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#EndSARS: How I lost my pregnant wife to unlawful police detention, by widower

By Michael Egbejule, Benin City
15 December 2020   |   4:00 am
A widower, Osazee Agbontaen, has narrated how his wife died due to his unlawful arrest and detention by the police. He said this at the Edo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on police brutality.

A widower, Osazee Agbontaen, has narrated how his wife died due to his unlawful arrest and detention by the police. He said this at the Edo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on police brutality.

He said the death of his wife occurred during his long absence from home, adding that the deceased went into labour and died without him comforting her during her travail at child birth.

Agbontaen, who appeared before the panel to ask for compensation over his wife’s death, said shortly after his spouse’s passage during childbirth, the police immediately told him that he had no case to answer.

A farmer and Electrical Engineer at Ekowe Community in Ovia North East Council of the state, Agbontaen said he was arrested unlawfully based on a petition written against him and was detained for two weeks from where he was taken to prison.

“I was at home around 2:00a.m., when some policemen invaded my house and started banging on my door and because I didn’t open for them on time, they pounced on me and started beating me up.

“They asked me if I did not know that they were police officers. They beat me up, dragged me on the floor before throwing me into their van and took me to their station leaving my eight months pregnant wife at home.

He explained that he decided to approach the panel for compensation because if he were around, he would have assisted the deceased and perhaps, she would have not died.

“I was in prison when my family members came to tell me that my wife had given birth to a baby through operation and 10 days later, they came to inform me that she had died,” he added.

He said besides losing his wife, he lost everything he had while in the prison, adding that his farm was overgrown with weeds and that fire later destroyed the other part of his farm.

Agbontaen also told the panel that upon investigation, the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Investigating Police Officer (IPO) told him that he had no case to answer and thereafter he was released.

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