Inibehe Effiong, human rights advocate and family lawyer of Kubiat Isaac, a graduate of University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, South-south Nigeria, who died in police custody, said an autopsy revealed Isaac was tortured to death.
Isaac, said to be an only son of his parents, was arrested on Aug. 29 along with his friends for alleged armed robbery by police officers from B Division, Ewet Housing Estate in Uyo, the state capital. He was then taken to a cell where he was allegedly tortured to death.
Effiong told HumAngle in a phone conversation on Tuesday, Sept. 7, the autopsy, carried out at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, confirmed the deceased died from multiple body injuries, cuts and internal bleeding.
The lawyer said Isaac’s family believe the injuries on the deceased’s body as shown by the autopsy were evidence that it was an act done by a team of police officers, and not just an individual.
The family, he said, also believe that the Nigerian police might be trying to cover up something by arresting just one officer in connection with Isaac’s murder.
Joweigha Michael, an Assistant Police Superintendent who effected the deceased’s arrest had been arrested on the order of Amiengheme Andrew, Akwa-ibom’s Commissioner of Police following his death.
The CP had ordered for an autopsy to be conducted to determine what killed the detained suspect.
“There was also a kind of explanation to us by the pathologist who disclosed his findings to us that serious torture was the only cause of death,” Effiong said. “So, that has been confirmed. And for us, we have always known that was what happened to him.”
Aside from the baffling situation of indicting just one officer, the lawyer said “the provocative statement” by the police on Saturday Sept. 4, “that the deceased fell ill was very far from the truth, and are all attempts to cleanse those really responsible for the inhumane heinous act.”
“That lie has been dispelled and invalidated by the autopsy that was done,” Effiong said.
Although the Commissioner of Police in his Saturday statement condoled with the family of the deceased and assured justice while he ordered the arrest of the ASP, no official visit or contact had been made to the two aged parents of the deceased, the lawyer said.
The police declined to comment when contacted by HumAngle.
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