Authorities of the Bayelsa State Police Command have confirmed the failed attempt to allegedly steal the corpse of the 27-year- old suspect, Goodluck Oviekeme, whose arrested and death in custody had triggered protest in the state capital.
Oviekeme was arrested on Tuesday alongside eight others over alleged attack on a Policeman and theft of his service rifle. But died after a strange ailment at the police clinic while he was being treated.
The spokesman of the Bayelsa State Police Command, Asinim Butswat, while speaking with Niger Delta Herald confirmed that there was an attempt to steal the corpse of the deceased suspect but was foiled by vigilatente men on duty.
According to him, “At about midnight on Saturday, there was an attempt to steal the corpse of the deceased but it was foiled by vigilant security men.”
It was gathered that the reasons for the attempt to allegedly steal the corpse which was deposited at the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre by the police is unknown.
But it was also gathered that at about 12am, mortuary attendants at the Federal Medical Center alerted the men of the “Operation Puff Adder” and operatives of the “Anti-cultism” squad of the Police on the strange request by some youths including a State House of Assembly member for the release of the corpse.
Eye Witnesses at the hospital told our correspondent that the strange men arrived the hospital morgue in a Prado Jeep numbered PF 8025 C at about 12 am and were accosted by men of the Operation Puff Adder, operatives of the anti-cultism squad and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Operations.
According to a senior police source , about four unidentified youths were seen in the vehicle led by one ACP Emmanuel Asufi Idowu and a member of the State House Assembly (names withheld).
According to the source, “We got information that the politician, four boys and politicians were trying to retrieve the corpse. When the men of Operation Puff Adder arrived in company of another senior police officer, ACP, Operation. They could not retrieve the corpse.”
“when they were asked what they were doing at the morgue at an unholy hour, they claimed they were at the Medical centre to pay the mortuary bill for the deceased. He was then asked if he was the one that dropped the corpse? He said No. And they drove out of the FMC premises. ”
The ACP operations was however heard commending the staff of FMC for their vigilance and reinforced the order of the State Commissioner of Police, Echeng E. Echeng to protect the corpse and conduct autopsy to unravel the cause of death of the suspect.
It will be recalled that the State Commissioner of Police, Echeng E. Echeng had on Saturday ordered for discreet Investigation and autopsy to determine the cause of death of Goodluck Oviekeme ‘m’ 27yrs following protest by indigenes of Biogbolo Community.
According to the Police, “The deceased suspect was arrested in connection with the armed robbery incident that occurred on 21 September, 2021, at Biogbolo, Yenagoa, when hoodlums attacked Police Patrol team, fatally injured Inspector Ugbotor Sunday and carted away his riffle”.
“Pleminary Investigation reveals that Goodluck Oviekeme was the mastermind of the attack on the patrol team. He was arrested on 22 September, 2021 at about 0300 hours, while in Police custody the suspect was observed to be running high temperature and was rushed to the hospital where he eventually died. The CP condoles with the family of the deceased and assures the general public that investigation has commenced and the outcome will be made public”.