Lawyer alleges Delta Police asking for over N500,000 before investigating murder case
Barrister Abba Agor Agalangahas has alleged that policemen attached to the Delta State Police Command asked for N515,000 before they launch an investigation into the murder of Andrew Vision Agalanga.
The late Andrew was alleged to have been stabbed to death by Dereck Ikwute on the 7th of March 2023.
This was also as the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) calls for the intervention of the Delta State Commissioner of Police, to ensure speedy and effective investigation, arraignment of the suspect for murder and justice for the victim’s family.
The Executive Director of the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), Okechukwu Nwanguma, while calling for investigation, prosecution and justice said that RULAAC was informed of the matter by the family members of the murder victim.
He was also told that the deceased was stabbed by his supposed friend, Mr. Dereck Ikwute at a place in Asaba, Delta State sometime between the night of the 7th of March and the morning of the 8th of March 2023.
Nwanguma said that Mr. Bartholomew Aganga, a brother to the deceased, informed RULAAC that Andrew was stabbed and left lying in a pool of his own blood, before he was taken to the nearest police station and later to a hospital where he did not receive adequate medical attention before he gave up the ghost.
Nwanguma said: “A family member, Barrister Abba Agor Agalanga, a lawyer, visited the Delta State Police Command Headquarters and informed the family of the outcome as follows, Barrister Abba visited the Delta State Police Headquarters, Asaba on the morning of 16th of March, 2023 to see some of the senior officers. He repeated the visit on the 17th of March 2023 at about 9:15 am and met with the officers directly involved in the investigation of the murder of Andrew.
“Barrister Abba met with one Inspector Oyom who directed him to one of the investigation team members, Officer Ibe of the State Criminal Investigation, and Intelligence Department, Asaba.
“Barr. Abba was still discussing with Officer Ibe when members of the family of the murder suspect, Mr. Dereck Ikwute (aka Okowa), including three of his uncles, his aunt and his mother, came in. Shortly after they were introduced to him by Officer Ibe, one of the uncles, Mr. Mike Usiza, expressed his condolences.
“Officer Ibe confirmed that his team had not visited the crime scene because neither the complainant, Mr. Anko Onojah, nor members of the Agalanga family had come to ‘facilitate’ the visit. Barrister Abba told Officer Ibe that he was already right there before him, but Ibe asked to also see Mr. Onojah and the lawyer immediately called Mr Onojah to come and join them in the meeting. They waited for the Head of the investigation team, Supol Ebri and on his arrival they all went to meet him along with Mr. Onojah.
“Officer Ibe asked the Agalanga family to either provide the sum of N35,000 or hire a taxi and pay an additional N20,000 for them to visit the crime scene. He opted for the latter and Mr. Onojah offered to bring a taxi driver he knew, but the officers instead preferred for them to pay the sum of N35,000. He promised to get back to them on 20th of March 2023.”
On getting back to Officer Ibe’s office together with Mr. Onojah, Mr. Dereck Ikwute’s mother held Barrister Abba, wailing and pleading that Barrister Abba should let her son be released from detention. Barrister Abba reported that he felt shocked at this show of insensitivity and simply left without uttering a word to the suspect’s mother.
The human rights activist further said: “It is clear to them that the suspect’s family is not considering their brother murdered by their son as another person’s son. They just want him out free. Officer Ibe gave him the following breakdown of things the family should provide to enable the investigation team to carry out the investigation, a visit to the scene of the crime N35,000, an autopsy- between N350,000 to N400,000, a compilation of the investigation report and duplication of case file, between N25,000 to N30,000, filing of an application to prefer a charge against Mr. Dereck Ikwute, N25,000, appearance fees for the police prosecutor on each date of the case in court, N25,000, and everything summed up to an average of N515,000.”
Barrister Abba felt that at this point the officers seemed to be more interested in exploiting their family’s misfortune for personal gains than doing their job professionally.
Nwanguma said: “The family is willing to support the police investigators to do their job but the family should not be made to bear the cost of the police investigation. The crime of murder is a capital offence against the state. The family cannot suffer the loss of their family member and still be subjected to exploitation because an autopsy has not been performed, the family cannot yet request that the body be released to them for burial, they are appealing for the CP to cause the autopsy to be conducted as soon as possible.
“This is a difficult time for all of the family, and they need the investigation to be carried out discretely and concluded without further delay to enable them to bury their son. RULAAC hereby request the CP Delta State Police Command to kindly intervene and ensure that the investigation into this case is carried out with diligence and a fair resolution of the case reached in the interest of justice.”BEWARE All Rights Reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without prior express written permission from Juliana Francis