Nigeria: Family of Slain PDP Member, Police Differ Over Killing

21 January 2020

The murder of a member of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area, Delta State, Iroro Wisdom Ovie, has taken a new twist with the police and his immediate family currently enmeshed in a war of words over the circumstances surrounding his death.

The late Iroro, who is a father of two, was beaten and shot dead by unknown gunmen, last Wednesday, at his Lucas area residence, along the Police Station axis of Abraka, host community of the state-owned Delta State University, DELSU.

Describing his murder as a heinous crime, Delta State Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, who disclosed that he had directed the Area Commander and Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in charge of Abraka, to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to book, said the victim was a "notorious cultist and fraudster" and the killing had no political coloration.

His words: "I do not know the political party the person (victim) belongs to, but all I know is that he is someone who I was made to understand is a notorious cultist and a fraudster.

"From the information I gathered while he was being dragged into the bush, witnesses at the scene of the incident heard him pleading with his assailants, saying 'do not worry, I will pay you back your money'.

"So, with him being a fraudster, we are looking to see if he collected some people's money and refused to pay them. But that notwithstanding, a heinous crime has been committed whether he is a criminal or not, murder has been committed and we are hunting for the perpetrators."

Family threatens legal action against police

However, the outburst of the police boss was greeted with angry response from the family and friends of the victim, who described him as an easy-going jolly fellow that did not indulge himself in any form of criminality, as alleged by the police boss.

Threatening, legal action against the police boss over his utterances, wife of the victim, Mrs. Precious Ovie, wants the police commissioner to retract his assertions against her husband, describing them as baseless and unfounded.

She said: "My husband is neither a fraudster nor a notorious cultist as claimed by the police commissioner. The police should stop saying those nonsense about my husband because I am very angry and mad at them and I will sue over this matter.

"I am not up to 30 years and have already become a widow. So, you can imagine how painful it is. They just cut my husband's life short just like that, yet the police are coming out to say all these nonsense. This is too bad and I am using this medium to tell the police to retract that statement or face legal action."

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