Distraught by the torture and subsequent killing of Azuka Ossai, a native of Aboh in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State by military personnel, the family of the deceased has petitioned the Army authorities.
In a petition to the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Farouk Yahaya, dated October 27, 2021 and copied Brigadier General Abdullahi Idris of 63 Battalion, Asaba, Delta State, father of the deceased, Chief Ifeanyi Nwadei Ossai, urged the Army chiefs “to ensure that thorough investigation is carried out to unravel the motive behind the killing of my dear son, Azuka Ossai, at the prime of his life.”
Recalling how Azuka met his tragic end, his father stated that it began in the wee hours of Monday, October 18, 2021 when military personnel, attired in mufti, visited the home of the deceased and ‘invited’ him out.
The duo soon arrived the construction site of Enikkom Nigeria Limited, an oil services firm operating in the area, whereupon Azuka was promptly accused of having masterminded the stealing of an Armoured cable worth about N300,000.
“But curiously, instead of handing over the “accused” to the Police for proper investigations – especially as the deceased vehemently proclaimed his innocence – the military personnel, who was apparently attached to the company, proceeded to mete out severe life-threatening torture on Azuka.
“First, he was thoroughly beaten up, then put into a drum filled with a mixture of diesel and petrol and then covered up for several hours, from 11 a.m. to around 5 p.m.,” the petition to the COAS alleged.
“When they saw that he was almost lifeless, his tormentors proceeded to compel him to eat, but because of his poor state, he couldn’t, managing to take in only a spoon before relapsing,” the petition added.
Chief Ossai stated that it was at that point that the torturers decided to take the hapless Azuka to the Aboh Divisional Police Station, but the Officer in charge of the station seeing the condition of the ‘accused’ refused to take him in, but rather urged the Army personnel and his colleagues to take the victim to the hospital.
Sadly, however, the middle aged man gave up the ghost on the way to Brema Hospital, where the doctor on duty certified him brought in dead (BID).
The perpetrators, the petition stated, then proceeded to deposit his remains at St. Luke Mortuary, Kwale, Ndokwa West LGA, without recourse to any member of the late Azuka’s family member.
“It is sad to observe that an Army personnel would leave his primary obligation and choose instead to perform the duty of the Nigeria Police, which is supposed to handle the so-called case of alleged stealing,” Chief Ossa lamented.
The petitioner named one Onyeniche Ossai, also a native of Aboh, as the person who reportedly mentioned the late Azuka Ossai as a suspect in the loss of the Armoured cable – requesting that he, along with all those who had a hand in the death of his son, must be brought to justice.