Ogun police torture motorcyclist to death, family demands justice

A 39-year-old commercial motorcyclist, Abiodun Oladele, has been reportedly tortured to death while in the custody of the Ogun State Police Command.

Oladele, a father of three, was arrested on April 1 by operatives of the Special Weapon Tactical Team following violence that broke out in Itori, in the Ewekoro Local Government Area of the state.

Some irate youths had protested the killing of a commercial motorcyclist on that day.

The incident occurred when a suspected smuggler, while being reportedly chased by operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service, rammed into the motorcyclist, killing him on the spot.

It was gathered that the incident led to violence, as some youths went on the rampage, setting property on fire.

The protesters also reportedly invaded a hotel where operatives of the NCS usually lodged, destroying property, while vehicles were burnt during the riot, which affected traffic on the old Lagos-Abeokuta highway for almost one hour.

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

It was gathered that Oladele was one of those apprehended during what was described as random arrest following the Itori incident.

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

His elder brother, Omolekan Olugbenga, said the family 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 was dead.

“We were shocked. The next time I went there, the area commander asked how many of us came from the family. I told him 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 lost him.’

“Then, he said we should make arrangements on how to conduct an autopsy so that we could carry the corpse. But I told him that I won’t be able to carry the corpse because it was beyond me; we have other family members at home,” he added.

Olugbenga explained that while Oladele was in custody, other suspects who were arrested and held in the same custody with him were released on bail.

According to him, the released suspects revealed that Oladele died after being tortured.

“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 nostrils. They said when the pain was too much, they called the police, but they failed to respond. They said around 5am, my brother fainted. The police later came and carried him. Those guys said they did not know where they took him to.

“I did not see his corpse, but it is in their custody. 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 arson. They just went to one place and arrested all of them,” he added.

When contacted, the state PPRO, Oyeyemi, said, “I am not sure something of such happened. But I will find out and get back to you.”

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