The death of a suspect at Maracha district police cells has put the police in the spotlight, with politicians in the area demanding that police officers be put to book.
The matter came up on the floor of Parliament following complaints by Denis Lee Oguzu, the Maracha South County MP, who demanded government to give an explanation as to how one suspect died while under police custody.
The deceased was identified as the 20-year old Vicky Ajedra , a peasant farmer in Maracha, who was arrested on September 12, 2017 after being rescued from a mob that wanted to lynch him on allegations of stealing.
And, although the matter had been lined up on the order paper for government to give an explanation, the internal affairs ministers kept dodging to give their explanation, an action that angered the MPs until the statement was presented this afternoon.
Mario Obiga Kania, the State Minister for Internal Affairs, finally tabled the statement, detailing the circumstances leading to the suspect’s death.
According to Obiga Kania, Ajedra was detained and upon release on September 16, 2017 he reportedly stole a phone that was charging, belonging to one of the officers at the station.
The second theft prompted police to re-arrest Ajedra and at around 6pm on the same day, he unsuccessfully attempted to commit suicide using a sisal rope, the Minister told Parliament.
The Minister said the deceased was rushed to a health centre but died after there were no medical personnel on duty, which forced the team to proceed to Maracha hospital.
A postmortem report conducted at Arua Hospital revealed that Ajedra died of ‘obstruction of the airway to the lungs’ as a result of the hanging.
Obiga Kania further told the House that although the officers were arrested pending investigations, it is early for Oguzu to demand for compensation for the deceased’s family before investigations into the matter are completed.
He revealed that the file was sent to Resident State Attorney and police is awaiting advice of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for sanctioning.