The Chief of Ziope, Torgbui Gborli III, has, on behalf of the Felix Azibodzi family, petitioned President Akufo-Addo and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to constitute an independent committee to investigate the circumstances leading to the death of Felix Azibodzi in custody at the Volta Regional Police Headquarters in Ho.
The late Felix Azibodzi was arrested by the police on August 9, 2023, with an allegation that a picture of a stolen car was seen on his phone status page, and put in custody at the Volta Region Police Headquarters.
Torgbui Gborli accused the police of subjecting Felix Azibidzi to life threatening physical abuse in the bid to force him to admit a crime he knew nothing about which killed him the same day.
Addressing a press conference at Avemadorlakui in the Ziope Traditional Area of the Agortime-Ziope District, the Chief said the police continued maltreating Azibodzi until he died in their hands.
Torgbui Gborli disclosed that the police informed the Azibodzi Family on August 9 that they arrested Felix Azibodzi and he was in police custody, but became sick and allegedly took him to the Ho Teaching Hospital, but he did not survive.
He continued that in view of the circumstances, the police led the Azibodzi Family to the hospital on August 16, 2023, only to be informed that the body of the late Azibodzi was deposited at the mortuary, and asked the family to identify their dead relative.
According to Torgbui Gborli, the family identified the body as their son, but initial observations of the body showed several clear marks of torture rather than mere sickness, saying when the suspect fell sick, according to the police, they failed to inform the family and when he died too, the police did not informed the family and decided to deposit the body in the mortuary without the family’s consent.
Torgbui Gborli said having observed the tortured body, which corroborated with medical reports which indicated that the deceased had a perforated right eyeball with a deep hole, twisted neck, broken front teeth, lacerations and broken bones on both legs, blood clots, wounds on the lips, nose, and head.
He said having observed the medical report, the family was overwhelmed with shock and grief over what they described as a well-rehearsed murder of their son, saying he was not surprised about the police antics, because it had been a stock-in-trade of personnel of the Ghana Police Service to subject suspects in custody to life threatening physical abuse in a bid to force them into admitting crimes they knew nothing about.
The Chief, on behalf of the Azibodzi family, gave a three-day ultimatum to the IGP to respond to the family request to know who ordered the arrest of Felix Azibodzi, who supervised his murder, and on what authority did the police got to deposit the dead body in the mortuary without the family’s permission.
Torgbui Gborli noted that it was an undeniably fact that Felix Azibodzi was one of those countless innocent victims of police brutalities who could not withstand such torture, which led to the gruesome murder of Azibodzi in the circumstances was an affront to the rule of law, noncompliance with due process of law and total disregard for Felix Azibodzi’s founder mental human rights.
The widow, Ophilia Adjei, said the husband was the bread winner of the family, and as he had left her and the two years old son, life would be difficult them, and called for justice for her late husband who she said was always strong and went about his duties.