Facts have emerged on how the final year law student of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Augustine Ugwu, was killed under the custody of the Enugu State police command.
It was gathered that while the Officer-in-Charge of Anti-Cult police, Nsukka, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr. Nnamdi Ochin, sent information to the Enugu Police Management Team six days after Augustine got missing from the police custody.
It was also gathered that there was no records to show that Augustine was brought to the police Anti-cult Nsukka unit.
Augustine was reported arrested in a beer parlor on April 23, 2020 by the local anti-cult group set-up by the late Chairman of Nsukka Local Government Area, Patrick Omeje and handed him over to the Nsukka police anti-cult unit.
After some hours, the 500 level law student got missing at the police custody.
Consequently, his father, a retired police officer, Andy Ugwu, raised an alarm accusing DSP Ochin of killing his son for no just cause.
247ureports.com gathered that DSP Ochin only sent information to the police management authority in Enugu state on April 29, when the father of the late student had sent messages to the state commissioner of police and force headquarters, a development that was said to have contravened the rules governing crime management in police force.
A Police wireless message our correspondent obtained exclusively, which Ochin sent to the police management team, claimed that Augustine was shot when he led police operatives to recover his gun at a location where it was kept, alleging that the members of his gang engaged them in exchange of gun fire.
The wireless message signed by Ochi and dated April 29, 2020, was addressed to ‘COMPOLS DOPS Enugu’ with the caption: ‘Info: COMPOLS DFA/ ‘D’ Enugu/ ACPOL Nsukka/ PRESSSPOL Enugu CJ: 4161/ENS/CAN/NSK/VOL…1/17. Incident Report, attack on operatives.”
The message read in part, “Grateful be informed that on 23/04/2020 at about 0830hrs, one suspected cultist/ armed robbery suspect, Augustine Ugwu ‘m’ aged 25years who hails from Benue state, the leader of Vikings fraternity group in Nsukka (executioner / No. 1) was arrested by the neighborhood watch group of Nsukka local government area, handed over mine.
“The said suspect has been terrorizing Nsukka and its environs, killed over eleven persons, robbed so many people. On 28th April, 2020 at about 2030hrs, while operatives mine, took him on enquiry, to recover some guns, which he confessed that was in his possession, not knowing that it was their hid(sic) out in Nsukka, his cult members sighted operatives mine, opened fire on them.
“During the exchange of fire, the suspect sustained a bullet wound, while other members of his cult group escaped with bullet wounds. However, operatives mine recovered one local made pistol. The suspect was rushed to hospital for medical attention, where he was confirmed death(sic) by a doctor. Body deposited in mortuary, while effort is still on to track down the fleeing suspects. Above for your information please.”
Police sources told 247ureports.com that when the Inspector General of Police Team investigating the murder of the law student grilled Ochin in Enugu recently, he could not provide the alleged confessional statement they obtained from the late Augustine.
One of the sources said “there was no entry or any documentation that Augustine was brought to the police Anti-Cult Nsukka as there was no record of such. There was no statement obtained from Augustine. It was when the family raised an alarm that he sent a signal.”
“It was when Augustine’s father petitioned to Forces Headquarters that they exhumed his body from where they buried him near their office in Nsukka and took him to the Anatomy Department, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus for students training.”
The sources noted that DSP Ochin could not even provide an explanation to which hospital he took Augustine to that confirmed him dead and the mortuary he was deposited thereafter.
Mr Ugwu, father of the deceased who collaborate the report, told our correspondent that DSP Ochin didn’t provide any explanation when the IGP investigation team asked him where Augustine was kept from April 23 he was arrested and handed over to him till April 28 when his alleged gang exchanged fire with the operatives and he was shot.
Ugwu said “when the operatives from Abuja asked him since my son was a notorious criminal, where is his confessional statement, he couldn’t provide it.
“They asked him where he got the information that my son was declared wanted, he couldn’t answer it. Which authority do you have because if you are declaring somebody wanted you must gazette it in a paper and send to all the police formations nationwide that so, so and so person has been declared wanted. That is the practice and police procedure but, he couldn’t provide any explanations.
“On what made him not to report the issue to the police management team on April 23, he could not provide any explanation also.”
He added “after killing him on April 23, they buried him near their office in Nsukka; when I raised alarm, they went and exhumed him and took him to UNEC. When IGP Adamu Mohammed ordered for investigation, the state CID removed him from UNEC and took him to UNTH.”
Efforts to get police official reactions were unsuccessful as both the Commissioner and Police Public Relations Officer, Ahmad Abdurrahman and Daniel Ndukwe respectively could not answered their calls as the phone rang out.