Mbam Eji was killed in police custody on the Ebonyi State Police Command Headquarters on sixth August, 2020.
Obinna Mbam Eji is the primary baby of the deceased, one in all his 19 youngsters. He is from Ndinkwuda Igbeagu, within the Izzi Local Government of Ebonyi State. He is 25 years previous, married and with 4 youngsters. A smallholder farmer, he grows yam, cassava, and rice.
According to Obinna, on the twenty second July, 2020, the late Mbam Eji was invited to the Ebonyi State Police Command Headquarters in Abakaliki. He was invited alongside six different individuals, together with Nwaduma Oketa, the village head, Philip Alieze, former coordinator of Igbeagu Development Centre, and Mbam Nwankwuda, chairman of Ndinkwuda Village.
Here’s the context of that arrest: A person named Emeka Nwibo, a local of the Ndinkwuda Igbeagu village, wished to take away Nwaduma Oketa, the top of the village. Nwibo, who was a former private assistant to the coordinator of Igbeagu Development Centre, was largely seen as a trouble-making thug in the neighborhood.
At the State Police Command Headquarters, Godwin Enya, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), arrested Mbam Eji and the six different villagers on the allegation that they’d set hearth to the compound of Emeka Nwibo February 7, 2020 round 1am.
Mbam Eji and the opposite six detained villagers have been thus positioned in police custody on the State Police Command Headquarters till fifth August, 2020.
At round 4p.m. of that fifth August, Obinna went to provide his father meals, however the officers on responsibility on the counter despatched him away. He was nonetheless reluctant to go away. Suddenly, he remembers, DSP Godwin Enya and Emeka Nwibo introduced his father out of the police cell and drove off with him.
Between 7p.m to 8p.m that day, DSP Godwin Enya and Emeka Nwibo introduced Mbam Eji again to the State Police Command. When Obinna requested his father the place they’d gone, he mentioned that they (DSP Godwin Enya and Emeka Nwibo) had taken him to an unknown location and accused him of destroying Emeka Nwibo’s property. He added that he instructed them he by no means dedicated the arson.
Mbam Eji continued by saying that the DSP and Emeka Nwibo didn’t imagine his plea of innocence. They instructed him: “your end is near”, then introduced out a cup with some suspicious liquid, ordering him to gulp it down. Mbam Eji instructed Obinna that he initially refused the cup, however later needed to drink its contents after Emeka Nwibo threatened him with a gun.
It wasn’t as much as an hour after he returned to the police station – after he had narrated his ordeal to Obinna – when Mbam Eji began to roll on the bottom.
The subsequent day, sixth August, 2020, Obinna visited the police headquarters once more to see his father. The different villages who had been detained instructed Obinna that his father, Mbam Eji, was useless.
Mbam Eji died on the age of 55. He was a farmer. He left behind three widows. He had had a fourth spouse, who had died earlier.
“In truth, my father was a good man,” Obinna says. “He was a peacemaker, the kind who was always eager to help find solutions to conflicts amongst neighbours. Trouble was not his thing.”
According to Obinna, “There is nobody in this village who would say he had a problem with my father – of course, except Emeka Nwibo, who hated my father simply because my father chose to stand with the villagers.”
As on the time he was killed, Mbam Eji had not but buried his mom, who had died just lately. His plan was to put his mom to relaxation after his case. But that was to not be.
“My father’s death left such a devastating impact on our family,” Obinna says. “I don’t think there are words to describe the depth of the loss. We’ve struggled to find money to recover his corpse, not to talk of paying children’s school fees.”
Obinna says they wrote a petition to the Commissioner of Police to launch Mbam Eji’s corpse, and even to point out it to the household, however the police refused.
They have been requested to come back to the High Court, and on the 4th of December 2020, they went there. After writing a press release, the Deputy Commissioner of Police known as Obinna and mentioned the household ought to go away his cops alone and cope with Emeka Nwibo immediately. That was it.
“It looked like there was no other way we could do anything, except to place our hopes on the Judicial Panel of Inquiry to help us,” Obinna says.
“We had written to the Judicial Panel on the 11th of November 2020. Our demand at the Judicial Panel was for the police to release my father’s corpse to us and give us a N10 million compensation, so that the family could survive through the establishment of petty businesses for my father’s wives.”
On 14th April, 2021, the Judicial Panel of Inquiry of their determination advisable that DSP Godwin Enya must be sanctioned, and Emeka Nwibo must be arrested and prosecuted.
The panel additionally requested the police to launch Mbam Eji’s corpse to his household, and pay compensation to them as properly.
However, on the time of this publication, neither compensation has been paid to the household, nor has the corpse of their beloved one been handed over to them.