30th November, 2011
The Lagos State Police Command has begun investigations into the alleged cover-up of a murder case by some officers, including a Divisional Police Officer (DPO).
Mr. Samuel Jinadu, the commandâ€™s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), a Superintendent of police disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday.
Jinadu said that the investigation was as a result of a petition sent to the Commissioner, Mr. Yakubu Alkali, by the family of the deceased, through their lawyer, Chief Gabriel Giwa-Amu.
â€œThe Commissioner of Police assured that the petition will be investigated thoroughly, with a view to ascertaining those who might have been involved in any unprofessional conduct,â€œ Jinadu added.
NAN reports that the petition, which was copied to the IGP and AIG Zone-2, also indicted the DPO of Epe police division and one Corporal.
According to the petition, the police officers allegedly conspired to scuttle the course of justice over the murder of one Mrs. Omowumi Orisan, of 230, Lagos Road, Agric, Ikorodu, Lagos.
The deceased family claimed in their petition that on November 12, Orisan was allegedly invited by a woman, now a suspect in the case, to attend her chieftaincy title installation at Ibeju-Lekki, in Lagos.
â€œOn the said 12th November 2011, the deceased personâ€™s son persistently called the cell phone of his mother with no response.
â€œThat on 13 November, 2011, consequent upon the fact that there was no reply from the deceased, the deceased husband and son placed a phone call to the suspect.
â€œThat the suspect answered and replied that the deceased person was fine, but could not talk on the phone, but would be back home on Monday, 14 November, 2011.
â€œThat on Monday, 14 November, 2011 at 8.30 p.m. the said suspect called the elder brother of the deceasedâ€™s husband, a traditional ruler, to inform him of the sudden and inexplicable death of Orisan,â€œ the petition noted
The petition stated that the case was first investigated by the Sagamu Road Police Division, which later transferred it to Epe jurisdiction, where the incident occurred.
The family claimed that in a dramatic twist of events, the police at Epe Division released all suspects and refused to co-operate with the family to conduct postmortem on the corpse to ascertain the cause of death.
â€œUpon inquiry by the family, the DPO Epe told the family that anybody can die â€˜anyhowâ€™ and the cause of death is â€˜unascertainableâ€™ and told the family to â€˜respect themselvesâ€™ and go and take the corpse for burial without further investigation.
â€œThe DPO promptly ordered the detention of the elder sister to the deceased (Mrs. Iyabo Adekoya) and her husband (Mr. Adekoya) for no reason, other than accompanying the family to the Police Station in pursuit of the course of justice, â€œ the family said. The petition noted that the police officer demanded for money before granting bail to the detained relations, adding that the same officer threatened to close the murder case file if they did not bring money.
The family claimed that the failure of the DPO to cause a transfer of the matter to State CID Panti, in line with police practice and procedure, was a proof of corruption.
â€œWe urge you to cause a detailed investigation of this matter by ordering the transfer of this matter to an independent police unit for proper investigation, â€œ the petition added.