlier made to the police in Port Harcourt and boasted that the matter would be sent to the DIG.
 
The petitioner said true to the boats, Dagala on August 2 sent a signal directing the IPOs to immediately transfer the case file and the suspect to his office.

“I heard the suspect was released last Friday by DIG Dagala and that is why I am crying to the IG to secure justice for me.

I believe the suspect must have compromised the DIG because he told policemen that he had given plots of land to Dagala and that the case would go nowhere,” Ursula told Punch Metro on Friday in Abuja.
 
Dagala did not respond to the allegations when he was contacted by our correspondent on Sunday.
 
He cut off his call after listening to the inquiries and failed to respond to subsequent calls and a text message.
 
Umah could not be reached for reaction as calls to his phone indicated it was switched off.
 
But Allen denied extorting money from the widow.

“God is my witness, I didn’t collect any money from her,” she said on the telephone on Sunday.

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