The five policemen who allegedly killed a final-year Law student at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Augustine Ugwu, have reportedly escaped from police custody.
Augustine was said to have been arrested in a bar by a local anti-cult outfit set up by the late Chairman of Nsukka Local Government Area, Patrick Omeje, on April 23, 2020.
They were reported to have handed him over to the officer-in-charge of the Enugu Police Anti-Cult unit in Nsukka, DSP Nnamdi Ochin.
The police later claimed the student was not in their custody.
Following the development, his father, Andy Ugwu, a retired police officer, petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, who ordered an investigation into the incident.
A six-man panel led by ACP Gabriel Elaigbwu was constituted to unravel the matter. The panel from the Force Headquarters, Abuja came to Enugu in June for investigation.
It was gathered that the panel found that Augustine had been killed and buried in a shallow grave by five policemen.
The OC anti-cult unit, three sergeants working under him: Emmanuel Ibiam, Godwin Abel, Abu John and Nsukka Divisional Crime Officer 3, ASP Peter Adu, were indicted by the panel.
However, Second-in-Command, Enugu State Police Criminal Investigation Department, ACP Fidelis Ogarabe, reportedly prevented the panel from being taken to Abuja.
He allegedly insisted that they should remain in police custody in the state, pending the outcome of autopsy.
Police sources told our correspondent on Tuesday that immediately the panel left, the suspects were released and redeployed to other police divisions.
One of the sources said, “The panel came last week to continue with the investigation possibly to take them to Abuja. As I am talking to you, none of the policemen accused of the killing appeared before the panel until they left for Abuja on Saturday.”
When contacted on the telephone, Ogarabe described the allegations as baseless and untrue.
He said, “My brother, how can I do such a thing? My father died and I travelled to bury him. I am not even around. So, how am I aiding them? They are serving members of the Force. My opinion is that everybody is responsible for their action.”
Efforts to get the response of the state police command on the development were unsuccessful as neither the Commissioner of Police, Ahmad Abdurrahman, nor the Police Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ndukwe, answered their calls.
They also did not respond to text messages sent to them as of the time of filing this report.