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Egbetokun orders fresh probe into death of suspect in police custody

Kayode Egbetokun, acting inspector-general of police Kayode Egbetokun, acting inspector-general of police

Kayode Egbetokun, the inspector-general of police (IGP), has ordered a fresh investigation into the death of Erasmus Emhenya, a murder suspect who died in custody.

On April 6, 2023, Emhenya was arrested for his alleged involvement in the murder of Blessing Ogbu, a 25-year-old, in front of the Number One Hotel in Nyanya, Abuja.

He was later confirmed dead in police custody.

On July 5, the mother of the deceased was seen in a video crying while narrating how she discovered that her son had allegedly been beaten to death in the custody of the federal capital territory (FCT) police command.

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Reacting, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) said autopsy results showed that the suspect died of “asphyxiation”.

However, the reaction has sparked criticism by many Nigerians on social media, who have decried the activities of the police force.

In a statement on Tuesday, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the police spokesperson, said the IGP has directed a “thorough and transparent” investigation into the case.

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Adejobi quoted Egbetokun as urging the public to remain calm while assuring them of the police’s commitment to upholding and protecting human rights in the country.

“The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, PhD, NPM, has been apprised of the controversy surrounding the death of a young man named “Erasmus Emhenya,” who allegedly died in police custody at the Nyanya Divisional Police Headquarters, FCT, on April 10, 2023, and has thereby ordered a fresh investigation to unravel the cause of death and ensure the prevalence of justice,” the statement reads.

“The Inspector-General of Police, who has expressed his grave concern over the incident, has further directed the DIG FCID to immediately commence a thorough and transparent investigation into the matter and forward the report as soon as possible.

“The IGP therefore calls for calm and support from members of the public on the matter while assuring that the police will continually uphold and protect people’s human rights in their day-to-day activities.

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“He equally reassures the public of the police’s commitment to sustaining its internal control mechanism to deal decisively with and sanction any erring police personnel who engage in unprofessional conduct.

“The IGP hereby commiserates with the family of the deceased and prays for the repose of his soul.”

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