Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting
A lawyer based in Ovwian, Udu Local Government Area of Delta State, H.O. Uwarah Esq, has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun, over an alleged disappearance of one Mr. Angel-Owei Major, a musician, from Police custody at Ogbe-Ijoh community in Warri South-West Local Government Area.
The petition was also forwarded to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 5, Benin-City, the Delta State Commissioner of Police, CP Wale Abass and the Director, Department of State Security, (DSS).
Uwarah, from H.O. Uwarah & Associates, petitioned the police authorities on behalf of the Nanakumoh and Tanga families over the mysterious whereabouts of Mr. Major.
In the petition dated 26th July 2023.forwarded to the IGP through the Area Commander of the Nigeria Police Force, Burutu, the legal practitioner alleged that the victim is “mysteriously missing/dead”.
He alleged that he died in the custody of the police headed by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Ogbe-Ijoh community, Mr. Royal Onwuma.
Uwarah insisted that Mr Onwuma and those in the know of the victim’s whereabouts should be made to account for it.
Narrating how the victim suddenly disappeared from the police custody in the petition on 7th of July 2023, Uwarah said he (Mr. Major) suddenly took ill making his family to promptly take him home for medical attention, but absconded in the process
The petition read in part: “On or about the 10th of July ,2023 while his families were searching for(Mr. Major) whereabout, some yet to be identified Indigenes of Ogbe-Ijoh in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State attacked a cousin of Mr. Major at Ogbe-Ijoh who narrowly escaped the attack, whereupon they later pounced on the friend of the cousin, beating hell out of his life before taking him to the Ogbe-Ijoh police station headed by Mr. Major (a son, husband, father, uncle and brother) was responsible for the murder of their kinsman in a village within the Ogbe-Ijoh territory.”
The lawyer noted that the said kinsman who made the complaints at the Ogbe-Ijoh police station had already buried the murdered victim prior to laying the complaint.
He said while the complaint laid before the DPO was still pending and the friend to the Cousin of Mr. Major still in detention in the police station after severe beatings, they went about hunting for the relatives of Mr. Major to harm them.
Uwarah said the matter was brought before the Pere (King) of Ogbe-Ijoh Kingdom for intervention in order to avoid further crisis in the volatile terrain, and he did, while the arrest and investigation of the suspect was still pending.
“While our clients was searching for the whereabouts of their son, husband, father, uncle and brother (Mr. Major), a piece of information came to our clients that some yet-to-be-identified persons or group of persons has caught Mr. Major and taken to the Ogbe-Ijoh police station.
“On the premise of the above information, Mr. Major’s families went to ascertain where it was confirmed to them by the DPO that the suspect of the kinsmen of the alleged murdered person was brought to him with gunshot on his limbs.
“Confirming the fact from the DPO directly, our clients requested and appealed to the DPO to move the victim (Mr. Major) to Warri General Hospital, which is just a stone throw from Ogbe-Ijoh for immediate medical attention by police doctors under the watch of his men which the aforesaid DPO conceded to.
“After agreeing to the prayers of our clients to so do under the watch of his men, he asked our clients to come the next morning, the 17th of July, 2023 only for our clients to get there and he recanted his promise.
“According to our clients, they saw the victim (Mr. Major) whom the DPO claimed to be the suspect wailing and dying due to the gunshot he received from his captors who are believed to be the agents of the DPO.
“Our client informed us further that the DPO compelled them (our clients) to pay ₦80,000) which he claimed would be used for first aid treatment of the dying man (Mr. Major) and transportation to transfer or convey the victim (Mr. Major) to the Police headquarters in Asaba.
“However, the DPO deliberately and intentionally refused the treatment of the victim until Thursday the 20th of July,2023 when our clients heard from a grapevine of the demise of our clients innocent dear son, husband, father, uncle and brother(Mr. Major).
“Our clients briefed us in order to confirm the position of Mr. Major from the aforesaid DPO in charge of the Ogbe-Ijoh Police Station in Warri South-West Local Government Area, he was neither there nor here till date,” the petition further read.
Meanwhile, the Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Bright Edafe, said, since the lawyer had already petitioned the IGP, status quo ante be maintained.