Monday, July 28, 2014

How Policemen Tortured 29-Year Old Man To Death In Agege, Died In The Presence Of His Parents

…How police rushed him to the hospital

…Died in the presence of his parents
…Neighbours said he was a gentle man

Policemen attached to the Elere Division, Agege, Lagos on Thursday raided Ajayi Ibe Street, arresting and torturing three suspects, one of which died the following day.

Punch Metro learnt that the victim, identified as Kazeem Oyolola, had been a resident on the street for about one-and-a-half years.

It was further learnt that Oyolola, an indigene of Oyo State, who was single and about 29 years, died at a private hospital in the area on Friday after the beating by the policemen.

Our correspondent gathered that at about 10.30am on Thursday, Oyolola and two of his friends went to a beer shop opposite his residence, where they were taking drinks.

A police van with four policemen was said to have driven into the street and went to an unknown destination. However, when the van was returning, the policemen were said to have arrested the three men.

It was learnt that the police had arrested Oyolola and his friends as suspected Internet fraudsters, otherwise known as Yahoo boys.

Our correspondent further gathered that while at the station, the policemen had allegedly tortured the three men to make them confess to the crime, during which Oyolola slumped.

The policemen, it was learnt, then rushed him to a nearby hospital in the area, and allegedly told the medical personnel that Oyolola was drunk.

However, as a result of the wounds sustained, he was said to have died in the hospital at midnight in the presence of his parents who travelled to Lagos after they learnt of his arrest.

When our correspondent visited the area, an eyewitness, said the police simply dragged the three men inside the van without any explanation.

She said, “I was sitting in front of my shop when the police van passed. They had initially come during the sanitation to pursue some traders away, but when they got here, we were already through with the exercise.

“Kazeem and his two friends were relaxing in the next shop. The policemen just asked them to come inside the van, and took them away. We did not know what they were arrested for. In the afternoon when we went to the station, we were not allowed to enter.

“At evening time, when I came back to check, I heard he had been taken to a nearby hospital, and that his condition was critical. By the next morning, we heard that Kazeem had died, while his two friends who received similar wounds had been released by the police to go and take care of themselves. The youth in the area staged a protest against the incident.”

When our correspondent got to the hospital where Oyolola died, the nurses and doctor on duty declined to give any comment on the matter.

At Oyolola’s residence, a tenant who begged for anonymity noted that when she visited him at the hospital on Thursday evening, Oyolola’s hands and legs were swollen, and he could not speak.

She said, “When I got to the hospital, his parents had arrived to look after him. His hands and legs were swollen. His mouth was wide open and he could not talk. You could see several bleeding spots all over his body. I do not know what information the police received, but I can tell you that Kazeem is an easygoing man in this area. He is a trader who deals in Aluminium products, and he has a younger brother who stayed with him. He should not have died in this cruel way.”

Our correspondent learnt that on Friday morning from about 10am, a large number of aggrieved youths in the area protested Oyolola’s death to the police division. However, they were said to have been resisted by the Rapid Response Squads, who allegedly shot into the air to scare away the protesters.

Oyolola’s corpse, as of the time of report, was said to have been deposited at a morgue in Yaba, Lagos.

The Lagos State Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, said she would call our correspondent back, but had yet to do so at the time of going to press.