A 27-year-old employee of Protea Hotel, Benin City in Edo State, Chibuike Edeh, has allegedly died in police custody barely 48 hours after he was arrested for allegedly stealing N48,000 from a hotel guest.
Following his tragic demise, Edeh’s family has demanded that a compensation to the tune of N500 Million be paid them by the Police Service Commission and two others.
According to Punch, the family had expressed dismay that rather than finding the late man at the Adesuwa Police Division, where he was said to have been taken to after the arrest, his corpse was discovered at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Ugbowo.
Police officials claimed that the deceased was hit by a Toyota Camry vehicle during his escape bid while he was leading them to recover the stolen money from a fence between Protea Hotel and an NNPC mega filling station along Sapele Road.
However, the bereaved family maintained that the Nigerian Police unlawfully detained and killed their son out of negligence.
The claims by the family was complied in a letter written through the family lawyer, Dele Igbinedion of Dele Igbinedion Chambers and addressed to the chairman of the police commission on Thursday, May 7, 2015 .
In the letter, the family demanded the same amount as damages from Protea Hotel, Benin, and the Edo State Hospitals Management Board for alleged negligence and threatened to institute a legal action against the three parties if they failed to comply with the demand.
They further accused the management board of the hospital of denying the deceased urgent treatment despite the fact that he bled profusely.
In the letter, the family said, “Instead, Chibuike Edeh, who was then bleeding profusely, was referred to UBTH, Ugbowo; a distance of more than six miles from the Central Hospital.
“In the event, valuable time was lost in organising for an ambulance to convey Chibuike Edeh through the heavy Friday evening traffic on the busy Benin streets and roads to UBTH.
“Eventually arriving at UBTH at about 6.40pm, Chibuike Edeh had unfortunately lost too much blood and eventually died 25 minutes after arrival at exactly 7.15pm.
“Both the police and the chief security officer of Protea Hotels abandoned him. In the circumstances, we have been instructed to (and we do hereby firmly) demand that your Commission should pay the sum of N500m as compensation to our client’s family for the negligence of the police officer(s) which caused the death of Chibuike Edeh.
“In the event of your failure to comply with the above demand, accept this letter as a one month notice of our client’s intention to institute civil proceedings in the Federal High Court against the Commission, the Nigeria Police Force, etc.”