Police Exhume Slain UNIBEN Student For Post-Mortem

•The slain UNIBEN student, Momodu Ibrahim

•The slain UNIBEN student, Momodu Ibrahim


JETHRO IBILEKE/Benin

Following public outcry and demand by family members of Ibrahim Momoh, the final year Laboratory Science student of University of Benin, UNIBEN, who was killed less than two weeks ago, the Edo State Police Command has exhumed his body for post-mortem.

Approval for the exhumation was issued to Dr. Wilson Akhiwu, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, of the Police Clinic, Benin, under Section 13 of the Coroner Ordinance Act by the Egor Chief Magistrate Court.

Edo State Police Pathologist, Dr. Wilson Akhiwu led the team that exhumed the already decomposing body. The corpse was later taken to the Stella Obasanjo Hospital where it was deposited.

•The slain UNIBEN student, Momodu Ibrahim
•The slain UNIBEN student, Momodu Ibrahim

While the Momodu family alleged foul-play in the murder of their son, the Police in its official statement however said he was killed in self defence while attempting to bring out Russian-made cut-to-size gun.

Ibrahim who was killed on 27 May by the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ogida Police Division, Mrs. Carol Afegbai, who has since been suspended to give way to thorough investigation, was buried by the police at the 3rd cemetery, in Benin.

A protest by students and civil society groups made the Edo State Government to set up a judicial panel of enquiry to unravel circumstances leading to the killing.

Counsel to the deceased family, Barrister Jefferson Uwoghiren has expressed concern over what he termed attempts by the police authority to openly disclaim liability for the ‘gruesome murder’ and at the same time privately admitting same.

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Uwoghiren who addressed journalists in Benin, said “the police claim is provocative and insensitive. It’s an attempt at covering up a fact of a premeditated murder by a visually impaired police woman.”

“Last night, the police led by the Deputy Commissioner of police, Mrs. Hilda Harrison visited Momodu’s family to offer their condolences. The question is; do police visit families of killed armed robbers?” he queried.

Mother of the deceased, Mrs. Osas Momodu, told journalists that the state Police Command paid a condolence visit to the bereaved family. She added that the Command which was represented by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, assured the family that the police was fully committed to carry out further investigations on the incident.

Mrs. Momodu who disclosed that the police had adduced two explanations to the killing of her son, however called for the prosecution of the alleged killer-DPO.

Meanwhile, Coalition of Civil Societies (CSOs) in Edo state has said that it would send a strong warning message to the police to learn to respect human lives.

The Coalition disclosed this during a condolence visit on the bereaved family of the slain student, during which they vowed to ensure that the circumstances surrounding the victims’ death would be unraveled.

Leader of the delegation and Executive Director of African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Rev. David Ugolor recalled that he had been a victim of police burutality.

“This would be the last for the police because life is something we don’t play with as human rights. This visit is also aimed at sending message to the police that today, it is Ibrahim, tomorrow can be anybody,” he noted.

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