7th June, 2013
Claims by the police in Benin that Ibrahim Momodu, student of the University of Benin, UNIBEN, who was killed last week by a police officer was shot in the leg might not be true after all as indications emerged Friday that the bullet that killed him actually hit him on the chest.
The Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ogida police division in Benin, Mrs. Carol Afegbai, a Chief Superintendent of Police, who fired the shot, had alleged that she shot the victim on his leg.
The DPO who claimed that Ibrahim was shot in self defence after he failed to obey
stopped by men of the O City at about 11pm, but rather than stop, he brought out a hand gun and attempted to open fire on them.
Clarification on the true position was however made Executive Director of African Network for Environmental and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Rev David Ugolor, who was there at the cemetery and the mortuary where the remains were kept.
“I was at the cemetery where the corpse was exhumed and I followed them down to Stella Obasanjo Hospital and was there when his body was washed. The police were there, family members of the boy were there. The police pathologist and the one contracted by the family were there and the family’s lawyer was there. There is no way the police can deny that the boy was not shot in the chest,” Ugolor said.
He added that though bruises could be seen in the legs of the slain student, the hole the gun shot made in Ibrahim’s chest could not be mistaken for anything else and was visible for all to see.
Meanwhile, the state police command said it was awaiting advice from the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, in the state for necessary action on the controversial killing of 22 year old Ibrahim Momodu by the police on patrol on the night of 27 May, 2013, just as authorities of UNIBEN has stuck to their gun that the deceased was technically not a student of the institution as at the time of his death.
The State Commissioner of Police, Folusho Adebanjo who disclosed this in a press briefing, also disclosed that the embattled DPO, Carol Afegbai who led the patrol on the fateful day and her orderly, Amadin Idahosa have been redeployed “to facilitate further investigation.”
Adebanjo who reminded the general public that the ban on commercial motorcyclist as from 7 pm remained in force in the state, noted that the deceased was truly riding on motorcycle on the day of incident which he said was actually a contravention of the law.
He however appealed to the people of the state and particularly students of the University of Benin to remain calm as the police investigate further to substantiate or otherwise of the allegation that the late Momodu was in possession of a gun in bag and was shot in the legs apparently to demobilise him.
“The Command is also using this medium to re-affirm its commitment to non-acceptance of extra judicial killing. Anything that leads to death other than through a judicial pronouncement and circumstances as contained in the Force Order 237 will not be acceptable.
“It is not in dispute that the police shot the late Ibrahim Momodu to prevent his escape though he later died. It is true that every incident or story has more than one side. Therefore, the responsibility of the police in this crucial incident is to establish the fact with an objective mind as contained in our rules of engagement.
“Looking at the scenario for now, it might be too early for anyone to dismiss either the claim of the police or that of the bereaved family. In order to demonstrate the Edo State Police management’s team’s desire for justice and fairness as it concerns this case, the case file has been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecution for legal advice.
“The Command therefore calls on the general public particularly the family of the deceased and the University of Benin community to exercise restraint and go about their lawful business as we await the DPP advice on the matter,” Adebanjo said.
UNIBEN’s Public Relations Officer, Barr. Harrison Osarenren who spoke to journalists in Benin on phone Friday evening, said in line with the rule of the Senate of the University, Ibrahim Momoh was technically not a UNIBEN student in 2013, since he did not registered for the 2012/2013 academic year.
Osarenren maintained that the documents paraded by the deceased family and lawyer was not genuine, adding that the picture was “super imposed” on the university’s document.