A police inspector, Okon Essien, who was accused of extra-judicial killing, has committed suicide.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the policeman hanged himself on Wednesday in a cell at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, Yaba.
A source told our correspondent that Essien was brought to the SCIID on Tuesday for allegedly killing a man at the Dangote refinery.
Essien, who was arrested along with three others, was briefly interrogated by detectives and put in the cell for further questioning the following day.
However, the suspect was reported to have used his pair of trousers to hang himself.
“We were still looking at the case and examining the evidence against him. It is shocking that he could do that,” a source said.
Another police source said the cop was allowed to wear his trousers into the cell because he was still in his uniform.
The source stated, “People sometimes ask why suspects are asked to remove their clothes before entering the cell; this is just one of the reasons. A suspect, who committed a capital offence, may feel that instead of going through the stress of trial, he could just end his own life. That is why the police always ask people to take off their clothes.
“But this man was allowed to have his trousers on because you know people thought he was an officer and again, he was in his uniform. He then decided to use the pair of trousers to kill himself. So, who would have thought that he could do that to himself?”
Our correspondent gathered that the state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, visited the SCIID on Wednesday to see things for himself.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, confirmed the incident, adding that the inspector killed himself to avoid trial.
He said, “On February 5, 2020, around 1.30am, one Inspector Okon Essien, detained in the SCIID cell, Yaba, for allegedly shooting and killing one Hassan Stanley, was reported to have killed himself.
“The suspect was arrested at Akodo on January 31, 2020, around 2.40am alongside three of his colleagues namely, Inspector Lawrence Adegboye, Inspector Olorunloju Olusegun and Sergeant Ovbioghi Joseph.
“The police officers were said to have intercepted four suspects namely, Samson Ugonah, Omachi Godwin, Hassan Stanley and Prosper Okoye, along Area 12, Offshore Oil Dangote Refinery Project, Akodo.
“Inspector Okon Essien was alleged to have shot at one of the suspects, Hassan Stanley, resulting in his death. The policemen were arrested and taken to the SCIID, Yaba, for investigation.
“While in custody, the said Inspector Okon Essien was alleged to have killed himself. His corpse was deposited in the mortuary for autopsy.
“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, has ordered an in-depth investigation into the case. Investigation is ongoing.”