-Say Some Delta Politicians Frustrating Case
The family of Late Hon. Elliot Ofa, has called on the Inspector General of Police, to use his good offices to ensure that justice is delivered, as they alleged that some politicians in Delta State were making frantic efforts to ensure the case was swept under the carpet.
Elliot Ofa, a former cohncillorship candidate in the just concluded local government election in Delta State was allegedly murdered on Monday January 11, 21, along Jesse/Oben Road on his way to attend screening exercise at Asaba, the Delta State Capital.
The family in a statement addressed to the Inspector General of Police and obtained by our reporter, signed by Dr. Henry Ofa, expressed serious concern over the way and manner the case was being handled by the police, stressing that all they need was for the prime suspects in the case to be charged to court as available evidence has shown that the case was a clear murder.
“We are strongly convinced beyond any doubt that the suspects’ claim of herdsmen attack is a hoax and the unbelievable narration that they boldly returned to the assassination scene to recover their car and Hon. Elliot’s body without contacting the Police clearly runs against a rational expectation.”
“The suspects’ accounts of the attack and death of Hon. Elliot are not only conflicting but also inconsistent with the autopsy report. For instance, the suspects alleged that the herdsmen shot at them sporadically from the frontal and rear sides, yet neither the front nor the back glass shields of the car was shattered, punctured or had any trace of gunshot damages.”
“Sir, we wish to categorically state that the death of Hon. Elliot Ofa was not a case of kidnap but an orchestrated murder/assassination. The available evidence clearly attests to this fact, and this has been furthered evinced by the overall conduct of the suspects. While it has become the norm to attribute all murder related cases to herdsmen, we are convinced that herdsmen are being falsely accused as the perpetrators of this particular heinous crime against God and humanity.”
The family thereby, demands that, “A thorough investigation to unravel the circumstances that led to the gruesome murder/assassination of Hon. Elliot Ofa. The substantive matter should not be trivialised as a case of kidnap by herdsmen giving the damning evidences against the suspects. Arraignment of the perpetrators in court at the close of investigation. Ultimately bring the perpetrators of this horrendous crime to book that the peace loving soul of Hon. Elliot Ofa may find eternal rest.”
The family of late Elliot Ofa, expressed implicit confidence in the ability of the Nigerian Police Force to deliver impeccable investigation and prosecution of al, those involved in the killing, just as they appealed on the IGP not to succumb to pressure from some politicians in Delta state to subvert justice.
See full statement below:
The Inspector General of Police,
Louis Edet House,
ASSASSINATION/MURDER OF HON. ELLIOT OFA: A PASSIONATE APPEAL FOR THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE TO ENSURE THE COURSE OF JUSTICE
I am constrained to explore this medium to brief you and solicit your urgent assistance in ensuring that full justice is served in the heartbreaking story relating to the murder of my younger brother, Hon. Elliot Ofa who was gruesomely murdered under uncanny circumstances while in the company of Mr. Allen Ese Adjoshoke, Mr. Fekson Temienor, Mr. Monday Adu and a lady said to be Mr. Fekson Temienor’s sister-in-law.
On Monday, January 11, 2021, Hon. Elliot embarked on a journey to Asaba for the screening of political parties’ candidates by the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC). Hon. Elliot was the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for DSIEC Ward 13 in Ethiope West Local Government Area and the screening was billed for Tuesday, January 12, 2021. He embarked on the journey in the company of Mr. Allen Ese Adjoshoke (also a councillorship candidate under the PDP), Mr. Fekson Temienor (also PDP councillorship candidate), Mr. Monday Adu and an unidentified lady said to be a sister-in-law to Mr. Fekson Temienor.
The above-named persons picked up Elliot from his house in Oghara at about 3:45pm and embarked on the ill-fated journey to Asaba enroute Jesse/Oben road. It was not long after the commencement of the journey that we received information that they had been attacked by herdsmen with only Elliot dying in the process. In the initial account of Hon. Elliot’s co-travelers (now the prime suspects), some AK-47 gun wielding herdsmen launched both frontal and posterior attacks on them, shooting sporadically at the moving vehicle. Painfully, we were told that only Hon. Elliot got hit by the bullets and died on the spot, while the rest of the travelers ‘miraculously’ escaped the attack. This was despite the fact that Hon. Elliot sat on the car owner’s seat of the vehicle alongside two others who were seated by his left hand side.
The suspects also narrated how they boldly returned to the crime scene to recover Hon. Elliot’s corpse and deposited it at a mortuary in Oben Town without recourse to the Police or even the deceased’s family. It is ironical to note that both Mr. Allen Ese Adjoshoke and Mr. Fekson Temienor travelled to Asaba the next day after the incident using the same blood-stained car. They also used the same car to rescue their other traveling companions who were allegedly kidnapped by the mysterious herdsmen during the attack. It was not until four days after the incident that the suspects finally made themselves available to narrate their own trumped up account of what transpired during the journey to the Police after their initial refusal to appear for questioning. On their arrival, they came in a sirene-enabled hilux van, two lawyers and three Police escorts. What could have possibly motivated such needless defensive action if they were not been hunted by their conscience?
