‘Keke driver’ did not die in our custody – Rivers Police Command


…He died due to stab injury from vulcanizer- PPRO, DSP Omoni
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Police Command has denied claim that PraiseGod John, a driver of commercial tricycle popularly known as  ‘Keke driver’ died while in detention at Woji Estate Police in Obio/Akpor Local Government of the State.
Rather, the Public Relations Officer of the Rivers state Police Command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, told newsman on Thursday that the deceased had a fight with a vulcanizer, he identified as Godwin Jegede, during which he was stabbed to death.
He, however, added that the Vulcanizer and others suspected to be involved in the murder have been arrested and transferred to State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, for further investigations.
The Police spokesman also warned Keke drivers not to take laws into their hands in the guise of protest over the death of their colleagues by vandalizing properties as the law does not recognize self-help.
However, one Godbless, a cousin to the deceased John had on Wednesday alleged that his brother died at the Police Station, asserting that after his fight with the vulcanizer.
According to him, John was rearrested after the fight and detained by the Police and was only confirmed dead in the hospital where he was rushed to later.
Godbless claimed the Divisional Police Officer of the station seized his phone while he was making calls to alert Civil Societies Organisation of the incident.
Our correspondent learnt that the deceased’s fight with the vulcaniser took place after he was released on last Saturday over the cost of reflating the tyres of his tricycle.
This was after after his cousin secured bail for him following his arrest the previous day for allegedly working too late into the night by the Police.
As was gathered, the Police compelled the deceased to use their official vulcaniser whose charges he considered exorbitant as compared with what other vulcanizersare charging for the same service.
The insistence by the vulcanizer that the deceased should pay him the ‘exorbitant charges’  led to a heated argument and a fight during which John was stabbed.