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Erasmus Emeya: FCT police denies torturing suspect arrested for murder to death in custody

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command has reiterated that a 33-year-old graduate identified as Erasmus Emeya was not tortured to death by the police as claimed by his family.

The FCT police spokesperson, SP Josephine Adeh, stated this on Thursday, July 4, 2024, while reacting to a video of the deceased’s widowed mother, Rebecca Emeya, crying out in one of the media stations.

“FCT POLICE REITERATES: Late Erasmus was not tortured to death. Discrete investigations were conducted to determine the remote and immediate cause of death of the deceased, and an autopsy was carried out, which confirmed the stance of the police. For more details contact me,” the PPRO stated.

Erasmus died on April 6, 2023 while in police custody.

Erasmus and one Benjamin Agbasi were arrested for their alleged involvement in the stabbing and killing of one 25-year-old lady, Blessing Ogbu, at the front of the Number One Hotel, Nyanya, Abuja.

The Commissioner of Police, FCT Police Command, DCP Ahmed Musa, had ordered discrete investigations into the remote and immediate cause of death of the deceased suspect. As part of the ongoing investigations, an autopsy to determine the remote cause of his death commenced and the report of the medical examiner is yet to be revealed.

According to witnesses, trouble started when some youths gathered at the home of the other suspect, Benjamin, after he stabbed Blessing during a heated argument at Market Community in Nyanya.

It was gathered that Blessing had confronted Benjamin accusing him of insulting her boyfriend and this led to the stabbing of the young lady.

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Chairman of the Market, Bello Adegboyega conveyed Blessing to the Nyanya General Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival by doctors.

The incident was reported at the Nyanya Police Station, a group of police from the station raided the community and made random arrests of people at sight.

The mother of the deceased alleged that Erasmus was tortured and killed at the Nyanya Police Station.

Erasmus Emeya: FCT police denies torturing suspect arrested for murder to death in custody

In an emotional-laden interview with journalists at her residence after the incident last year, Madam Emeya in tears said that Erasmus was sleeping in his house, which is not too far from where she and her other children live.

“l am a widow and mother of six children, Erasmus is my first son and a graduate. On Thursday 6th, April 2023, people were running past the front of my shop and I heard that Benjamin had stabbed Blessing to death over an argument,” I was shocked,” she narrated.

“My son Erasmus lives not too far away from my house, so when I didn’t see him, I told one of my children to go and call him and inform him of what had happened because he is a member of the market Taskforce. My daughter came back to tell me that he was sleeping, I said she should go and wake him up, and he came. After a while, he said he would go back home since the police had been informed. That was the last time I saw my son Erasmus alive!

“Later that day I went to my house, then suddenly the police van landed in front of my house to handcuff me, so I shouted demanding to know what I had done, they said that my son had killed one lady, One policeman in the team later said, no this is not the woman, the mother of Benjamin they are looking for.

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“Unknown to me, as Erasmus was going back to his apartment, he was picked up by the police with another young man. I called his phone to know if he was back at his house, but no response. Since it was already dark, I went to bed. The next morning, Good Friday, April 7, 2023, his friend who was also picked called that they were inside a police cell. I went there to confirm, I saw Erasmus in the cell.

“Meanwhile, on Saturday, April, 8, Benjamin, the culprit was arrested and confessed that during an argument with late Blessing, he stabbed her, which led to her death. He also confessed that my son Erasmus did not know nor was he anywhere near the scene, that Erasmus was innocent.

Erasmus Emeya: FCT police denies torturing suspect arrested for murder to death in custody
Erasmus Emeya: FCT police denies torturing suspect arrested for murder to death in custody

“While the police were bailing others who were exonerated with sums ranging between N10,000 to N20,000 each, my son was denied writing a statement or given bail, even when it was obvious that he was innocent of any crime. Since I could not effect his bail because they said I am a woman, I made arrangements with someone to do it for me

“I kept visiting the Station to see the DPO, but I was referred to the Divisional Crime Officer 1 (DCO 1), one Sunday Timothy. The DCO1 kept turning me back until the morning of Easter Monday, April 10, when I got to the station and did not see my son in the cell.

“As I was being shielded out of the station by one police woman, inmates in the cell who were aware of my presence, shouted out and told me that on Easter Sunday night, the DCO1 directed that Erasmus be handcuffed with his hands backwards and his legs chained and shackled to a broken toilet close to the cell. I was told that the Police had beaten my son severely before he was pushed close to the toilet.”

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“”I was in shock, life drained out of me, I started screaming at the top of my voice demanding to see my son! The police did not notify me that my son was in a critical condition and of his death

”The police told me that my son ran mad during the night so he was chained and taken to the hospital where he was confirmed dead. They denied me seeing the body of Erasmus. When I rushed to Nyanya General Hospital, the nurse on duty informed me that his dead body was deposited very early on Easter Monday.

Erasmus Emeya: FCT police denies torturing suspect arrested for murder to death in custody
Erasmus Emeya: FCT police denies torturing suspect arrested for murder to death in custody

“It was Timothy Sunday the DCO 1 who told me that Erasmus ran mad at night, so he was tied, after which he collapsed and died. When I asked to see his body, the police said that I should wait for the Commissioner of Police to give them the order to allow me to see the body.

“The police have been telling me contrasting stories on how my son died in their custody. The Police tortured and killed my first son, who is the bread winner of my family.

Weeping profusely, Mrs Emeya called on the Federal Government to ensure full justice for the ‘’unlawful torture and untimely death of her son. ‘