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Man dies in police custody over N20,000 bail saga

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THE Ekpoma Police divisional headquarters, under Edo State command was in a dilemma when one of their detainees was confirmed dead while in their custody.

The victim, who was identified as Mr. Osifo Okoeguale, father of seven, from Eguare Opoji,  Ekpoma was arrested and detained in the police station along with his cousin, one Femi Richard, 14, for allegedly stealing an unregistered motorcycle belonging to one Omo Benard, who resides in Ekpoma.

Sister to the deceased, Mrs. Omofonman, she said that her deceased brother was arrested and detained on Sunday, February 10, 2019 by the men of the Nigerian Police-Ekpoma Division. She disclosed that she was at the Police station to facilitate the bail of her deceased brother and was asked to pay N20, 000 by the Investigating Police Officer (IPO).

She also alleged that the officer collected N15, 000 and asked her to get the balance of the N5, 000 before her brother would be released.

Mrs. Omofonman disclosed that on Monday, February 11, 2019 when she returned to the station with the N5, 000 she was told that her brother took ill in the cell and was rushed to hospital where he gave up the ghost.

Mrs. Omofonman while demanding for justice alleged that the IPO and some police officers in the station insisted on the money for the bail even when the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) had directed them to release her brother since the said stolen motorcycle had been recovered.

Commenting on the development, the Public Relations Officer for Edo Police Command DSP Chidi Nwabuzor said the police command was unaware of the issue of N20, 000 demanded for bail. The PPRO advised members of the public to report any policeman demanding money for bail to senior officer as bail is free.

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