By Abiodun OBA
The Ekata Ogbeide family of Uromi in Edo has refuted all the allegations levelled against Fidelis Ekata by the police that he was a wanted notorious armed robber and jailbird.
The family in a petition to the Inspector-General of Police, alleged that it was a case of extra-judicial killing of their son, Fidelis Ekata, by police operatives on March 2, 2022.
The family also demanded N200 million as compensation for the loss and trauma being suffered by its members, claiming that Ekata was their breadwinner.
Recall, the Police had told a news conference in Benin in March 2022 that their operatives shot Ekata to death at Okkenken Road, Uromi, as a wanted notorious armed robber and jailbird.
Police alleged at the news conference that Ekata escaped from the Benin Correctional Facility during the October 2020 “#End SARS’’ protest.
In the petition to the I-G dated Aug. 8, 2023, the family’s lawyer, Mr C.M. Uche-Enwere refuted all the allegations levelled against Ekata by the police.
The family claimed that Ekata was neither an armed robber nor a prison escapee.
The family described the murder of Ekata as an extrajudicial killing by the police and demanded a retraction of all allegations made against the deceased as published.
The petition read: “Consequent to the unlawful killing of Fidelis Ekata, the family has suffered setbacks, severe loss and traumatised due to the fact that he was the breadwinner of the family.
“It is premised on the said loss and unanticipated death of Fidelis Ekata, that we write that his family be indemnified by way of compensation to the tune of N200 million.
“This is for the wrongful killing, loss and trauma being suffered by his dependants.
“The family implores the police to delete all libellous publications that indicated that Fidelis Ekata was an armed robber as the allegation is founded on falsehood.
“It is injurious to the family, particularly to his children, who may grow up with such false and deleterious blemishes placed on their deceased father.
“Should you fail, refuse or neglect to compensate our client to the tune of N200 million, we shall institute legal action to enforce the rights of the deceased and the family members.’’
Meanwhile, a letter signed by one Idemudia P, a Superintendent of Correction at the Benin Correctional Centre stated that Ekata was neither remanded at the custodial centre nor escaped from custody.
The police had acknowledged receipt of the petition on Aug 15.