Francis Odesanya, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, has died, PREMIUM TIMES learnt Tuesday.
Police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, told this newspaper moments ago that Mr. Odesanya passed on while receiving treatment in India. He was 56.
Mr. Moshood said Mr. Odesanya had written to the police headquarters a few weeks ago seeking medical leave abroad, which was granted.
“It was while receiving treatment that we got information about his death today,” Mr. Moshood sir.
The police spokesman urged Nigerians to ignore media reports that the deceased was Foluso Adebanjo.
Mr. Adebanjo, a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, was the former Commissioner of Police in Rivers State.
“He is still alive,” Mr. Moshood told PREMIUM TIMES. “The officer we lost, unfortunately, is Francis Odesanya who was until his death the commissioner in Rivers State.”
Mr. Odesanya’s death comes three months after he clashed with the State Security Service during the botched raid on the home of a Federal High Court Judge in Port Harcourt.
Highly-placed SSS sources blamed Mr. Odesanya for allegedly colluding with Governor Nyesom Wike to thwart the secret police’s mission to arrest a federal judge, Mohammed Liman, in the overnight operation that was part of a coordinated raid across the country on October 7-8, 2016.
“When the commissioner arrived there and saw the SSS director, he did not withdraw. Instead, he sided with the governor and together they provided cover for the judge, against SSS agents,” an SSS official told PREMIUM TIMES at the time.
The officials said the standoff dragged on for hours, and later, under the cover of police, a vehicle left the building. SSS said it believed the vehicle conveyed the $2 million.
“As the vehicle left, SSS vehicle followed but was outmaneuvered,” the source added.
Mr. Odesanya denied the allegation.
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