The whereabouts of the remains of a 42 years old transporter and father of three in Delta State, Mr Zion Enakerakpo allegedly murdered extra-judicially by men of the Nigerian Police Force in collaboration with Local Vigilantes in 2019 is still unknown, the deceased’s family has cried out.
Mr Elvis Enakerakpo, elder brother of the deceased who spoke to The Union Nigeria, revealed that several efforts by the family through solicitors to obtain the remains for proper burial rites have proved abortive.
According to him, although several legal actions have been instituted to question the extra-judicial killing, there was nothing that could bring their deceased brother back to life.
“All we want now is closure. The police took the body. We need the body in order to give him a befitting burial.”
Narrating the events that led to the death of his brother, Mr Elvis alleged in a sworn statement that, “Zion Enakerakpo, was killed unlawfully and extra judicially on 21st May, 2019 at Kokori Town by men of the Nigeria Police Force and with the active complicity and connivance of Mr. Sylvester Omonigho, Vigilante Commander, Kokori Town.
“Late Mr. Zion Enakerakpo who was 42 years at that time of his killing was a businessman and transporter residing at Flock of Christ Road, Kotokoto in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State and was married with three children aged 12,8 and 2 years respectively.”
“The police officers directly involved in the killing of Mr. Zion Enakerakpo include; Godwin Idiakere DCO, (Isiokolo Police Station) at the time material to this petition and Mr. Sylvester Omonigho, the Vigilante Commander, Kokori Town.
“On 17th May, 2019 information got to late Mr. Zion Enakerakpo that his nephew Bright Okotie was shot by Kokori Vigilante headed by Mr. Sylvester Omonigho, which made him to proceed to Kokori on 19th May 2019.
“On 19th May 2019, late Zion Enakerakpo visited the vigilante Office in Kokori to inquire from Mr. Sylvester Omonigho as to why they shot his nephew and he promised the matter would be settled.
“But; late Zion Enakerakpo insisted that the persons that shot his nephew be arrested First before the settlement can be done. Due to the insistence by late Zion Enakerakpo that the persons that shot his nephew be arrested, Mr. Sylvester Omonigho became infuriated and threatened to deal with late Zion Enakerakpo and vowed to deal with him.
“Mr. Sylvester Omonigho further said that the Community Council of Chiefs will handle the matter, whereafter late Zion Enakerakpo left the Vigilante Office. On 21st May 2019, late Zion Enakerakpo went to the Council of Chiefs (meeting venue. The meeting however failed to hold and there again Mr. Sylvester Omonigho, the Vigilante Commander, Kokori Town threatened to deal with late Zion Enakerakpo who quickly retired to his family compound at Egbo Street, Kokori.
“About an hour later, while late Zion Enakerakpo was standing in front of his compound, Mr.Godwin Idakere, the DCO, Nigeria Police Station, (siokolo in company of the Vigilante commander, Mr. Sylvester Omonigho and other policemen from Isiokolo Police Station and Vigilante men, invaded the family compound of late Zion Enakerakpo at Egbo Street, Kokori, dragged him out and shot him at point blank on his head, killing him instantly and quickly retreated from the place leaving him in a pool of blood.
“Not long after the aforesaid persons, in company of soldiers, returned and carted away the corpse to an unknown destination. As at today they have not returned the corpse of Zion Enakerakpo.
“All attempts to find out from the Commissioner of Police Delta State and Mr. Afokwalam Nneji, the DPO, Nigeria Police Station, Isiokolo about the whereabouts of the corpse have proved abortive as they have been uncooperative.”
“When the family of Late Zion Enakerakpo could not get any information about the whereabouts of the corpse of Late Zion Enakerakpo from the police at Isiokolo Police Station, a petition detailing complaints against the extra judicial and premeditated murder of Late Zion Enakerakpo was written to the Inspector General of Police, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
“The petition is dated 10th June, 2019 and same was approved and referred to the Commissioner of Police, Delta State Command for investigation.
“The police at State CID, Police Headquarters, Asaba invited and obtained statement from me at the office of the Homicide Section were the case was assigned to for investigation. The said Godwin Idiakere, Sylvester Omonigho and some other persons were also invited. The matter was assigned to Samuel Ode (Assistant Superintendent of Police) as the Investigating Police Officer (IPO). I put Samuel Ode, the investigating Police Officer who investigated the case at State CID, Asaba to produce a copy of the investigation report at the hearing of this petition.
“When the police at State Police Headquarters, Asaba, were not willing to provide a certified true copy of the investigation report as approved by the Inspector General of Police, I caused my solicitors to write to the Commissioner of Police, Delta State Police Command. The letter is dated 11th May, 2020.
“Our family is still in shock and untold agony and has not recovered from the horror of seeing our loved one brutally murdered in cold blood in Front of our very eyes.” Elvis Enakerakpo stated.
Deceased’s family statement are untrue and are hereby denied – ASP Godwin
In a counter affidavit, the accused police officer ASP. Idikiri Godwin, described as untrue, the statements made by the family of the late Zion Enakerakpo.
According to him, on the 21st of May 2019 at about 12:00 noon, “I was in my office as the divisional crime officer (DCO) when my Divisional Police Officer CSP Gabriel N. Afokwalam (DPO) entered my office and informed me that the team of police officers and vigilantes who went for operation show of force were held hostage at Kokori by a group of cultist/terrorist. That after giving me this information, entry was made in the crime diary while instruction was given to me to move to Kokori town to rescue officers who were held hostage.
“That I complied with the directive of the divisional police officer (DPO), booked at the station and left with three vigilante men with a volunteered sienna bus owned by Captain German Akpovwede (RTD) to convey us to Kokori on rescue mission.
“That on entering the town, we saw some vigilante men wounded and tyre burning, barricading the main community road, I came down from the vehicle to remove the burning tyres. That some group of boys suspected to be cultist attacked me, whipping me with cutlass, damaged the sienna bus windscreen, shooting sporadically, made easy escape difficult for me.
“That the three boys in my vehicle were beaten up mercilessly and two were injured. That the Sienna Bus windscreen was destroyed. That the two vigilante members who were injured were issuing a medical form to General Hospital, Isiokolo, for treatment.
“That one of the leaders named Zion Enakerakpo attacked me, struggled the arms in my possession and attempted to disarmed me. That at the process of him forcedly removing the magazine from the riffle, the gun exploded and a bullet hit him on the jaw. That the other gang members were busy hitting me and my boys with their cutlasses.
“That as this was on, a troop of army personnel drove to the scene, and on citing the army they took to their heels. That the police officer and vigilante men who were earlier held captive by the ganged also escaped and fled back to the station.
“That the corpse that was laying at the scene until police and some army personnel removed him to Divine Peace Clinic Hospital, Kokori. That an autopsy/ post mortem examination has been carried out confirming the cause of the death of the deceased. That the warrant to be buried was served to the Local Government Health authority which was dully executed.” The statement read.
I am Aware of The Case – PPRO, Delta State Command
I am aware of that case. If they want their brother’s body, direct them to my office, I will trace the investigating officer and will find out why they have not released the body to them for burial.