Family demands justice over man clubbed to death, force put on family to bury him

THE sudden death of one Moses Kaizer Erhikevbe is causing some ripples between the Nigeria Police and family members of the deceased in Warri, Delta State.

The relatives are accusing the police at Ekpan police station in Uvwie Local Government Area of compromise and attempting to bury the identity of the masterminds of the murder by allowing only a family member to make written statements on the incident.

Crime Reports gathered that the deceased, Erhikevbe, was found lifeless on August 22, 2016 at about 9:00p.m, close to a popular hotel along the NPA Expressway, Ekpan.

A sibling of the deceased, Grace Erhikevbe, who found the body dumped at the location, claimed that he was severely and gruesomely clubbed to death.

She said acting on a tip-off, she quickly informed other family members. She added that she and other family members rushed the relation to the General Hospital, Ekpan, where doctors confirmed him dead.

The body was thereafter taken from the hospital to their late father’s house at No. 1, Afieki Quarter, Ekpan, with the intention to lodge a formal complaint at the police station at daybreak.

It was, however, gathered that at about 12:55a.m of August 23, some suspected youths from the Quarter stormed the deceased’s late father’s house and started shouting that an “exhibit” had been brought into the area.

A leader of the youth was said to have allegedly ordered that the corpse be removed from where it was kept, threatening to burn the deceased’s late father’s or throw the corpse into the river.

The deceased’s sister, said they immediately removed the body and kept it in their mother’s kitchen in the premises.

But this gesture still did not go down well with the some youths who allegedly stormed the house at about 2:00 a.m. and began to shoot sporadically into the air, after which they ordered Grace and family members to bring out the deceased for burial.

The hoodlums were also said to have ordered one Mr. Monday Erhikevbe, a brother of the deceased to start digging the grave. After the burial, they ordered the deceased family members not to disclose the sacrilege or be ready for the worst.

But the relations said they reported the incident same day at the police station in Ekpan.

A doctor and a morgue attendant from the Central Hospital, Warri, were reportedly hired to exhume the body of the deceased, after which it was washed and taken to the hospital’s morgue.

Crime Reports gathered that after the preliminary investigation, detectives arrested two of the suspects. But the family has raised concern over how it was only Grace Erhikevbe who was allowed to make a written statement to the police.

In a petition signed by Oghenejabor Ikimi of the Ikimi Oghenejabor & Co Legal Practioners, based in Warri, and addressed to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the family members of the deceased are asking for a thorough investigation into the matter to ensure justice.

When contacted by Crime Reports, the image-maker of the Delta State Police Command, Celestina Kalu, said the allegation does not hold water. According to Kalu, a Superintendent of Police, “how can the police stop somebody from writing his statement? Is it possible?” She added that the incident was still being investigated.