How my brother died in NDLEA cell — Suspect 

Last week, the media was awash with a story of the mysterious death of a 29-year-old Kenneth Ayogu inside the cell of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA in Kaduna state. The young man was arrested at Narayi in Chikun LGA of the state for allegedly being in possession of pentazocine injection by officials of the agency and few days later when family members who were not aware of his whereabouts traced him to NDLEA cell in Kaduna state, they were shocked to be told that his body was in the mortuary.

Pentazocine injection is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. It may also be used before surgery or with a general anesthetic (medicine that puts you to sleep). Pentazocine belongs to the group of medicines called narcotic analgesics (pain medicines). It acts on the central nervous system (CNS) to relieve pain.

Spokesman of the family, Michael Ayogu alleged that he was tortured to death and efforts they made to carry out a post mortem were thwarted by officials of the agency and police

In their response, NDLEA debunked their claims and stated that the suspect was arrested alongside his brother and a neighbor over drug offence and they were all in the same cell when he took ill. The agency further said he was promptly taken to the hospital where he later died and denied frustrating efforts to carry out post mortem.

However, his brother who was arrested with him and later released, Chinonoso Mathew, 26, opened up in this interview by stating the circumstances that led to the death of the suspect.

“My name is Chinonso Mathew. I was in the house at Narayi village when my brother, Kenneth Ike Ayogu was arrested by men of NDLEA in his shop in the same Narayi and brought to the house for a search. As at the time he was brought to the house, he was looking so rough and manhandled. Both of us and one other person were later taken to their office in Kaduna on the 13th of October at about 11:30 am. We were taken straight to the cell and later brought out one after the other for interrogation. In my own case, I told them in my statement that I don’t deal in any illegal drugs and I was allowed to go on bail on the 16th of October at about 3 pm.

We were more than 70 suspects in a very small cell with poor ventilation. So many people were made to stand up for the whole day as there was no space to sit down and some have been there for months. We were fed by only those who brought food for their relations in the cell. From what I observed, there were about four different cells located within the premises, all fully occupied with suspects.
In their response, NDLEA debunked their claims and stated that the suspect was arrested alongside his brother and a neighbor over drug offence and they were all in the same cell when he took ill. The agency further said he was promptly taken to the hospital where he later died and denied frustrating efforts to carry out post mortem.

However, his brother who was arrested with him and later released, Chinonoso Mathew, 26, opened up in this interview by stating the circumstances that led to the death of the suspect.
“The size of the cell is about 1,200 mm by 1,200 mm and more than 50 to 70 suspects were kept there like stock fish. When you sit down, you must open your legs and another person will sit in between your legs while everybody was taken out one after the other for interrogation.

“I was in Kenneth’s room when officials of the agency came with him from his shop and found pentazocine injection which belonged to Kenneth. They arrested both of us and took us to their office on 13th October, 2022. In my statement, I told them that the injection belonged to Kenneth but they kept me till 16th October, 20222, Sunday afternoon when I was released.

By then Kenneth had been hospitalized. In the cell, Kenneth complained about his chest and at a point, he started having high temperature. That was in the evening on the 15th. At a point, he was talking to himself and calling the name of someone I don’t know and he kept on muttering that he would deal with the person whenever he came out of the cell. At a stage, he started convulsing. We called the attention of NDLEA officials but nobody responded. He was making statements we could not comprehend. It was when he became unconscious that officials of the agency came and removed him from the cell. No doctor came to the cell to treat him while he was writhing in pains and running temperature.

No medication was also given to him in my presence. I only saw that he was vomiting blood. It was after my release that I heard he died. I am of the firm opinion that his death should be associated with his ordeal during and after his arrest and detention because he never complained of any illness prior to his arrest.

Credit: Vanguard


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