By EMMANUEL UDOM
it is pretty difficult and too early to say who is telling the truth. That is, who killed the late Ugochukwu Ozuah-police or …. The police and family members of the slain masters’ degree student of the University of Lagos seem to be singing discordant tunes.
When this writer visited the residence of Mrs Nkechi Nnonyelu, eldest sister of the departed Ozuah a couple of days back, she disclosed point-blank that as far as she is concerned, all other allegations and speculations, concerning the manner her brother was killed are unfounded and therefore false.
The only truth is that the police killed my brother, five days after his wedding at The Redeemed Evangelical Mission in Anthony village, Lagos and three days after returning from honeymoon, she said.
She possibly relied on the statements of Irikife Omene, a friend of Ugo, who flew in from Germany to attend the wedding ceremony of his bosom friend and curiously flew back to Germany less than 48 hours after the untimely dead of his long time friend.
While Mrs Nnonyelu insisted Omene made a statement at Anthony Police Station, which was not officially entered in police diary and records, I sincerely expected the friend to stay back in Nigeria, no matter the odds to sort out this mess.
The inspector-general of police, Muhammed Abubakar has since been working real hard to launder the battered image of the Nigeria Police Force. Over the years, through the activities of some corrupt officers, people have called an average police officer in Nigeria all sorts of names-extortionists, drunkards, killers, bribe takers etc.
But, if you ask me as a police affairs correspondent, I will say the police have not performed too badly; though there is still room for improvement, even with the realities that is staring Lagosians on their faces-ember months criminals going on rampage
However, in a chat with Ngozi Braide, Lagos police image launderer on Tuesday at her officer in Ikeja, she raised some angles, which the family of the departed should take time to reflect upon.
The PPRO told this writer that preliminary investigations into the incident revealed that Omene did not make any statement whatsoever when he visited Anthony Police Station.
She may be right or wrong. As the PPRO, she has what it takes to confirm any issue in any police unit in all the 109 divisions and police posts in Lagos.
Also, she disclosed that the divisional police officer of the station, Adeola Raji personally led a team of officers to the scene of the incident in search of the expended shell, since it was alleged that an unidentified man in a black jeep alighted from the car and shoot dead Ugo during the unholy hour of 10.35 pm that fateful Thursday.
The police is also wondering why Omene was in such a hurry to travel out of Lagos, Nigeria even while his friend was purportedly killed by a police officer, who was said to be dead drunk.
As I said earlier, due to the battered image of the police, which Muhammed is working round the clock to clean-up, it is pretty difficult for some of us to trust and average police officer with statements all of the time.
But, I think in this case, Omene, family members of the departed 35-year-old Unilag MBA student in Operational Research and the police should work together to fish out his killers.
As a journalist, I strive to report balanced stories with sides reflected at all times. Yes, I am a journalist, but I must do my job without fear or favor. How the police handle this and other messy issues will further make or mar it reputation. Reflect on this.