by Chinwe Okafor
Over 100 angry youths stormed the premises of Protea Hotel in Benin, Edo State, to protest against the killing of a 22-year-old man, Chibuike Edeh, a housekeeping employee of the hotel.
Chibuike was said to have been killed by policemen via torture while trying to get him to confess to the crime of stealing N42,000 from a hotel guest room. His family, who had been sent off to get a 27, 000 Naira bail fee, came back to meet him dead.
According to Punch, the protesters, who were dressed in black, with placards and photos of the slain man, barricaded the entrance to the hotel and prevented its staff and customers from either gaining access or leaving the premises.
Their grouse is that the deceased died an unjust death as they claim he didn’t commit the crime.
According to the family, the deceased could not be found at the hotel or the police station shortly after they arrived from getting the funds for bail. The family was shocked when it discovered the man’s corpse at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Ugbowo.
Speaking for the family, the brother said, “We were on this (hotel) premises when a man called that we should meet him at UBTH. When we got there, we were shocked to discover that my brother was dead.
The policemen and the CSO of this hotel killed my brother. My brother has been working for close to three years and the so called CSO claimed that he (deceased) was not capable of stealing. We are appealing to the state government to help us in this matter.”
The mother of the victim, Christiana, said her son had earlier expressed fear when she visited him at the police station.
However, the Edo State Police Command denied that they were involved in the youth’s death. They revealed that he died as a result of injuries sustained after he was knocked down by Toyota Camry, while trying to escape.
They also said that the young lad had confessed to the crime, saying the crime was caught on the hotel’s camera.
According to him, “A case of stealing was reported by the management of the Protea Hotel, where the deceased was working, and he was arrested by Adesuwa Police Station. While there, he made a confessional statement, admitting stealing the money. The theft was even captured by Protea’s CCTV camera.
He also told the police that the money was still intact. The IPO and the CSO of the Protea Hotel went with him to recover the money and on getting to the hotel, he took to his heels.
In the process, he was knocked down by a Toyota Camry, and as I am talking to you, the car and the driver who knocked him down are with the police.”
On how the corpse of the deceased was found at UBTH, he said, “The investigation will prove other things that may arise. Investigation is not done on the pages of newspapers or on the television.
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