A Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, has ordered the Nigeria Police Force under the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to release the corpse of a man, Ebenezer Ajaero, who died under mysterious circumstances in police detention in 2015.
Ajaero died at the Zone 9 Police headquarters, Umuahia, Abia State, sometime in 2015.
IGP Mohammed Adamu
The court, presided over by Justice Bello Kawu, gave the ruling on Thursday in a suit filed on behalf of the family of the deceased by an Abuja-based human rights lawyer and activist, Samuel Ihensekhien Jnr.
The case with suit number; FACT/HC/BW/M/06/2021, was filed in the name of the deceased’s brother, as Hillary Uwaoma Vs the Nigeria Police Force and others.
SaharaReporters learnt that the court did not only grant leave to formally bring an application for mandamus, but granted consequential interim orders viz a viz;
“That the grant of the leave herein for an order of mandamus shall also empower the defendants (the Nigeria Police Force) and the IGP to in the interim sign the official papers and correspondence to the police command in Owerri and the Aladinma mortuary in Owerri, Imo State to forthwith release the corpse of Ajaero to be buried in this regard,” the ruling stated.
Reacting to the above, the counsel for the applicant, Ihensekhien described the ruling as fantastic and light in the tunnel for the family of the deceased, who had been severely hurt by the way the late Ajaero died.
“They had become worried about how the man died at the Zone 9, Umuahia detention centre in 2015 and the uncooperative attitude of the Nigeria police herein, even after all medical tests and autopsy on the dead corpse of Ajaero. The Nigeria police vide the different IGs had refused to sign for the release of the deceased corpse to his family for onward burial.
“In this regard, the legal counsel for the deceased family stated that steps will be taken to make sure the IG and the Nigeria police implement forthwith, and abide with the orders of the FCT High Court in respect of this issue.
“The IG in spite of subsisting orders of the court refused to sign the release. This will perhaps compel him to sign for the release of the corpse after six years,” a source stated.
Saharareporters, New York