……family members, Human Rights groups seek justice for Shedrach Ochoche
The family of late Shedrach Ochoche, a former staff of a Chinese restaurant, who was allegedly tortured to death by the police have cried out to relevant authorities for help to ensure justice prevails in the gruesome murder of the Nigerian.
Ochoche, 29, who hailed from Ogbaulu community in Agatu LG of Benue State was allegedly tortured to death by the personnel of the Mabushi Police Division while in custody on January 17, 2022.
A family source said he was arrested days after he resigned from the employment of the ‘Right Restaurant’ located at Jahi area of FCT-Abuja on allegation of car battery theft leveled against him by the Chinese woman popularly known as Madam Pimpim, owner of the restaurant he previously worked as a cleaner.
Ochoche resigned after being owed several months of salaries and was unable to cope with the cleaning job with the restaurant,” the source said.
In a statement Sunday night, the family lawyer and other community members said, “Mr Shedrach Ochoche, before his gruesome murder on the 17th January 2022, was formerly employed as a cleaner in a restaurant operated by a Chinese woman popularly known as Madam Pimpim.
“The deceased resigned from the cleaning employment of the Chinese woman’s restaurant when he was owed more than 3 months of salary.
“Five days after SHEDRACK OCHOCHE resigned from the cleaning employment, The Chinese woman alleged that her car batteries were missing and she went and lodged a complaint at the Mabushi Police Division, Abuja. This alleged theft happened five days after the deceased had resigned from the cleaning employment of the Chinese woman’s restaurant.
“The Nigeria police personnel of the Mabushi Division tracked and arrested SHEDRACK OCHOCHE and detained him and mercilessly tortured him until he died in police detention on the 17th January 2022.
“While in detention, his family members visited him and on seeing his bad condition due to injuries inflicted on him, his family members made a passionate appeal for his bail but their appeal for bail fell on deaf ears.
“The policeman in charge of the case, OC SURVEILLANCE, SP UCHE threatened that no amount of begging would make him release Mr. Ochoche SHEDRACK from detention until the complete money for the batteries was paid. The policeman also boasted that if he killed Ochoche SHEDRACK, there won’t be anybody to challenge him. The policeman indeed carried out his threat by killing Mr. SHEDRACK OCHOCHE in a gruesome manner.
“The said SP UCHE with other police personnel tortured SHEDRACK OCHOCHE until he died in the police detention and the police personnel did not even bother to inform the deceased’s family members. The deceased family members and their lawyer, Barr. Ediga O. BENJAMIN visited the Mabushi Police Division on Monday only to be told that Shedrack Ochoche had died in the early hour of Monday.
“To confirm the sad news, the family members were taken to the Wuse General Hospital only to discover the dead body of Mr. SHEDRACK OCHOCHE with blood gushing out of his mouth, ear and nose. The dead body was abandoned by the police in a private vehicle parked in the Wuse General hospital premises.
“The traumatized family and the good people of Ogbaulu Community in Agatu LGA hereby wish to inform the authorities in Nigeria that they would not watch their son killed like a common chicken by the Nigeria Police personnel just to appease a Chinese woman on the baseless and malicious allegation of battery theft.
“It is to be noted that since the gruesome killing of Mr Shedrack Ochoche was made public, Barrister NAPOLEON OTACHE, Madam Hannah Ochepo Onyokwula and Hon. Godday Samuel and other members of the Ogbaulu Community have been making frantic efforts at seeking justice for the slain SHEDRACK OCHOCHE but the authorities have not responded as at the time of this press release.
“Barrister NAPOLEON OTACHE, Madam Hannah Ochepo Onyokwula and Hon. Godday Samuel are hereby calling on the relevant authorities to immediately swing into action to make sure the bloood-thirsty policemen and killers of Mr. SHEDRACK OCHOCHE are brought to book in accordance with the laws of the land.”
The renowned Abuja based human rights lawyer, Barrister NAPOLEON OTACHE particularly lamented the daily incidences of torture and degrading treatment of Nigeria citizens by the Nigeria police personnel just to appease foreigners and he, therefore, called on President Mohammed Buhari to direct the Inspector General of Police, the Attorney General of the Federation and the National Human Rights Commission to put an immediate stop to this ugly trend so as to avert another violent citizens demonstration as witnessed during the ENDSARS protest.
“Barrister NAPOLEON OTACHE, Hannah Ochepo Onyokwula and Hon. Godday Samuel are appealing to the family of Mr. SHEDRACK OCHOCHE and the good people of Ogbaulu Community to remain calm and law-abiding while lawful pressure would continue to be mounted on the authorities until justice is done in the case,” the statement said.
Several efforts were made to get the Chinese woman, Madam PimPim on the telephone but she didn’t take her calls and didn’t reply to SMS sent to her as at press time.
Similarly, all efforts to get SP Uche proved abortive as his telephone number was constantly diverted to a wrong number.