Eleven months after the murder of 42-year-old preacher, Eunice Elisha, in Abuja, the Nigerian Police have declined to say whether arrests have been made, or reveal the identities of possible suspects.
A spokesperson said police “cannot manufacture” suspects in the case.
Speaking during an interview with PREMIUM TIMES at the Force Headquarters Abuja, Police Public Relations Officer, Moshood Jimoh, said although investigations had “gone far,” he would not say whether there had been an arrest since the case was transferred to the headquarters.
“I won’t tell you that. We cannot manufacture suspects. You know that in murder related cases, and all capital related offences, it usually takes years. At times the suspect may be resting and feeling that they have escaped successfully, but I can tell you that investigation is ongoing and has gone far,” said Mr. Jimoh.
“You know that the family has relocated. It took a lot of time to get the husband of the deceased to come and testify, after the case was brought here. The matter is being investigated and we will get results very soon. The head of the investigation team is right here. Even the Ministry of Justice is involved. You can keep checking on us,” he added.
Shortly after the murder of Mrs. Elisha on July 9, 2016, the Federal Capital Territory Police Command said it had arrested suspects in the matter, and said their confessions were considered helpful in the investigations into the matter.
“We have made some arrests and they are helping in our investigation,” the former spokesperson for the FCT police command, Manzah Anjuguri had said at the time.
“The commissioner of police has ordered the homicide section of the command to take over the investigation of the case,” said Mr. Anjuguri, the same day Mrs. Elisha was found dead on a street of Kubwa, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory.
However, months later in January this year, the command told PREMIUM TIMES that it had released the arrested suspects whose identities were never disclosed, because it could not link them to the murder.
“What happened is that when the incident occurred, arrests were made. But during the course of the investigation we found that the persons arrested could not be linked to the said murder. And we cannot keep them if we do not have any case against them,” Mr. Anjuguri told PREMIUM TIMES.
“They were released under the condition that they will be invited for questioning whenever the need arises. The commissioner has instructed the Divisional Police Officer for that region to intensify efforts on the matter; the case has not been closed. The investigation is still ongoing,” Mr. Anjuguri had said.
The lawyer representing the family of the deceased, Lawrence Alabi, had informed PREMIUM TIMES about the transfer of the matter to the force headquarters, adding that he had met with officers in charge of the investigation at the headquarters.
“I later met with them. They asked me to take them to the church where the family was worshiping then in Kubwa and to the scene of the crime. We went there; I took them to the house of the deceased, the scene of the incident and to the church,” Mr. Alabi said.