FCT Police Contradicts Claim Of Bereaved Mother Who Alleged Son Was Beaten To Death In Custody

A mother whose son was detained in one of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)’s Police Divisional Stations has alleged that her son, Erasmus Emhenya, was beaten and tortured to death while in the cell.

The bereaved mother was featured on Human Rights Radio on Wednesday, a dedicated platform for individuals or groups to lay complaints on issues about human rights and justice against individuals, corporate organizations, government officials and agencies.

In a Livestream video, now viral and shared via the Radio’s social media platforms, the aged mother tearfully narrated the hostile treatment she received from police officers at the Division where her son was detained.

However, it was unclear why her son was in the cell or how long he had been there, but the disgruntled mother said on the day she was told of her son’s death, she had gone to give him food and was not allowed to see him.

She revealed that Police officers at the station told her that her late son was extremely tired and would not be able to see her. With a strong intuition to stay back, the bereaved mother said, she called out the name of another suspect in the cell and requested he wake up her son and inform him she had come to give him food.

Tearfully narrating her experience in vernacular, the mother said, “I heard the voice of the suspect that actually killed the person, saying, ‘maale’, they had beaten Erasmus yesterday, and he died.”

“When I started to wail and throw myself on the ground. The DPO came out of the station and asked the officers to throw this ‘Barger’ (The bereaved mother) out of the station.

“Two officers held my hands and two held my legs and carried me out of the station and threw me on the ground outside and my phone got broken.”

The bereaved mother narrated further she was pacified by a man called Alhaji to leave, but she later returned with some of her children, her husband and other family members.

She said they were all prevented from gaining access to the station.

She further noted that her younger son insisted on entering, and after he forcefully made his way into the station, he requested to see his brother or his body.

“One of them said, why are you asking questions…The officers then said we wouldn’t be able to see him until IG permitted us to see his body. As Kingsley (the younger brother) was operating his phone, the officers dragged the phone from his hands and smashed it.

“Then my son said that if it was not for God, he would have fought the officer who broke his phone. One of the officers (OC Surveillance), further asked him that the people they used to waste here, is Erasmus better than them?”

The family members were later “pushed” out of the station, and were not able to see the remains of their son.

Reacting to the situation FCT Police Command debunked the narrative of the woman, noting that the deceased was not tortured to death.

A statement signed by the spokesperson of the FCT Police Command, on Thursday, read:

“Contrary to the video footage being recirculated on the X social media platform where it was alleged that one Erasmus Emhenya, who died on April 6, 2023, while in police custody, was tortured to death, the FCT police command wishes to state that the unfortunate incident was diligently investigated, reiterating that the deceased was not tortured to death as alleged.

“Discrete investigations were conducted to determine the remote and immediate cause of death of the deceased, and an autopsy was carried out, which confirms the stance of the police.

“The command leadership, while vehemently affirming its stance and transparency, calls on all interested parties who wish to know the outcome of the autopsy and investigation to visit the command headquarters through the office of the PPRO.

“The command assures the general public of its steadfastness in upholding the rule of law and respecting the fundamental human rights of all residents.”

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