By Akpos Oghnenetega,
Two officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on special duty from Ogwashi Uku State Command headquarters in Delta state were, yesterday, arrested and detained at the Sapele Police Station allegedly torturing to death one Mr Ilaya Christine, a 50-year-old suspected drug dealer.
Christine, who was arrested by Drug Enforcement officers from Ogwashi Uku Command at about 9 am today for allegedly dealing in substances suspected to be marijuana and other hard drugs, was reportedly tortured and brought back half-dead to his family a few hours later.
Advocate.ng gathered from deceased’s friend, Friday Akpotor that Christine was arrested by the NDLEA officers numbering about 14 with two vehicles at about 9 am and taken away, only for them to return him few hours very weak and fighting for his life.
According to him, “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.”
Another source who spoke to us in confidence told Advocate.ng that the officers raided Christine this morning, however, “30 minutes later they brought him back feeling unwell and it was the wife and the officers who took him to the clinic and then they left for the Central Hospital where he died”
He added that he suspects that the NDELA officers who took Christine away, may have battered him, hence he came back very weak, “yes, I am sure they beat him to death and as I speak to you, his corpse has been deposited at the Sapele General Hospital mortuary by the police and the NDLEA officers without even contacting the family” he said.
When contacted for their reaction, a senior NDLEA officer, Anietie Inam spoke to our reporter on phone, confirmed the death of Christine but denied that he was tortured to death.
According to her; “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 difficultly, 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,” adding that the “drug peddler has an underlying health problem.”
She added; “The story that the Agency officers battered the drug dealer to death was not true, he has this health problem and even his wife told us, the man was hypertensive patient.”
Attempts to speak to Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, Edafe Bright for confirmation were unsuccessful as of the time of going to press.
However, a senior police source confirms the report adding that; “two officers who led the NDLEA team from the command headquarter in Ogwashi Uku to Sapele on an arrest has been detained over the death of one Christine, a suspected drug dealer, who developed an unknown illness moments after he was arrested with cannabis and other hard drugs and died.
“Investigation is on and we will certainly do an autopsy report to ascertain the cause of death.”
However, some group of youths who assembled at the Tropical area, in Amukpe where the deceased was arrested, are accusing the agency of brutally killing their brother, “we will not accept this, and soon, you will know what we can do,” one of them said.