I don’t want to die in prison, dismissed policeman begs court

A dismissed policeman who was arrested and detained along with three other policemen for allegedly torturing and killing a car dealer, Benson Obode in Benin, Edos state, Adeleke Adedeji, has cried out that he does not want to die in prison over a curable disease and for an offence he did not commit.

His plea for release was contained in a suit filed by his Counsel, Paul Osarenkhoe, at the Federal High Court in Benin.

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‎Adedeji and three other policemen, Oniyo Musa (35), Abena John (33) and Henry Shobowale (32), are currently being remanded at the Benin Prison for stealing, murder and conspiracy.

Before their arrest and dismissal from the Force, the partners-in-crime‎ were serving in the Special Anti Robbery Squad, Lagos State, from where they allegedly committed the crime.

Thet were also accused of stealing the sum of N330,000 from the bank account of late Obode using his ATM card after they had killed him.

Family members of Benson searched for him for about 63 days before they finally traced his corpse to the morgue of the Benin central hospital where his corpse was deposited as unknown by the suspects.

Following petitions by the family of the deceased and civil society organisations, the policemen were arrested, charged to court and were ordered to be remanded in prison custody by an Oredo Magistrate, awaiting trial.

‎Adeleke in the suit, is seeking the court to declare his continuous detention without trial since August 2015, for an alleged offence of conspiracy and murder unreasonable, illegal and unconstitutional.

He is also seeking a declaration ordering his release unconditionally pending a formal arraignment.

‎In an affidavit to support the motion, wife of Adeleke, Modupe, said her husband has been managing a life-threatening ailment and has been advised to abstain from strenuous activities.

She stated that her husband’s health condition has deteriorated as a result of prison condition, adding that the Benin Prisons lacked the facilities to manage his health.

But in a counter affidavit by Legal Officer of the Nigeria Police, Mr. Ledee N-ueh, the Police urged the court to dismiss the suit with cost as it was incompetent, frivolous, misconceived and an abuse of court processes.

N-ueh said the dismissed police officers came to Benin City without an authorization to arrest the deceased.

Meanwhile, ruling on the bail application has been adjourned to March 21, 2016 by Justice O.O Tokode.

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