Hope Osagie, an Edo State resident, has accused the Edo State Police Command of turning a blind eye to the shooting and disappearance of Osagie Osarumwense, her husband.
Osagie made this known in an interview with the PUNCH on Sunday. Osarumwese was killed six months after getting married to his wife in January 2020.
According to Osagie, Osarumwense had bought a piece of land in Okiri community, Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of the state, and resold it in 2020. Some members of that community attacked the new buyer and Osarumwense on two occasions, and the last attack led to his shooting and supposed murder.
“My husband woke up that morning and went to work as usual and never returned. Some said some policemen who were invited by the villagers shot my husband. Others said it was the villagers,” Osagie said.
“He had just sold a parcel of land to someone in the community the previous month. But, when the person and some workers he came with went to the land to develop it, some persons came out of nowhere and attacked them. So, he had to call my husband who sold the land to him to clarify. My husband, Osagie, was confused because he, also, bought the land from another man, a chief in the community, and paid in full before reselling it to the new owner.
“The next day, he rushed to the farmland to see the situation of things for himself and that was the last time I heard from him.”
Witnesses told Osagie that her husband and his land buyer got involved in an altercation with the other party. The opposing faction allegedly shot Osarumwense and one of the friends he had gone with.
Osagie also said that those with Osarumwense escaped without recovering his body, and that when they went back to conduct a search, they could not find him.
“From that day to date, we have not seen his remains. A week after the incident, one man, who claimed to have witnessed the shooting, said he saw when a police officer who had come with the rival group was dragging my husband’s body after he was shot. According to the man, my husband was not dead then,” she said.
“When I reported the case, they said the matter was a community matter so they could not do anything. They also denied being there in the first place. I don’t know what constitution they were quoting. I am not supporting my husband’s action of going to fight against the Okiri community people, but doesn’t he deserve to be prosecuted? Should the matter just die like that without any investigation of any sort? I have begged the police that if they are the ones with the body, they should release it to us to for burial.
“He may have been buried to conceal the murder. I remember that my husband’s younger brother was arrested when he went to report the matter to the police. He has been released, though I am sure the family paid for his release. Honestly, the Nigeria police are just something else. After much struggle, the police took his picture and ran an advert on television for a missing person. It was not free; we paid for it. But nothing came out of it.
“Honestly, as I am, I cannot tell what happened. I just want some explanation of what happened to my husband and why I have not been able to see him or his remains.
“I believe that if he were still alive somewhere, he would have come back home. The police should explain to us what happened to him. People said they were there and they (policemen) shot (him). If it is not because he was a good man, I would have moved on. But I don’t want to move on and find out that he is still alive somewhere. If they arrested him, they should tell me so we can bail him out. This silence is killing me. I don’t know what else to do.”
FIJ called Chidi Nwabuzor, the public relations officer of Edo Police, but he was not available. He had also not responded to a text message sent to him at press time.
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