The Nigerian Police Force has come under scrutiny as a 31-year-old suspect, Erasmus Emhenya, died in police custody due to alleged severe and unjustified torture by police officers. The FCT Police Command, however, denies any allegations of torture and has begun a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the suspect’s death.
Erasmus was arrested as one of the principal suspects in a murder case and was being held in custody with another suspect, Benjamin Agbasi, for their involvement in the stabbing and killing of a 25-year-old female at the front of Number One Hotel in Nyanya, Abuja.
The FCT Police spokesperson, SP Josephine Adeh, confirmed the death of the suspect and said that acting Commissioner of Police for FCT, DCP Ahmed Musa, has ordered a discrete investigation into the remote and immediate cause of death. An autopsy to determine the remote cause of death has commenced, and the report of the medical examiner is being awaited.
Osaro-Onaiwu Jnr, national coordinator, Conflict Solution Advocacy, called for a thorough investigation into the death of Erasmus on behalf of the Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Edo State. The mother of the deceased had cried out, bringing the ugly incident to the limelight.
The FCT Police Command has called for calm, assuring the public that the process would be transparent, and the report would be made public in due course. They urged the public to refrain from jumping to conclusions until the investigation is concluded.
The CP noted that upon the conclusion of the autopsy and other investigative processes, it would be further substantiated that the suspect was not tortured while in police custody. The FCT Police Command also emphasized the need for all stakeholders to cooperate with the police in the ongoing investigation to ensure that justice is served