By Ben Ekezie
Lagos State Police Command is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of one Charles Anderson who was allegedly killed by operatives of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
He was said to be running from the operatives who had visited his house at Festac on a raid. He was allegedly shot at and fell into the river where he died. Unknown to the operatives that he had died, his pregnant wife, Joy was arrested and taken away.
Confirming the incident, the state spokesman, Benjamin Hundeyin, a Superintendent of Police stated that the incident happened on March 7, while the corpse of Charles was found on March 9.
He said, “His brother came to the station and confirmed to the police that NDLEA operatives came to arrest the deceased on March 7 around 11pm. The deceased fled and the operatives shot at him. The operatives also went away with his wife. Investigation has been launched by the police into the matter. Bullet wound was seen on the body.”
Meanwhile, the matter has since been taken up by KnoRights , a non-governmental organization calling for immediate release of the wife of the deceased and arrest of those behind the death of Charles. In a petition to the agency, Olusegun Adeeko, Chairman of KnoRights called the attention of NDLEA Chairman, Brig Gen.Buba Marwa (Retd) to expose the illegal activities and extra judicial killing of Mr. Charles Anderson.
Recounting the horror of watching his child die, father of the deceased, Pa Eyi Anderson who witnessed the incident said that on March 7 at about 11.30pm, his late son and wife were outside in front of their apartment enjoying the fresh air and noticed about eight men wearing mask moving towards them.
Minutes later, he heard lots of noise coming from that direction. He saw his son running toward his house before he was shot twice. He fell into the Festac river.
Terrified, Pa Anderson ran out to see his son’s killer and discovered that they were from NDLEA because of their uniform. He admitted that he knew that his son was into illicit drug business and had cautioned him. He believed that his son’s refusal to desist from such business after several arrests was because he had an arrangement with the anti-narcotic agents.
Also supporting his father’s statement, Dallas, kid brother to the deceased claimed that he also heard the noise from his brother’s apartment when he was shouting. He claimed that he heard his brother saying that he had settled through one Mr Chidi that is known to him.
He narrated further that when he heard the gun shots, he came out and saw the NDLEA men who had already arrested his brother’ wife and the officials were ordering her to show them the drugs as an exhibit.
He was also arrested and when the operatives could not find anything incriminating, he was released. The operatives went away with the deceased wife who is pregnant.
The next day the Anderson family reported the matter at the Festac Divisional headquarters where policemen assigned to investigate the shooting discovered the shell of the bullets used by NDLEA officials at the spot where Charles was shot dead. His body was also recovered and deposited at Yaba Morgue.
On the alleged N3m bail fee, Adeeko stated in the petition that the father to the deceased wife, Mr. Captain Bakewel went to Gbagada detention camp to seek for the release of his daughter but was told by one Mr. Kunle that he should bring his son in-law for prosecution.
Bakewel further alleged that Mr Kunle bragged that he was the one who shot Charles and that the deceased who is an Ijaw boy must have swam across to the other side of the river. He refused to believe that Charles was dead until he saw the picture of his dead body.
Despite the discovery that Charles their alleged suspect was dead, the operatives still asked the Bakewel to provide N3million for bail. He alleged that it was one NDLEA operative simply identified as Sunny that made the demand.