Police Admits Killing Barrister Elias Ugwu In Error

The Kogi State Police Command has acknowledged its lapse in the tragic killing of Barrister Elias Ugwu last week Friday, admitting that the Nsukka-based lawyer was mistakenly killed. The shocking demise of Barrister Ugwu has plunged the entire community of Nsukka and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) into deep mourning.

In a statement issued by its Public Relations Officer, SP Williams Anya, on Thursday in Lokoja, the police conceded that they erroneously identified the late lawyer as a member of an armed robbery gang that had robbed banks a day earlier. This admission underscores the gravity of the situation and the need for thorough investigation and accountability.

Barrister Ugwu’s untimely death occurred in Anyigba last week Friday, at a time when he was in the state to negotiate the release of his cousin, who had been kidnapped several days prior. The tragic incident has sparked outrage and raised serious concerns about the safety and security of citizens, especially in situations where law enforcement officers are involved.

As the community grapples with the loss of a respected member and legal practitioner, there is a pressing call for justice and reform within the police force. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of upholding due process and ensuring that law enforcement agencies operate with the highest level of professionalism and accountability.

In the aftermath of this unfortunate event, there is a collective demand for transparency and swift action to prevent similar occurrences in the future. The Kogi State Police Command’s acknowledgment of complacency is a crucial step towards addressing the systemic issues that led to Barrister Ugwu’s wrongful death and restoring public trust in law enforcement institutions.

The police statement titled: “Setting the record straight” partly read, “It would be recalled that, on 07/03/2024, Armed Robbers invaded Anyigba in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State and robbed three Banks and also attacked Police Stations. A Tactical Team was deployed to the Area to restore normalcy and trail the hoodlums with a view to apprehending and bringing them to deserved justice.”

“The Tactical Team received a report that some persons were sighted in a bush around Alade Village in Dekina Local Government with an Ox-blood Toyota Avalon Car roaming up and down for two days or more asking the villagers for directions around the place where two vehicles and two motorcycles abandoned by the armed robbers were recovered.”

“The operatives promptly swung into action and in conjunction with the local vigilantes moved into the Area. When they sighted the car already described by the villagers, they waved down the driver to stop but instead, zoomed off.”

“In a bid to stop the car, shots were fired at the tyres of the car which brought it to a halt. It was then discovered that the car conveyed three persons, (the driver and two others).”

“The two men gave their names as Chidi Anieke and Elias Ugwu both of Nkanu and Ihiakpoka, Nsukka, while the driver was identified as Barr. Elias Ugwu. The driver sustained injury and was taken to the Maria Goretti Hospital Anyigba for treatment where he gave up the ghost. The two surviving men stated that they were in Alade bush in Dekina Local Government for ransom payment to secure the release of a victim of kidnapping.”

“They equally stated that they were not aware of the bank robbery that took place in Anyigba, Dekina Local Government and that they did not report or inform the police of the alleged kidnap incident nor of their presence or mission in that area, hence they were suspected to be part of the hoodlums that invaded Anyigba on 7th March, 2024.”

“The Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Police Command, extends his condolences to the family of the deceased over the unfortunate incident which was avoidable if they had stopped when they were waved down by the police who were with their patrol vehicle at the scene.”