We are strongly convinced beyond any doubt that the suspects’ claim of herdsmen attack is a hoax and the unbelievable narration that they boldly returned to the assassination scene to recover their car and Hon. Elliot’s body without contacting the Police clearly runs against a rational expectation. The suspects’ accounts of the attack and death of Hon. Elliot are not only conflicting but also inconsistent with the autopsy report. For instance, the suspects alleged that the herdsmen shot at them sporadically from the frontal and rear sides, yet neither the front nor the back glass shields of the car was shattered, punctured or had any trace of gunshot damages.
Furthermore, the suspects alleged that bullets from the sporadic shooting shattered the left back door glass of the car, hitting Hon. Elliot in the process. In contradiction however, the autopsy showed that Hon. Elliot was hit by a rifled gunshot to the right superior shoulder, exiting through the left superior shoulder. On examination of the recent external injuries, the report showed that besides the rifled gunshot injuries, there were two puncture wounds on the right upper back and a puncture wound on the posterior left upper arm, among other injuries that were unrelated to bullet injuries. The question is, who inflicted the other injuries if the alleged gun attack by herdsmen is anything to go by? How did the bullets which supposed came from the left back door glass of the car skipped the two other co-travelers only to hit Hon. Elliot on his right arm? By virtue of the autopsy result, one would expect that the right back door glass or body of the car would have visible points of bullet entry and exit indicating the lodgment of the bullet, or traces of the pellets/bullets would be found either inside the car or in the body of the deceased. Surprisingly, none of these was the case. The right back door of the car was intact; there was no bullet marks in the interior and exterior of the car; no evidence of sporadic gunshot from the posterior and anterior sides of the car was observed at the time of inspection; and, no pellets/bullet was found inside the car or in the body of the deceased. This clearly shows that contrary to the suspects’ claims, Elliot was shot at a close range from outside the car, killed and brought back into the car.
It was upon the realisation of these clear contradictions that the Edo State Police Command decided to arraign the suspects before a competent court of justice to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding Hon. Elliot’s death. Thus, on January 25, 2021, the suspects were taken to a High Court in Benin-City, but just when they were at the verge of being arraigned before a Judge, the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) received a call from the Office of the Edo State Commissioner of Police ordering him to return to the office with all the suspects; hence, the suspects could not be arraigned as expected. The case file was then transferred to Zone 5, under the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) based on the petition of the suspects and the overbearing influence of an external political actor who is bent on undermining justice in the case. However, despite the obvious interference of external forces, the AIG was determined to pursue justice in the matter; thus, upon a careful examination of the substance of the case, the AIG directed that the case file should be returned to the office of the Edo State Commissioner of Police.
While the investigations were ongoing, we received disturbing information that a top politician in Delta State was making frantic efforts to interfere with the natural course of justice and undermine genuine inquiry into the crime committed by the suspects. It was not long later that the suspects wrote a petition to the IGP, accusing my younger, Mr. Benneth Ofa, who is the complainant in the substantive case, of falsely accusing them of murder. It was partly on the stretch of this new twist that the case file was transferred to the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in Abuja.
Consequently, the IRT visited the scene of crime and interviewed the suspects, Mr. Benneth, the wife of the deceased, the youths at Oben community among others. Expectedly, their findings were mindboggling, filled with many facts that clearly contradicted the suspects’ claims. On the basis of their findings, it was our rational expectation that the suspects would be arraigned for formal trial in a competent court of justice. Unfortunately, we have gathered that consequent upon the pressure being mounted by a politician from Delta State, the matter is being trivialized as a case of kidnap.
Sir, we wish to categorically state that the death of Hon. Elliot Ofa was not a case of kidnap but an orchestrated murder/assassination. The available evidence clearly attests to this fact, and this has been furthered evinced by the overall conduct of the suspects. While it has become the norm to attribute all murder related cases to herdsmen, we are convinced that herdsmen are being falsely accused as the perpetrators of this particular heinous crime against God and humanity.
It is an undeniable fact that life is sacrosanct and the right to same is constitutional and fundamental. It is on this premise that we passionately urge and solicit your urgent assistance in ensuring that:
1. A thorough investigation to unravel the circumstances that led to the gruesome murder/assassination of Hon. Elliot Ofa.
2. The substantive matter should not be trivialised as a case of kidnap by herdsmen giving the damning evidences against the suspects.
3. Arraignment of the perpetrators in court at the close of investigation.
4. Ultimately bring the perpetrators of this horrendous crime to book that the peace loving soul of Hon. Elliot Ofa may find eternal rest.
Sir, we hold a steadfast confidence that you will use your good office to ensure justice for our late brother, our family and the general society by making the suspects pay fully for their grave crime. Thank you and do accept my highest regards, sir.
Ofa Henry, PhD
For the family
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