The Anti-Cultism Unit of the Cross River State Police Command has allegedly killed a worker at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Mr. Nakanda Edet.
The incident was said to have happened on Tuesday on the hospital’s premises during a reception organised by the institution’s management after the May Day celebration.
While a hospital source said Edet was strangled for alleged cult-related activities, the police claimed he was wanted in a murder case and died while being chased for arrest.
The source told Punch that the deceased had been on the wanted list of the police for a long time.
He added that the police got information that he was at the workers’ reception party and a police squad appeared to arrest him.
The source noted that the late Edet took to his heels and was later found dead on the hospital’s premises.
He said, “The worker had been involved in cult-related activities and was on the wanted list of the police.
“He had always been elusive, but luck ran out on him when the police, acting on a tip off, trailed him to the institution during the reception after the May Day celebration.
“On sighting the officers of the task force, who were heading in his direction, Edet took to his heels for safety towards the back of the administrative block of the UCTH. Unfortunately, he died and could not be revived.
“The officer, who ran after him, suddenly returned to the car park area without the man he pursued. He (policeman) asked his colleagues at the reception venue to retreat immediately. They went out and zoomed off immediately through the UCTH back gate.
“Not long after, the lifeless body of Edet was discovered by some of the staff workers behind the administrative building. On a closer examination, it was discovered that he was strangled.”
The Chief Medical Director of the UCTH, Prof. Thomas Agan, confirmed the death, but said investigation was ongoing to unravel the reason he was killed.
“He was killed by the police. I do not know for what reason, but we are also investigating the matter through an autopsy,” he said.
But the state Police Public Relations Officer, Irene Ugbo, who confirmed the death of the UCTH worker, absolved the police of blame.
“The young man had been on the wanted list of the police over a murder case which he was involved in. We got information that he was at a reception venue in the UCTH and the police went for him.
“On sighting our men, he took to his heels. But while he was being chased, he fell and died,” she said.