For reporting a corpse found around the business premises of one Austin Onodharo around Cable Point area of Asaba, the Delta state capital, police in C Division area have detained the business man in custody.
Investigations revealed that Onodarho, who lives far from his business premises, was alerted on Friday morning of a corpse around his business premises and he quickly went in company of other two men to report the case at the C’ Division of the state police command in Asaba.
At the police station, he was made to put down his statement after which he was detained along with one Ugochukwu Igbo and David Magini, who had accompanied him to the police station.
Further investigations revealed that the police also collected the sum of ten thousand naira as ‘ fuel money’ from him to evacuate the corpse to the mortuary.
All efforts to secure Onodharo’s bail proved abortive as his team of lawyers have made several attempts to no avail.
Meanwhile, Onodharo is an hypertensive patients and has to rely on his wife for his medications while in police incarceration.
A neighbour in the street, who spoke on account of anonymity, said that Onodharo is a well respected man in the area and pleaded with the police not to subject an innocent man to such treatment.
He said: “Mr Austin Onodaro is well known in this area as a gentleman. When the corpse was discovered, he was alerted and he quickly came down to this place.
“He went in company of other two men to inform the police of the development and we were surprised when we were told that they were detained.”
Another resident in the area, John Isimeh, wondered how the police could continue to count on the confidence of the society.
“With what has just happened to Mr. Onodharo, who do you think would volunteer information to the police? Do you think I would volunteer to help an accident victim along the road? Of course it is not possible.”
When contacted on phone, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Delta State Police Command DSP Andrew ANIAMAKA confirmed the incident.
When asked to give details of the incident, he said: “Even if I kill somebody and I go to a police station to report that I have killed somebody or that somebody is dead in my place, don’t you know tha the police will still investigate me?
“Going to report will not absorb me of such a crime. You understand! We are dealing with a human life. Let’s not be emotional. If there are suspicions hovering around persons, investigations will prove or disprove. All that the police will be asking now is give us a little a time, let’s carry out some investigations.
“It applies even in England where these laws came from that in trying to uncover the culprits of a crime, the police are at liberty to invite as many people as possible and it is through such interrogations and questions, thast the police will know who is culpable and who is not. It is also possible that the persons invited may give the lead to what the police need to hit the nail on the head as it concerns unraveling such as case.
“It is within your purview to be so concerned especially the standing of the person in society, like they say nobody is above the law. What we will do is to try as much as possible to be transparent and apply due process and at the end of the day, the right thing will be done. If the person detained has nothing to do with the case, he will be left to go. If they have anything to do with it, they will arraign them in court.
“You have heard from one source that somebody reported, you may not have heard what the persons who are investigating have heard, you need to know what have informed their detention. Afterall, they are not the only persons in Asaba. So, what the police is asking you to do now is exercise a little patience.”
Also the commissioner of police, Ibrahim Mustapha, said the police need him for investigations, hence the detention. He added that he had ordered the homicide department to take urgent actions in their investigations.
As at press time, no complainant has come forward to make any complaint of any missing person. It was, however, gathered that the corpse was that of a lunatic in the area.
Also, available reports indicate that the police headquarters in Asaba has ordered the refund of the ten thousand naira ‘ fuel money’ that was collected from Mr Austin Onodaro. The police are currently battling with the modalities for the refund.
Meanwhile, the lawyers of Mr. Onodharo, Rueben Izeze and partners, have petitioned the commissioner of police in the state over the unlawful detention of Austine Onodharo.