New Telegraph

‘My late brother hated roadblocks, patrol duties, always afraid of death’

The younger brother of Monday Orukpe, the policeman beaten to death by soldiers serving at the Army Ordnance Corp, Ojo, Lagos on August 3, has said that his elder brother was afraid of death, which was why he doesn’t like going on roadblocks and patrol.

The deceased younger brother, who does not want his name in print for security reasons, described him as a very quiet and straightforward person who didn’t like trouble. He said his brother was aversed to outstation work, he was scared of roadblocks, and road patrol which was why, he was always on station guard, adding that all through the years he worked at area C command in Surulere, he worked as the station guard, he didn’t go on patrol.

“When he was transferred to Area C, Iju Division, there was a superior officer who knew him at Area C, immediately the person saw him at Iju Police Station at Agege, he said Monday Orukpe, this man that doesn’t like money? He was nicked named “oga that don’t like money”. “He doesn’t like outside work for anything. When he was transferred from Iju to Trade Fair Division, Ojo, he complained that male officers at the division are not allowed to be at station guards. That it is only female officers that are allowed to be at station guards. So he was assigned to operations.

He was scared, he kept saying I should put him in prayers pending when he will be transferred. “He can’t hurt a fly. If you go to the station his colleagues will attest to it. People don’t know that my brother is a police officer, because he is well-behaved and very friendly. “He only wears his uniform in the office. It was after he was killed that people on his street knew he was a policeman. He has spent a year plus at that Trade Fair Division before the incident occurred. What we the family wants is justice, for the children. The issue is how the children will survive after him and how to take care of them and his young wife, especially their education and their upkeep.”

How I received news of my husband’s death, widow

The distraught widow of the deceased, Mrs. Favour Orukpe, has expressed her concern over her children’s welfare, saying they have been traumatised since the news of their father’s death was broken to them. The mother of four said the news of her husband’s death got to her at home through a message from her brother-in-law, that her husband had been killed.

The following day, “I went to the station to confirm if it was true. When I got there, they took me to the mortuary where I saw my husband’s lifeless body in the mortuary.” Favour said, “The last time I spoke to my husband was on Wednesday when he called me that he was already at work, and that he will be back when he closes from work. So, when he didn’t come back at the time he used to, I began to call his phone at about 5 pm to know what was delaying him, I called his phone severally, but no response. I kept calling until 3:30 am, by 4 am his phone was switched off. “I didn’t dream of anything or have any premonition that something was going to happen.

When my husband left home on the fateful day, he was hale and hearty and I never knew such thing will happen to him. “My husband was all I have, he was my backbone. His plan was to train his children to the highest educational level he can afford. Unfortunately, he is no more, I don’t know what the fate of my children would be, but we place our trust in God his maker and our maker to sustain us after his departure.”

How he was beaten to death by soldiers

It would be recalled that Monday was beaten to a state of coma by yet-to-be-identified soldiers on Wednesday August 3, while on duty controlling traffic with his colleagues at CCC gate on the Lagos/Badagry Expressway. The policemen had explained to the soldiers who ordered them to clear the road to make way for their bus that was trapped in traffic that it was impossible because the road was heavily congested and in annoyance the soldiers pounced on Monday and other policemen, but Monday sustained injuries in the process and died at the hospital where he was rushed to for medical attention on August 4, 2020.

Police to Army: Produce the soldiers that attacked our man

A week after the death of Monday, General Umar Musa, the outgoing General Officer Commanding 81 Division, claimed that a police officer shot at one of their soldiers during altercation which clipped his ear, but narrowly missed his vital parts, which he said annoy the soldiers making them to engage the policemen in a free for all that led to the death of Monday. However, reacting to the claim, the Lagos State Police Command asked the Nigeria Army to produce their man they claimed was shot on the ear by the policeman beaten to death by some soldiers at Trade Fair area of the state.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Benjamin Hundeyin in a statement said the command’s attention was drawn to a report credited to Major General Umar Musa, the outgoing General Officer Commanding 81 Division, claiming that a ‘police officer shot at one of their soldier during altercation which clipped his ear, but narrowly missed his vital parts.’

Hundeyin said, “In as much as the Lagos State Police Command is in a grieving mood and has decided to toe the line of civility, it is pertinent to stand against misinformation.” He said, the fact remains that on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, at the Trade Fair area of Lagos State, about thirty Privates of the Nigerian Army attacked five policemen for stopping vehicles along their lane to pave way for a heavy duty truck joining the expressway. “After the soldiers had brutalised the ASP leading the team, taking out his magazine, and abducted two Inspectors with their rifles, the next Inspector they attempted to attack fired a single shot into the air, an act that made the soldiers retreat. “The single shot was into the air. At no point was anyone hit. The Lagos State Police Command challenges the Army authorities to present the soldier allegedly shot.

“While we mourn our fallen hero, and pray for the total recovery of the second abducted Inspector, we urge Nigerians to disregard the claim that a soldier was shot as there was absolutely no truth to what the General claimed.” Meanwhile, the Lagos State Police Command said it eagerly awaits the report of the panel of inquiry set up by the Nigerian Army to investigate the immediate and remote cause of the incident. “The Command equally looks forward to the fishing out of the soldiers behind the torture and murder of Inspector Monday Orukpe; and the return of two AK-47 rifles and three magazines carted away by the soldiers, in line with the pledge made by the Nigerian Army as conveyed by Brigadier-General KN Nwoko during a condolence visit to the Commissioner of Police, CP Abiodun Ablabi.

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