Stories by Dave Okpogadie, Asaba
The Police in Delta State have been tasked to investigate the death of a man found lifeless inside a fuel station manhole in Ughelli, Delta State.
The call for the investigation followed public outcry from the Ikroje family of Isoko North Local Government Area of the state who have raised suspicions over the death.
The family had made a passionate appeal to the Commissioner of Police (CP), Delta Command, Mr Ari Ali, to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of their son, Dennis.
The lifeless body of the deceased identified as Mr. Dennis Ikroje, was allegedly discovered inside the manhole of Sobaz Petrol Station in Ughelli.
The corpse of the 23-year-old man was said to have been found in the early hours of June 9 by staff of the petrol station.
Addressing newsmen on Friday in Warri, a member of the family, Mr Jaho Esiri who is also a lawyer to the family, said there was need for the police to explain to the family how their son died while on duty and why the security men on guard were not among those apprehended in connection with the crime.
“I suspect that the man was killed and his body dumped inside the manhole. Till now, the management of the petrol station has not deemed it fit to inform the family of the deceased about what happened,” Esiri said.
A source from the deceased’s family said they received a call from someone about what happened to their son at the petrol station on that fateful morning.
“When we got to the petrol station, we were told that they had rushed our son who until his death was the manager of the petrol station, to a private clinic.
“On getting to the clinic, we were told that our son has been referred to the General Hospital, Ughelli.
“Getting to the general hospital, we were told that our son is dead and that his remains have been deposited at the mortuary. We were not allowed to identify our son inside the mortuary. They said it involved a police case,” the family source said.
The source added that the family had to go to the Ughelli Police Station to lodge a complaint.
“The Investigating Police Officer in charge of the case accompanied us to the mortuary where we saw the lifeless body of our son with blood stains.
“The explanation given to us about the cause of the death of our son does not go down well with us. The police alleged that our son fell into the manhole when he was trying to steal fuel.
“We suspected that our son was murdered in cold blood and later thrown into the manhole to make it look like an accident,” the source said.
When contacted, the Command’s acting spokesman, DSP Edafe Bright confirmed the incident.“It is confirmed, it actually happened but I have not gotten enough details from the DPO,” he said.