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Edo judicial panel orders police officer’s arrest over UNIBEN student’s murder

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UNIBEN

The Edo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on police brutality has ordered the arrest of CSP Carol Afegbai (rtd.) for failing to appear before it to explain her role in the murder of Ibrahim Momodu, a 500 Level student of the University of Benin in 2013.

The late Momodu, 22, who was the only male child of his parents, was allegedly shot in Benin City near his family house located on No. 1, Igbobaewaye Street, off Siluko Road by Textile Mill junction.

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At the resumed hearing of the case, a member of the panel, A. B. Thomas argued that Afegbai who was then Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ogida Police Station should appear before the panel to explain her role in the killing of Momodu if she had nothing to hide.

Thomas argued still that if the court had not tried her when the case was first instituted, it was because she was not included in the suit, but insisted that she was a party to the case.

“That we ordered her arrest and that she should be brought to this court. If she was not arrested in the High Court and Court of Appeal, it is because she was not a party.

“The case was state vs. man who pulled the trigger, but before this panel, she is a party to the matter and if we go ahead to conclude the case without her, it will seem that she is above the law.

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“Therefore, we summon the Commissioner of Police (CP) to produce Afegba before the panel,” he said.

Expressing displeasure over Afegbai’s absence, Thomas said failing to compel her to appear before the panel could amount to undermining its powers.

Chairman of the panel, Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe (rtd.), therefore, ordered Afegbai’s immediate arrest for failing to appear before it.

“Accordingly, a warrant of arrest is issued forthwith on the respondent to appear before the panel on December 9, 2020,” Ehigiamusoe said.

Also, counsel to the Obodeh Family, Abraham Oviawe, also prayed the panel to invite the police officers allegedly involved in the killing of Benson Obodeh.

The counsel expressed fear that the alleged killers may have escaped from the Oko Correctional Centre and the Benin Maximum Correctional Centre along Sapele Road, Benin City following the jailbreak during the #EndSARS protests.

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