An Abuja resident, Erasmus Emhenya, has died in police custody in Abuja after alleged torture by the Nigerian police. But the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) police command denied foul play. Mr Emhenya died while in police custody on April 6.
The command’s spokeswoman, Josephine Adeh, issued the denial in a statement on Wednesday. According to the statement, the deceased, who was in custody over a murder case, was not tortured.
Mr Emhenya and another FCT resident, Benjamin Agbasi, were arrested for alleged involvement in the stabbing and killing of a 25-year-old man, Blessing Ogbu, at Number One Hotel, Nyanya, Abuja, said the police.
“Preliminary investigations by the command have, however, revealed that the suspect was not tortured to death by the police. Meanwhile, the acting commissioner of police, FCT police command, DCP Ahmed Musa, has ordered discrete investigations into the remote and immediate cause of death of the suspect while in custody,” the statement said.
It added, “In the same vein, as part of the ongoing investigations, an autopsy to determine the remote cause of his death has since commenced, and the report of the medical examiner is being awaited.”
The police explained that the autopsy and other processes would provide the actual cause of Mr Emhenya’s death. The police commissioner “assured that the process would be transparent and the report would be made public in due course.”
The statement added, “The command assures the general public of its unwavering commitment to upholding the rule of law and respect for the fundamental rights of all residents in the FCT.”