Sunday Aborisade and Adelani Adepegba
Ada, the wife of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps officer, Ogah Jumbo, who was allegedly beaten to death by two traffic wardens in Nyanya, Abuja, on Wednesday, has said the deceased was dragged on the ground till he died.
Ada stated that her husband sustained broken fingernails and bruises on his toes when he was dragged on the ground by the traffic wardens, who assaulted him.
The widow told one of our correspondents on Thursday that the traffic wardens hit Ogah on the head several times with batons after which he was dragged on the ground for about a kilometre to the police station where he gave up the ghost.
It was learnt that the Federal Capital Territory Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, had ordered the detention of the police personnel involved in the incident.
The wife, who witnessed the encounter alongside her two children, refuted reports that her husband was driving against the traffic.
According to her, the late Assistant Superintendent of the NSCDC, who was attached to the Sharia Court in Abuja, was taking her to the Gloryland International School, Karu, where she works as a teacher, when the incident happened.
She said, “We were going to Karu from New Nyanya, but on getting to the Catholic church, we diverted. A traffic warden stopped the vehicles on the other side and asked vehicles on our side to move, but when it got to our turn, he stopped our car and my husband pleaded with him that he was late for work.
“The traffic warden retorted that it was not his business, because he was not the cause of the traffic jam. He stood in front of the vehicle and said my husband wanted to hit him with the car.
“He kicked the vehicle and went to the driver’s side and was pulling my husband out of the vehicle. His (the traffic warden’s) colleague, Mr Idoko, also joined him and they were beating my husband with batons. I alighted from the vehicle and pleaded with them.
“They (traffic wardens) dragged my husband on the ground to their station. If you see his body in the mortuary, you will notice that his fingernails were chopped off and he bled to death.”
Ada added that while her husband was being taken away by the policemen, she went back to the vehicle to fetch the car key and his phones.
“By the time I got to their station, I found my husband sitting on the ground and unable to talk. All the policemen were insulting him, saying, ‘You are a stupid man; we hate civil defence corps officers, they are too stubborn’. They killed my husband in my presence, leaving me to cater for two children alone,” she noted.
The teacher explained that the policemen were not willing to take Ogah to the hospital, on the excuse that their vehicles had no fuel, adding that the deceased was not accepted at the Nyanya General Hospital, where they eventually took him to after a long delay.
She described her husband as a gentleman, adding that he avoided confrontation by all means.
The deceased’s elder brother, Mr Odi Jumbo, said he was informed that an autopsy would be conducted on Ogah’s corpse, which had been deposited in the Maitama General Hospital’s mortuary.
The accountant said eyewitnesses stated that the policemen wanted to cover up the case.
He added, “The eyewitnesses believed that the police wanted to dump the body somewhere or keep him in the mortuary with a claim that they found it somewhere. That is why they (eyewitnesses) followed the police vehicle to prevent a cover-up.
“I am talking to my lawyer, who will take up the matter. That’s why we are asking for an autopsy; we want justice to be done.”
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in charge of the FCT Command, Ciroma, has visited the NSCDC office to commiserate with the operatives over Ogah’s death.
The NSCDC spokesman, David Akinbinu, said in a statement that the CP disclosed that the errant policemen had been detained, adding that investigation had also commenced.
Meanwhile, a former President of the Senate, David Mark, has urged the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to investigate and prosecute the policemen, who allegedly murdered Ogah.
Mark, according to a statement by his media aide, Paul Mumeh, urged the IG to do all that was necessary to unravel the remote and immediate causes of Ogah’s death in the hands of policemen in order to ensure justice.
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He described as cruel and barbaric the murder of the NSCDC officer and wondered why policemen, who ordinarily should protect lives and property, were now the harbingers of death.
“No matter what the issue or disagreement was, Ogah’s death would have been avoided if the police officers on duty applied wisdom and caution in the discharge of their duties,” he added.