A trader, Kehinde Omotosho, who was arrested for an offence allegedly committed by his nephew, Kabiru Rasaq, has died in the custody of the police in Oyo State.
It was gathered that policemen from the State Criminal Investigation Department and Agugu Police Station stormed the residence of the deceased on Ifedapo Street in the Alajameta area of Ibadan on July 16, 2020.
The officers claimed that they were looking for the victim’s nephew, who was alleged to have been involved in a fracas.
Upon discovering that the suspect was not around, the cops reportedly arrested Omotosho and the suspect’s younger brother, Jelili Rasaq.
They were taken to the Agugu Police Station and later transferred to the State CID office at Iyaganku.
Seven days after the arrest, Kehinde reportedly died in detention, as efforts by his family to see him were frustrated by the police.
Jelili, who was released on Wednesday, said that more than 100 suspects were locked up with them in the cell.
He said, “The police invaded our street last Thursday around 1am and started shooting continuously, which created panic because we thought that they were armed robbers.
“When they got to our doorstep and asked us to open the door, we were scared. But when they said they were policemen, we opened. They rushed in and asked where Kabiru was. We told them that he was not around. They searched everywhere and when they did not see him, they took us away.
“They went round to arrest some other people in their houses and took all of us to the Agugu Police Station. They later transferred us to the state CID that night.
“Our family members did not know our whereabouts. We were taken to see the Officer-in-Charge on Monday. He asked us if we knew Kabiru and the deceased told them that he would produce him. The OC took us to another senior officer and told him that the deceased said he would produce Kabiru. The senior officer ordered that our bail should be prepared and that our family members should be contacted.
“When we got back to our cell, I noticed that the deceased became incoherent and was not breathing well. I notified the police, but he died before he was rushed to the hospital.
“He was not sick before we got into the cell. There were over 100 people in the cell with us; I think he could not cope with the condition of the place.”
The deceased’s daughter, Kadijat, urged the police to investigate the circumstances that led to her father’s death.
She said, “It was three days after their arrest that we knew that they were at the state CID. We were not allowed to see them when we got to the station, so we had to get a lawyer. The lawyer told us that he saw them on Monday. But to our surprise, we got a call from the state CID that my father fainted inside the cell and he had been rushed to hospital. It was later we discovered that my father died in the station before he was taken to the hospital. We want justice because we don’t know why my father was arrested for the offence he did not commit and died in the process; the police are not even taking the blame.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Olugbenga Fadeyi, said the deceased fell ill while in detention and was rushed to the hospital where he died.
He said, “There was a clash between members of the Oodua Peoples’ Congress and cultists in the area. The Agugu Police Station moved swiftly into the area to arrest the perpetrators and ensure that hoodlums did not unleash mayhem on innocent citizens; but the clash resulted in the murder of one person.
“Some arrests were made randomly because the police did not know who was who and it was after the arrest they started screening the suspects and releasing those that were not culpable.
“In the process of investigating and checking the people arrested in the area, the deceased took ill and he was taken to the police clinic where he eventually died and the family was informed. The police refused to release the corpse because an autopsy must be conducted to ascertain the cause of his death.”