Arua – There is growing tension within security circles following the death of a 28-year-old in Arua central police station (CPS) cells.
The body of Philliam Orodriyo, a resident of Kasua village, Pokea parish, Pajulu sub-county in Arua district was recovered in the cells on Monday morning, May 18.
Reports indicate that Orodriyo was on Friday, arrested from his home by police on allegations of theft of a motorcycle.
“I was planning to go to court to listen to the offence levied against my brother because what I know is, that boy is not a thief. He has never stolen anything and he has a motorcycle. Now how can he go and steal another motorcycle?” David Malaja, the deceased’s elder brother said.
“Unfortunately, I was only informed that he died in the cells even before reaching court, so I felt shocked and I don’t know what to do. What I heard from the police liaison’s officer (CLO) is that they don’t know whether the boy had some sickness before,” Malaja added.
According to Malaja, at the time of his arrest, Orodriyo was fine without any record of accident or sickness.
“But when I saw the body, the face had some scars including swollen mouth, some cuts and damages on his head. However, I couldn’t say anything because post-mortem has not yet been done,” Malaja said.
Similarly, Mr Malon Avutia, the Pajulu sub-county chairperson who also accompanied police and relatives to remove the body from the cells noted that the face had visible scars.
“The body has swollen mouth which can visibly be seen, he has some bruises around the eye, then some bit of cut on the forehead. Conclusively, you can’t tell what brought them on his body until when the Doctor will officially announce the post-mortem result,” Avutia said.
He said in any case, Doctors find out that Orodriyo was tortured, the family will have to hire a lawyer and formerly file a case against the officers who arrested him and those who handled him thereafter.
Avutia appealed to the relatives to remain calm and leave other lawful processes to take place as he is given a decent burial.
But Ms Josephine Angucia, the West Nile region police spokesperson said: “It is true that the suspect (Orodriyo) died in our cells and investigations are going on. His body was taken to hospital for post-mortem and I’m yet to see the result.”
“Statements were recorded from fellow suspects on how he has been behaving in the cells until actually, the last day when he past on. Fellow suspects said that Orodriyo has been over hitting his head on the wall since the other day. So yesterday, they requested that he should be removed and taken to another cell” Angucia stressed.
She said police later transferred Orodriyo to another empty cell (the women wing) where he continued banging his head to death.