Police in Delta State have arrested two officers of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) who allegedly tortured and killed a suspected drug dealer.
The officers were said to be on a special duty from Ogwashi-Uku, NDLEA’s headquarters in Delta State.
The suspected drug dealer, 50-year-old Ilaya Christine, who was said to be dealing on illegal substances – marijuana and other undisclosed hard drugs was reportedly severly tortured by the NDLEA operatives before being brought to the family half-dead.
The deceased’s friend, Friday Akpotor, was quoted as saying that “about 14 NDLEA’s officers in two vehicles effected the arrest of Christine at about 9:00 a.m and whisked him away; only for them to return him a few hours later very weak and gasping for breath.
“They killed him, took him to St James Hospital, then from there he was taken to Central Hospital where the doctor confirmed him dead. I believe he was tortured to death,” Akpotor recounted.
A senior NDLEA officer, Anietie Inam, who confirmed the incident to journalists, however, denied the claim that the suspect, Christine, was tortured to death, but that he had an underlying health condition.
“That’s not the truth; you see our men went to raid a drug dealer in Sapele and after taking him away, we found out that he was breathing with difficulty, on enquiry, he told the officers that he was hypertensive, so they took him back to his house.
“It was the wife who told us to take him to St Joseph Hospital, from where the doctor referred them to the Sapele Central Hospital where he gave up the ghost.
“The story that the agency officers battered the drug dealer to death was not true, he had this health problem and even his wife told us the man was a hypertensive patient,” the NDLEA image-maker stated.
Although the acting Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, Edafe Bright, could not immediately be reached for comment, a senior officer who craved anonymity, confirmed the arrest and detention of the two NDLEA officers in Sapele, adding that an autopsy will be carried out on the deceased to ascertain the actual cause of his death.