Tuesday, June 6

Mass protest As Okada Man Dies In Ogun Police Custody

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A commercial motorcyclist, popularly known as Okada rider, Abiodun Oladele, has reportedly died in the Police custody in Ogun State.

Oladele was said to have died following an alleged torture by the operatives of the command.

The father of three was arrested on April 1 by the operatives Special Weapon Tactical Team (SWAT) following a violence that broke out in Itori, Ewekoro Local Government Area, when some irate youths went on rampage to protest killing of a commercial motorcyclist.

A suspected smuggler reportedly being chased by operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service, rammed into the motorcyclist, killing him on the spot.

This, it was gathered, led to pandemonium as youths at the scene of the incident went on rampage, setting properties on fire.

The violent youths invaded a hotel where operatives of NCS usually lodged, destroying properties, while other vehicles were burnt in the melee, which affected traffic on the old Lagos-Abeokuta highway for almost an hour.

The Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said 13 suspects were arrested in connection with the attack.

Our correspondent gathered that Oladele was one of those apprehended during a “random arrest” following the Itori incident.

Oladele, alongside, other suspects was reportedly taken to the police custody at SWAT office at Magbon, Abeokuta, where he was allegedly tortured to death.

His elder brother, Omolekan Olugbenga, told Daily Trust that family members had visited Magbon on April 4 to see the suspect but they were denied access to him.

Olugbenga said when they visited the station for the second time on April 7, the SWAT Commander, Kalejaiye Olarewaju, told them that Oladele had died.

“We were shocked,” he told our correspondent.

He said “The next time I went there, the Area Commander inquired from me, how many of us came from the family? I told them we were about eight, including a lawyer. He asked me to enter with one or two people.

“When we entered with my senior sister, he said ‘the boy got ill, they took him to the Federal Medical Centre for treatment, but we have lost him.’

“Then, he said we should make arrangements on how to conduct an autopsy and so that we can carry the corpse. But I told him I won’t be able to carry the corpse because such a duty is beyond me, we have other family members at home.”

Olugbenga further explained that while Oladele was being held in custody, other suspects who were arrested and held up in the same custody had been released on bail.

According to him, they revealed that Oladele died from pains of tortured in the police custody.

“When I returned to Itori, I saw other guys with whom my brother was arrested. They told me he did not fall sick. They said the operatives beat him, handcuffed him and left him in pain.

“He was bleeding through the nose. They said when the pain was too much, they called the police but they failed to respond. They said around 5am, my brother had fainted. The police later came and carried him. Those guys said they did not know whether they took him to. I did not see his corpse, but it is in their custody.”

Olugbenga demanded for justice, saying his brother knew nothing about the incident he was arrested for.

“We want justice. My brother was not part of those who committed the alleged offence. As a matter of fact, all those arrested, none of them took part in the violent protest and alleged arson. They just went to one place and arrested all of them,” he said.

When contacted, the Police spokesman said “I’m not sure something of such happened. But I will find out and get back to you.”

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