Commissioner of Police in Bayelsa, Mr. Echeng Echeng, has ordered an investigation into the death of a 27-year-old robbery suspect, Goodluck Oviekeme, while in police custody.
Police spokesman in Bayelsa, SP Asinmi Butswait, said in a statement issued in Yenagoa on Saturday that preliminary investigation showed that the deceased was the mastermind of an attack on a police patrol team.
The deceased was arrested in connection with an alleged armed robbery incident that occurred on Tuesday, Sept. 21at Biogbolo, Yenagoa.
Some hoodlums were said to have attacked a police patrol team and reportedly injured one Insp Ugbotor Sunday and carted away his rifle.
“Oviekeme was arrested on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at about 3 a.m. and while in police custody; he was observed to be running high temperature and was rushed to the hospital where he eventually died.
“The Commissioner of Police condoles with the family of the deceased and assures the general public that investigation had begun and the outcome would be made public,’’ SP Butswait stated.
He added that CP Echeng directed that an autopsy be conducted on the remains of the deceased to determine the cause of his death.
Meanwhile, Biogbolo community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa have condemned the arrest and unlawful detention of its indigenes by the police.
Paramount Ruler of the community, King Michael Ibu, said that the indigenes of the community who were arrested on Tuesday had been detained since then without being charged to court or stating the reason for their arrest.
He said the police denied access to the detained indigenes when members of the community visited their station on Thursday, stressing that the community was deeply concerned about the wellbeing of its members.
Ibu noted that the incident had greatly unsettled the people of his community who he said now lived in fear of being arrested and detained illegally.
The paramount ruler, called on Bayelsa governor, his deputy, the member representing Yelga Constituency One at the House of Assembly, Hon. Oforji Oboku, and the traditional institution to intervene in the matter and help to secure the release of members of his community.
On his part, Community Development Committee Chairman, Omosinivi Ogbara, stated that as a community, Biogbolo worked hand-in-glove with the police to ensure that the area is secured.
Ogbara said he wondered why the police would arrest members of the community without stating their offence or even charging them to court.
He also appealed on the state government and other well-meaning groups and individuals to help the community to secure the release of those arrested.
In his remarks, President, Epie Kingdom Youth Congress, Gilbert Ayimini, also condemned the arrest and alleged illegal detention of indigenes of the community and called for the unconditional release of those arrested.
A community member, Chief Basil Jonah, and the councillor representing Ward Five in Yenagoa Local Government Area, Bobby Gabriel, also decried the manner of the arrest.
Jonah called on the police to be civil and lawful in the discharge of their duties. (NAN)