Ifeoma Abugu: Bride-to-be family suspects rape, SARS claim cocaine overdose

Ifeoma Abugu killed by SARS

The family of Ifeoma Abugu, a young woman who died in the custody of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Abuja, has said they suspect she was raped.

Abugu, a graduate of the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu State, was arrested by SARS operatives at the residence of her fiancé Afam Ugwunwa in Wumba village, Lokogoma area of Abuja.

The following day, the 28-year-old who recently concluded her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) one-year programme died.

She had visited her fiancé after the introduction in Enugu four days earlier in preparation for the wedding in December.

Her family has asked the police to immediately do an autopsy and forensic investigation to determine the cause of death.

But the SARS claim she died of cocaine overdose.

BBC Pidgin could not speak with Mr Ugwunwa as the family lawyer said he was still in shock over the incident.

Abugu’s elder brother Alex said the family was heartbroken.

It was gathered that the three SARS officers of the Federal Capital Territory Command that carried out the operation were on illegal work.

The deceased’s family lawyer Ifeanyi Mamah told the BBC that the officers did not get permission for the operation.

The officers claim that when they arrived at Ugwunwa’s house to arrest him, they found Abugu unconscious on the bed and took her to a hospital in Maitama, but the hospital management said there was no free bed space.

They further said they took her to Gwagwalada Teaching Hospital but doctors told them on arrival that she was dead.

Contrary to the SARS operatives, the family lawyer said the pictures of Abugu’s body show she was physically and sexually abuse.

Mamah said the family was appealing to the Inspector General of Police to intervene and ensure justice.

Abugu’s elder broda, Alex, who is based in Lagos said he has not been allowed to see his sister’s body.

He said the FCT police has asked the SARS officers concerned to cover the cost of investigation placed at almost N600,000.

The FCT police commissioner Bala Ciroma has ordered a probe of Abugu’s death.