A YEAR after Chief Ogbe Onokpite was gruesomely murdered by some identified police officers, the dust generated by his killing is yet to settle. The 38-year-old politician who lived as a hermit still identified with his native Okpe, Uvwie people was shot dead by the police at Beeland Hotel, Orhuwhoran in Udu local government area of Delta State.
Since the politician was killed in a questionable circumstance, plethora of criticisms has continued to trail his sudden and unpleasant demise. Despite series of petitions by the family and other human right groups to ravel the main cause of his death, investigations thus far appeared to be shrouded in mystery. For this singular reason, the deceased family insisted that until his killers are brought to book, his remains would not be interred.
Though since the death of Chief Onikpete, a petition was sent to the Inspector General of Police and the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of homicide division, a team of officers was raised headed by one Adamu Hassani. Unarguably, some considerable success was received in their investigation. But the Hassani team later hit brick wall as they were unable to rescue the file containing the matter of Chief Onokpite’s death from one Dalan Dache and his gang who were initially assigned to investigate the case, and who, ironically in their temporary investigations concluded that the late politicians was a gun-runner and was killed in a crossfire with men of the Nigeria police.
As the tango to unravel the killers continued, fresh facts emerged that the police officers fingered as the killers were allegedly mobilised by the Delta State government to eliminate the youngest governorship aspirant in the immediate past governorship election in the state.
The source further alleged that the real killer squad in Delta State was led by one ASP Umara. Consequent upon the startling revelation, officers of the Delta killer squad were summoned to Abuja for temporary investigation. In the process, the team members pleaded guilty as charged as one of them disclosed that the leader of the police team, Umara ordered him to demobilised Onokpite.
This confession has created more questions begging for answers since they failed to establish that Chief Onokpite was killed in crossfire. But the said officer, however, admitted that he shot the innocent politician below the knee and eventually demobilised him at the Beeland Hotel, Orhuwhorun road in Ovwian, Delta State.
Umara also admitted without blinking an eye that he drove the pathfinder jeep that led the two Hilux vans to the Beeland Hotel where Onokpite was caught. This report was in tandem with the statement of oath from the prime witness, Gbenga Onasiji who dismissed the allegation that Onokpite was never a gun-runner and that he was the driver who was assigned to convey Onokpite to collect some amount of money from the nearest ATM before the police descended on him.
The driver has however identified the police officer who shot him below the knee and also the man who blindfolded and used sharp dagger on him. Again, a fresh twist was added into the matter when an arrested suspect, Malick Okorokporo confessed that he was instructed by the deceased to deliver two AK 47 rifles found on him to one Mr. Collins Egbara. Yet, another question, on why he was shot dead and the questionable circumstances that led to his mysterious demise have all combined to doubt the justice system in the land.
Delta State police commissioner, Mr. Mammam Tsafe now the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of police, Zone 2 at a press conference shortly after the dastardly incident, posited that the slain politician was gunned down in his noted while attempting to escape from the grip of the police, and that he died on the way to the hospital.
“Also, at about 2pm on November 26, 2011, undercover operatives at Beeland Hotel, Orhunwhoro intercepted a vehicle with registration No. AM 528 JRT driven by one Malik Okorokporo, aged 33, of 31 Abasiomo Druona compound, Alegbo, Warri. The driver was stopped by police patrol team at Udu, Orhunwhoro road and to their chagrin, two AK-47 rifles with Nos. 20613 and 13702, with over 60 rounds of live ammunition were found in his possession. These rifles were alleged to be delivered to Collins Egbara, Chairman of Agaga Community, who is currently on the run at the instance of Ogbe Onokpite through his conveyor, Malik Okorokporo.
“The suspect, however, took the patrol team to Beeland Hotel to apprehend his principal, who attempted to escape upon sighting the police but was maimed. The principal eventually died on the way to the hospital,” the commissioner stated with a time of finality.
Amid these conflicting reports, the younger brother to late Chief Onokpite, Diemo has declared that it was obvious that the AK 47 riffles were planted on the slain politician’s hotel on the ill-fated day he was assassinated, and that the late Chief Onokpite was killed by the Nigeria police.
Already, Diemo disclosed that the ASP Umara who led the operation that killed Chief Ogbe Onokpite was confronted with the evidence from their personal investigation. According the slain politician’s younger brother, Diemo, the investigation of the Nigeria Armoury, Lagos shows that the AK 47 riffles were issued to the police force (31 MPF), Asaba.
Diemo further averred that one of the AK 47 raffles was issued to Umara’s aides, while the other one, AK 47 riffle planted on late Chief Onokpite was issued to CPI Benjamin Joel in Government House. The bereaved Diemo further stated that the AK 47 was in the custody of the area commandant, ACP Abutu, who on that day brought out the AK 47 riffle from his bedroom and planted it on Chief Onokpite. From these investigations, Diemo declared that it was clear that ACP Abutu cannot be ignorant of the death of the CPI shot dead by unknown gunmen at Airport road in Effurun.
Against this backdrop, Diemo insisted that ACP Abutu must be properly investigated over the death of the CPI police officer allegedly killed by unidentified gun men. The younger brother who disclosed that all these stories were the confessions of ASP Umara to the police investigating team raised by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) in Abuja and most particularly established that the area command planted the two AK 47 riffles on late Chief Onoikpite, said the family and Nigerians are waiting to see the killers of Chief Onokpite and why they killed an innocent man.
Also, counsel to the slain politician’s family, Mr. Odiana Eriata said that revelations from police investigation thus far, showed that the killer gang of Chief Onokpite exists in the state. The lawyer who alleged that there had been several attempts by the Delta State police command to sweep the matter under the carpet, said their efforts had culminated to the serial murder of two other persons, British Egene and Orlando Owodo on July 17, 2012.
Eriata, however, enjoined the IGP to investigate the role of a particular Assistant Superintendent of Police (name withheld) in the murder saga. The family lawyer, who alleged that Egene and Omode were the two persons suspected to have set up the late Onokpite, also averred that the car in which guns were planted against Onokpite belong to Owodo.
The lawyer disclosed that the duo, Egene and Owodo were murdered in
Bayelsa when fresh facts begin to emerge on the killers of Chief Onokpite, particularly when the eyewitness, Mr. Gbenga Onasiji, identified eight of the 11 policemen involved in the dastardly incident in Abuja. His words: “We believe that the assassination of Egene and Omodo could not have been a coincidence but planned to break the chain of investigation and information in order to frustrate the unravelling of the procurers of Onokpite’s murder.”
He implored the police to expand its investigation to the owner of the vehicle that conveyed Egene and Omodo on the day they killed them. It
Will, however, be recalled that the slain politician during the 2011 general election, pitched tent with Chief Great Ogboru and with his massive followers, delivered many candidates under the umbrella of the Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP). Again, the question begging for answer is, who killed Chief Ogbe Onokpite, the amiable politician and why?By GAB EJUWA