Commissioner of police orders probe of suspect’s death in police custody

The Commissioner of Police in Bayelsa State, Echeng Echeng, has ordered an investigation into the death of a 27-year-old robbery suspect, Goodluck Oviekeme, while in police custody.

Police spokesperson in Bayelsa, Asinmi Butswat, disclosed this in a statement in Yenagoa on Saturday.

Mr Butswat, a superintendent of police, said preliminary investigation showed that the deceased was the mastermind of an attack on a police patrol team.

He was arrested in connection with an alleged armed robbery incident that occurred on September 21 at Biogbolo, Yenagoa, where some hoodlums were said to have attacked a police patrol team and reportedly injured an inspector, Ugbotor Sunday and carted away his rifle.

“Oviekeme was arrested on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at about 3 a.m., and while in police custody he was observed to be running a high temperature and was rushed to the hospital where he eventually died.

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“The Commissioner of Police condoles with the family of the deceased and assures the general public that investigation had begun and the outcome would be made public,” Mr Butswat said.

The commissioner of police has directed that an autopsy be conducted to determine the cause of death.

Meanwhile, Biogbolo community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa have condemned the arrest and “unlawful detention” of people from the community by the police.

The Paramount Ruler of the community, Michael Ibu, said some residents of the community who were arrested on Tuesday have been detained since without being charged to court, and that no reason has been given for their arrest.

He said the police have prevented members of the community from having access to those detained.

The community is deeply concerned about the well-being of its members, the paramount ruler said, while calling on the governor of the state and other political leaders to intervene in the matter.

On his part, the Chairman, Community Development Committee, Omosinivi Ogbara, said the Biogbolo community has been working with the police to ensure that the area is secured.

He, however, wondered why the police would arrest members of the community without stating their offence or charge them to court.

The youths in the community also condemned the arrest and called for the unconditional release of the arrested residents.


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