Thursday, May 4, 2017 12:29 pm
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 5, in Benin, Edo State, Mr. Abubakar Mohammed, has ordered a full scale investigation into a petition written by a
Warri-based legal practitioner, Mrs. Stella Anetor, over alleged shoddy investigation by the Delta State Police Command into a case of alleged attempted murder on her client, a Catholic priest identified as Rev. Fr. Stephen Ekakabor.
The petitioner alleged that her client, a priest at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Okpare-Olomu in Delta State, was attacked by some hoodlums on two occasions (4th and 11th February, 2017), where they smashed his head with a battle axe and damaged his brain in the process.
The Zonal Police Public Relations Officer, Emeka Iheanacho, confirmed to journalists in Benin, the receipt of the petition.
“Yes, the AIG has ordered a full-scale investigation into the matter,” Iheanacho said on Wednesday.
In the petition dated May 2, 2017, and made available to journalists in Benin, Anetor also alleged that her life and that of her family had been threatened following her insistence on a thorough investigation of the matter, which she said had left the priest bedridden at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital where he is awaiting a brain surgery.
According to the lawyer, efforts to ensure that the injured priest underwent a surgery were being frustrated by two other priests.
She explained that Fr. Ekakabor along with one James Omiese had been assaulted by the suspected hoodlums on February, 4, 2017, and bathed with a liquid substance suspected to be acid before they were robbed of their valuables.
She claimed that the robbers had repeated the attack on the priest on February 11, and allegedly hit him with a battle axe which damaged his brain.
According to her, both reverend fathers had allegedly connived to release one of the suspects arrested in connection with the attack and resisted attempts to further the investigation.
Anetor further alleged that she had been trailed from her office to her residence and had been warned by a professional body within the Catholic church to steer clear of the case on the order of the said priests.
This, she said, was in addition to her being reported to the Nigerian Bar Association for alleged professional misconduct.
Anetor said, “In the light of the above, I feel so threatened for my life and that of my family so much so that I can fidget at the sight of my own shadow to imagine that a church built on God and love of God would stoop this low to endanger society, by interfering with investigation of an attack on her own priest.
“Therefore, this is a passionate call on the AIG to use his good offices to save the life of Fr. Stephen Ekakabor, my life and the life of my family by withdrawing the charge from the court for proper investigation of all issues of this case by the police.
“I have the firm conviction that all those who stood against proper investigation of this case by the police, those who wrote letters to the police to have the suspect released and all those who have continued to warn and intimidate me with the danger of what I would face except I steer clear of the case, may have one or two things to tell the AIG in this case.”