My aged dad died from high BP when he saw me being bundled into a car boot –Man battered for alleged sexual affair with cop’s wife
Alexander Okere, Benin
He had a husky voice and his physical appearance hardly hid his misery. What began like a usual day on October 12, 2017, for Ese Idehen, ended up entangling him in a crisis that has caused pains and an irreparable loss.
Idehen, a 32-year-old who trades in the supply of granite and sand from Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Edo State, caught the interest of Internet users after a video of him being battered by a group of young men who accused him of an alleged sexual affair with the wife of a policeman went viral. The video had also shown him being questioned about his relationship with the cop’s wife identified as one Sarah Emopkae and said to be based in Europe before he was bundled into the boot of a waiting vehicle.
Some of the men could be heard asking him who “gave” the woman to him; others took turns to hit him. But Idehen, who narrated his ordeal to Saturday PUNCH, denied the allegations, insisting that he was set up by the policeman whose name he gave as one Nagbama Eboigbe, aka Smally, for being an “ordinary” friend to the woman, said to be Eboigbe’s ex-wife.
Efe’s affliction began on October 9, when Eboigbe, a police sergeant, angrily rushed into his supposed ex-wife’s apartment in Benin, after apparently seeing her in the company of Efe.
Narrating his ordeal, he explained, “I got married in February 2016. I was not having an affair with the wife of a policeman. The lady in question, Sarah, is just a friend. I met her at Randeki Gold Hotel, Benin, two months ago and that was where we became friends. There was nothing attached.
“That fateful day that Smally met me in her house, she had called me to come and take her in my car to her mother’s house. I was in her sitting room with her younger brother when Smally barged in. She was in her room. He went straight to her bedroom. Since I did not know him before, I approached him and asked him what happened.
“The next thing I saw was that he brought out a gun and started fighting me. When I saw the gun, I was scared and could not talk to him. He left with one of my phones, so I called my line and asked him to return my phone. He told me to come so that he could confirm something from the phone; he told me to meet him at a car wash at Adesuwa.
“When I got there and asked him why he left with my phone, he told me that he had been married to the lady. But I explained to him that I had nothing to do with the woman and demanded the return of the phone. The next thing I saw was a group of boys, who came out of his car and started beating me up. I managed to lure them from an enclosed place when they were beating me to an open area so that if they wanted to kill me, they would do so in the eyes of the public.”
Efe said that he was later taken to Ugbor police station where he was detained overnight and handcuffed, allegedly through the influence of Eboigbe, before he was released by the divisional police officer the following day.
“The investigative police officer did not take my statement; he said that Smally was his friend. I pleaded with him to allow me to park my car safely. So, he took me in an Audi car to the place to retrieve my car. I was handcuffed. He refused to let my wife take my car home but impounded it at the station,” he stated.
He continued, “When the DPO came in the next morning and saw my vehicle, he asked for the owner and they told him that I was the owner but that I was detained for sleeping with a policeman’s wife. But the DPO rebuked them and ordered them to remove me from the cell and bring me to his office to settle the matter.
“Sarah came and explained everything to the DPO. When Smally came, he (DPO) warned him never to come close to me again because I did not have an issue with him. He later told me to go home.”
Similarly, Sarah corroborated Efe’s claims when Saturday PUNCH contacted her, adding that though traditionally married to Eboigbe, they had lived apart after he allegedly threw her out of their matrimonial home on February 9, 2017. She also said that efforts by her parents to return her pride price hit a brick wall after he allegedly demanded the sum of N4m as a condition for him to accept the refund.
When asked if she had any amorous relationship with the man, the 31-year-old said, “It is not true because, for the past nine months, Smally and I have not lived in the same house. I was not having any relationship with Ese; we were just casual friends. We did not have an affair as lovers.”
“It is just that Smally is blackmailing me; he is asking me for N4m before he would accept the refund of my bride price. My parents cannot provide N4m for no reason. Besides, I do not have the money. Since then, I left my family house so that he would not disturb me. I rented a house in GRA.
“We were not communicating until I met Ese at Randeki Gold. With the way I was looking, he felt that something was wrong with me. So, he met me and greeted me. He asked me what the problem was and I told him what I was passing through. Since then, Ese and I have been friends and he did not even approach me to be his girlfriend.”
But the purported settlement of the issue by the DPO apparently did not last as Ese was allegedly lured by one of his friends to a hotel in the metropolis, where he was attacked for the second time.
“One of my friends, Ohenhen, called me that he wanted us to settle the matter. So, I rushed down to the place located at Third junction in Benin. Suddenly, Smally came out with about 12 boys and they started beating me again,” he said.
Explaining his suffering in the hands of the attackers, he asserted, “They dragged me and messed me up. They dragged me into the boot of Smally’s vehicle. Smally also hit my head with the butt of his pistol. I was blindfolded and taken to a place I did not know. When they got there, they poured drinks on my head and I thought they wanted to kill me. They forced me to agree to whatever they said to me if I did not want to be killed and I agreed.
“So, they brought out their phones and asked me the number of times I had slept with the woman. I said once. They took some of my belongings- N120,000, my gold chain worth over N180,000 and my wristwatch worth about N30,000. That night, after recording me, they blindfolded me again and left me in a location, which I later discovered to be in Ihama in GRA. It was from there that my cousin took me to Benin Specialist Hospital.”
But tragedy struck five days later when he lost his aged father as a result of the shock he had when he saw the viral video showing his son being forced into the boot of a car with his clothes torn to pieces like a suspected criminal.
He said, “The video led to my father’s death. As I speak to you, I no longer have a father. When my niece saw the video, he was surprised. So, he quickly ran down to the house to tell my father. When he showed my father the video, he was shocked to see me being bundled into the boot of a car and he wondered where I was being taken to. That was how my father’s blood pressure rose. My mother later informed me and I quickly rushed him to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital and that was where he died.”
Efforts by Saturday PUNCH to reach Eboigbe were unsuccessful as it was learnt that he had been arrested by the police authorities. When contacted, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, said that the matter was still under investigation. He, however, gave an assurance that the cop would be sanctioned if found culpable.
Kokumo stated, “They have told me what actually transpired but the investigation is not yet concluded. We have a disciplinary process for erring police officers. If our investigation reveals that he has demonstrated incivility, he will go through the normal police disciplinary process.
“Smally, I want to believe, is a member of the rank and file; he is a sergeant. If found wanting, he will go through the departmental trial. I can assure you that.”
But peeved by his alleged maltreatment and the tragic loss of his father, the victim filed a petition through his lawyer, Mr. Jefferson Uwoghiren, to the commissioner of police alleging kidnapping, assault and battery, demanding justice from the state government and the police.
Efe vowed, “I will go ahead with my legal action because my dad died as a result of what happened to me. The policeman indirectly killed my father because if he had not done what he did to me, I would not have lost my father. My late dad and I were very close because I was his last child.
“I want the government and the police to give me justice on this matter. It was a setup because they wrote on Facebook that they saw me with a married woman in a hotel, a hotel where they called me to meet them. I want justice and I can go to any length to get justice on this matter.”
His wife, Berta, also maintained that her husband was innocent of the allegation levelled against him.
She had in a Facebook post said, “Everyone knows that this is a big setup. The matter is already under investigation. All those involved in this barbaric act will all be caught and severely punished.”
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