An 80-year-old widow, Mrs Bridget Osuhor, from Umunede, Delta State, has cried out to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, the Nigeria Police Force, DIG Joseph Egbunike, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Abuja, and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to use their good offices to ensure the release of her detained son, Mr Jude Osuhor, and his sister-in-law, Miss Happiness Efifie, from police custody as directed by Justice I. E. Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja on November 5, 2021 in Suits Nos. FHC/ABJ/CS/1289/2021 and FHC/ABJ/CS/1290/2021.
Jude Osuhor and Happiness Efifie were arrested in Lagos on October 2, 2021, by members of the Nigeria Police Force from the FCID in Abuja, on a trumped-up allegation of the ‘murder’ of Jude’s 35-year-old wife, Mrs. Vivian Osuhor (nee Efifie), on the instigation of the deceased’s youngest sister, Loveth Efifie, despite a medical report and death certificate issued by Dr Oyetunde Oyeyinka of Healing Field Specialist Clinics, Ajao Estate, Lagos, stating that Vivian died of Fiboid Menorrhagia, Septicemia and Diabetic Ketoacidosis on 14th September, following complications from miscarriage of her 8 weeks pregnancy. Happiness, the immediate younger sister of the deceased, had lived with her late sister and her husband (Jude) for years in their Lagos home.
Upon arrest in Lagos, Jude and Happiness were transferred from Lagos to Abuja on October 4 and were initially granted bail on October 5 as police investigation did not reveal any reasonable cause for their continued detention. After their return to Lagos following the bail, they were re-invited by the police to Abuja who paid for their one-way Air Peace tickets for “a chat” with DIG Joseph Egbunike of FCID on October 15 and have remained in police custody since then, despite an autopsy revealing that Vivian was not murdered by her husband or immediate younger sister, another round of police investigation revealing nothing new on the accusations, and two Federal High Court orders secured by their counsel, J. S. Okutepa SAN, for their immediate release. The frivolous petition by Loveth had prevented the burial of the deceased mother of two, initially fixed for October 7 in Delta State by both her family of Agulu, Anambra State and her in-laws of Umunede, Delta State, and forcing her corpse to be brought from Lagos to Abuja for autopsy.
Even the initial conclusion and advice of the police investigating team that the matter was a family feud that should be settled amicably between the Efifie siblings was ignored by Loveth, who has allegedly insisted on the prosecution of the detainees in order to take custody of the two little children of the deceased, and as a result of her political connections and familiarity with people in high places, including a former head of state. The Efifie family of Agulu, Anambra State had written two complaints to the Inspector General of Police over the continued illegal detention of their daughter and son-in-law on the instigation of Loveth, adding that she be investigated over the death of her late sister rather than acceding to her baseless petition. Unfortunately, the IGP has failed to act in consonance with the family’s request.
Lamenting the prolonged and unlawful detention of her son and Happiness, Mrs Osuhor has pleaded with the police to obey court order and release the duo, wondering why the police that is supposed to promote and protect the fundamental rights of citizens should engage in flagrant abuse of same by flouting courting orders.
She said that the family is already in mourning as a result of the untimely death of their beloved daughter, who left behind a six-year-old daughter and a 15-month son and should be allowed to rest in peace by releasing her corpse for burial, alongside her detained husband and younger sister, instead of being tossed around by Loveth, the youngest sister of the deceased, who she said was not even on speaking terms with the deceased and Happiness for over 10 years until the deceased’s death.
She wondered why Loveth will be using the death of her elder sister to settle scores and pretending she loves her at death, but subjecting her corpse to different forms of mutilation and causing the families agonies by using the police to unlawfully detain her deceased sister’s husband and her immediate elder sister on the unproven allegation that she was murdered, whereas medical reports and autopsy by certified pathologists proved otherwise.
The 80-year old widow implored the Inspector General of Police, members of the Nigeria Police Force, constituted authorities and interested parties to live up to expectations of both families and honest Nigerians by releasing the duo of Jude and Happiness, as directed by the court, in order to prove to Nigerians that human rights are still valued and promoted in the country and that the police is not a willing tool to be used and abused by selfish Nigerians as a result of having unclear connections with senior police officers, political office holders and even a former president.