FRSC officials allegedly beat man to death, bury body in shallow grave
• We have launched investigation into the killing, says FRSC
The body of one Odion Omafo Samuel, aged 36, has been exhumed from the shallow grave it was buried allegedly by four officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) attached to Abudu outpost in Edo State. The names of the FRSC officials were given as Francis Igboh, Sunday Ogi, Samson Alolade and Joseph Onolade.
The Edo State police command yesterday arrested two of the officers for the alleged murder of Odion along Agbor Road, Benin. The two officers now in police cell were identified as Francis Igboh and Samson Alolade while efforts were on to apprehend two others – Joseph Onolade and Sunday Ogi.
The deceased had reportedly hired an Audi 80 car and was travelling in it with its driver when the FRSC personnel flagged it down at Owuahe Hill, Agbor Road in Edo on October 14. The spokesman of Edo police command, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor confirmed the incident.
“Our operatives in the homicide section of the State Criminal and Intelligence Investigation Department (SCIID), police headquarters, Benin City are investigating the case. It is a case of murder,” Nwabuzor stated.
Police sources said preliminary investigation showed that the late Odion was beaten to death by the FRSC men because he asked the driver he hired not to give them bribe. A source said Odion joined the driver to put up a resistance against alleged extortion attempts the FRSC officers and it led to fisticuffs.
The driver was said to have fled the scene and Odion was beaten to pulp. He was reportedly rushed to a hospital and doctors confirmed him dead on arrival. The FRSC officials were said to have buried him in a bush.
Another police source said the altercation between the officers and the passenger paved the way for the driver to flee the scene, leaving him at the mercy of the FRSC officers. The enraged officers allegedly descended on Samuel, who was chased into a nearby bush and beaten to death.
The driver later drove to the deceased residence where he had picked him in a nearby village to inform his relatives of the incident but was accused of kidnapping and swiftly handed over to the police in Abudu. He was said to have told his story, which led police to carry out detailed investigation and two of the four FRSC officials were arrested.
The two arrested FRSC officers took investigators to the bush where the decomposing body of Odion was evacuated on October 17. It was learnt that the suspects accused the deceased of snatching their booking tickets.
It was gathered that the head of Abudu outpost of the FRSC, Mr. Ogbemi Olu, was invited and quizzed by investigators at the police command headquarters, Benin City. His invitation was a follow up to the statements given by his embattled officers.
The Public Relations Officer for Edo Sector Command, Federal Road Safety Corps, Edoma Bajack declined to comment on the incident saying, “I cannot give you any information on that”. The Edo State sector commander of FRSC, Anthony Oko also refused to speak, saying: “I cannot comment on what I do not know. The police in Abudu are handling it.”
But the FRSC command in Abuja said it has commenced an investigation into the killing. The FRSC in a post on Twitter yesterday said: “The Corps has commenced official investigation into the murder of the victim. We implore all residents of Abudu where the incident occurred to be law abiding as the law will take its full cause for justice to take place. We commiserate with the bereaved family.”
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