The Nigeria Police Force won’t prosecute a police officer who recently killed a personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). Family members and colleagues of the deceased, NEXT reported on Sunday, believe the police high command is trying to protect one of its own and cover up the crime.
Her eyes pregnant with tears, the wife of the killed man, Mercy Effiong, narrated to the newspaper what life had become for her as a 28-year old widow. As a housewife and mother of two, the family sustenance depended on her late husband, Emmanuel Effiong, who on April 20, 2011 was allegedly stabbed to death by Lucky Osemwenkhae, a police sergeant attached to the Mobile Police Squadron 21, Abuja.
“Look at me. Look at my two children. I have no work. I am a housewife. Since my husband died, I have nothing. It is only some relations, women from church and my husband friends who help me. I am suffering,” Mrs Effiong said, as the tears began to trickle onto her cheeks.
She was obviously distraught and at her wits’ end as she wondered why, one month after her husband’s death, the Nigeria Police has not charged the accused to court, despite him admitting to the crime when he turned himself in at the Mararaba Police Station, Nasarawa State, the day after the incident.
Her lawyer, Maxwell Opara, who took up her case after she solicited help on a radio talk program – ‘Lean on Me’ – said he believes the police are trying to sweep the case under the carpet.
This he asserts following several futile attempts at finding out the whereabouts of Mr Osemwenkhae.
“This is an incident that happened a month ago. So why have the police not charged the man to court? All my efforts have proved abortive at knowing the true position with the matter,” Mr Opara said. “I went to the Mararaba Station. They told me they have transferred the case to the Police State Command in Lafia. I went to Lafia, yet nobody is ready to open up. I did not see the man in cell.”
In a telephone interview, the Nasarawa Police spokesperson, Richard Akoji, said Mr Osemwenkhae is still in police custody. He did not however say when Mr Osemwenkhae would be charged to court.
“He is still with us. We’ve not finished our investigation. It is not something we can rush over,” Mr Akoji said, stating that it is a case of manslaughter. “A case of manslaughter is not a simple case. And I don’t think one month is too long for an investigation. For now we are still investigating the matter. At the end, we will charge him to court.”