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Police Did Not Kill Erasmus, Murder Suspect Died Of Asphyxiation — FPRO Adejobi

The Nigeria Police Force has denied accusations of complicity in the alleged murder of one Erasmus Emhenya who died while in custody.

THE WHISTLER reported the viral video of his grieving mother, who was featured on Human Rights Radio, a dedicated platform for individuals and groups to lay complaints on issues about human rights and justice against individuals, corporate organisations, government officials and agencies.

In the video, the mother of the deceased recounted the hostile treatment her family received from officers deployed to one of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)’s Police Divisional Stations, after the mysterious passing away of her son while in their custody.

Erasmus was alleged to have been tortured to death, but the FCT police refuted the accusation, calling on interested individuals and organizations to approach the command for an autopsy report that revealed the cause of his death.

Given the severity of the case, the Police authorities, through its spokesperson, ACP Muyiwa Adejobi weighed in on the matter, with details about the deceased person, the reason he was detained and the cause of his death.

At 2:46 am on Friday, Adejobi described the case as “an old one” that has been decided. “The FCT command handled the case. The autopsy report cleared the air on this,” he noted.

Late Erasmus, he revealed “was a cultist and arrested for alleged raping and killing of a young lady in the company of his friend.”

THE WHISTLER reported that the mother of the deceased had narrated to the the Human Rights Radio how the actual culprit in the case of the alleged murder, who was also in custody alongside Erasmus, had raised the alarm over her son’s demise.

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

Adejobi, however, refuted the claim noting that Erasmus “was never tortured by the police.”

He further revealed: “The Force Headquarters was involved in the investigation then. Erasmus was a cultist who had been fingered in many crises and alleged killings of some innocent Nigerians in the area.

“He died of asphyxiation, according to the autopsy. Not torture, please.

“The autopsy was done in the presence of the doctor(s) of the deceased family. It’s unfortunate he died because the police even needed him to unravel some issues and pending cases in the area.”

Cleveland Clinic, a non-profit multispecialty academic medical centre, defines asphyxiation as the lack of the human body to receive adequate oxygen. The causes vary, but some include Asthma which could be triggered by air pollution and tobacco smoke.

Another cause is positional asphyxiation, which occurs when the human body is in a position that blocks or obstructs breathing.

Others include opioids overdose and allergic reactions, capable of inciting trouble breathing, loss of consciousness and inability to speak.

The spokesperson of the police further noted that he had intervened in the matter when he was first contacted by the Radio authorities.

He said the autopsy was the only conduit to ascertaining the cause of his death before proceeding with other aspects of the investigation.

In a series of independent posts made while responding to questions from Nigerians, the police spokesperson said, “We waited for the autopsy, and we had the result. We didn’t do the autopsy ourselves. The report was released to both sides and the investigators.

“The report went further to state other causes of death. Police didn’t kill him and the family were duly aware of the report. The case has been decided more than a year ago. It’s not fresh.

“In fact, up till now, the DPO of the division has not been cleared of the query he got on this case. No one would be reasonably supporting killing of fellows.

“If anyone kills unjustly, he shall be caused to face the full wrath of the law. No Sentiment.”

He, thereafter asked Nigerians to move on to discussing “other burning issues”, while urging them to cultivate objective perceptions about such matters “before running down the police.”

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