Operatives of the Delta Police Command in Sapele, Delta State, have arrested and detained two
officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) over alleged torture and killing of a suspected drug dealer.
The detained officers were said to be on a special duty from NDLEA’s Ogwashi-Uku State Command headquarters in the state were when the alleged crime was committed.
The suspected drug dealer allegedly tortured to death was 50-year-old Mr Ilaya Christine.
Christine was arrested by the NDLEA officers from Ogwashi Uku Command at about 9:00 a.m on Friday for allegedly dealing in substances suspected to be Marijuana and other hard drugs.
Reports say he was, however, tortured and brought back half-dead to his family a few hours later.
The deceased’s friend, one Friday Akpotor, was quoted as saying that about 14 NDLEA’s officers in two vehicles effected the arrest of Christine at about 9:00 a.m and was whisked away, only for them to return him a few hours later very weak and gasping for breath.
“They killed him, took him to St James Hospital, then from there he was taken to Central Hospital where the doctor confirmed him dead, I believed he was tortured to death,” Akpotor recounted, just as other sources corroborated the claim.
A senior NDLEA officer, Anietie Inam, who confirmed the incident to journalists, however, denied the claim that the suspect, Christine, was tortured to death, but that he had an underlying health condition.
“That’s not the truth; you see our men went to raid a drug dealer in Sapele and after taking him away, we found out that he was breathing with difficulty, on enquiry, he told the officers that he was hypertensive, so they took him back to his house.
“It was the wife who told us to take him to St Joseph Hospital, from where the doctor referred them to the Sapele Central Hospital where he gave up the ghost.
“The story that the agency officers battered the drug dealer to death was not true, he had this health problem and even his wife told us the man was a hypertensive patient,” the NDLEA image-maker noted.
Although the acting Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, Edafe Bright, could not immediately be reached for comment, a senior officer who craved anonymity, confirmed the arrest and detention of the two NDLEA officers in Sapele, adding that an autopsy will be carried out on the deceased to ascertain the actual cause of his death.
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