The traditional ruler of Abule-Okuta, Bariga in Lagos State, Wasiu Jinadu, has accused policemen attached to the Bariga Police Division of allegedly torturing his son, Taiwo, to death over a misunderstanding on Christmas Day.
It was gathered that Taiwo was arrested on Christmas Day after a local footballer, identified only as Toyin, reported to the police that the victim punched him during a misunderstanding.
After torturing the young man, the police reportedly rushed him to the Somolu General Hospital, where he died due to the impact of the victim’s injuries during the alleged torture.
Speaking with PUNCH, Jinadu said the nurse on duty told them that the police dropped Taiwo in the hospital and claimed that he fell inside a gutter while drunk.
“On Friday, December 25, 2020, my son and his friends were celebrating Christmas on Alubarika Street in Bariga when one Toyin, who had a misunderstanding with him a week before Christmas, reported to the police that Taiwo punched him in the mouth.
“My son had left his friends to purchase some clothes and was returning when policemen, in an attempt to arrest him, used their vehicle to crush the motorcycle conveying him back to Alubarika Street. Taiwo and the motorcyclist fell inside drainage and the police took him into custody.
“When I was informed by Taiwo’s friends, I was assured that the situation was under control. But surprisingly, Toyin came to my palace around 5am the following day and met Taiwo’s younger brother, Gbolahan.
“He told Gbolahan that the police said Taiwo was sick and that they took him to the Somolu General Hospital for treatment. Gbolahan and Toyin went to the hospital and when they got there, they saw a foamy substance coming out of Taiwo’s mouth,” he said.
While lamenting the impact of the victim’s injuries during the alleged torture, Jinadu said Toyin and his family members fled from the community when the news of his son’s death became public knowledge.
“According to the nurse on duty, the police dropped Taiwo in the hospital and claimed that he fell inside a gutter while drunk. Since Saturday, December 26, 2020, my son was placed on oxygen till he died.
“The police tortured him. The injuries he sustained were severe. At a point, we wanted to do a head test, which cost about N750,000, but while he was still struggling to live in the hospital, we took him to LUTH and LASUTH, where he was rejected due to lack of bed space.
“My son died around 3am on Wednesday after all efforts to revive him proved abortive. His corpse has been deposited in the LASUTH mortuary,’ he said.
The victim’s mother, Modinat, said he had a swollen head and bruises at his back.
“I blame Toyin for involving the police; if the police were not involved, my son would still be alive,” she added.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, confirmed that the police arrested the deceased, but denied torturing him to death.
“But while being conveyed to the station in a police vehicle, he jumped out of the moving vehicle and was rearrested. When they got to the station, they took his statement and in the process, it was discovered that he had taken a lot of drugs and was intoxicated.
“He even vomited at the counter. So, he was taken to a hospital for treatment and was placed on admission.
“The allegation that he was tortured by the police is not true. He sustained the bruises when he fell from the moving vehicle and he acted that way because he was under the influence of drugs and was not thinking rationally.
“Inasmuch as we feel bad that we lost him, we believe he didn’t commit a capital offence that warranted his death. It was quite unfortunate that we lost him and we sympathise with the family,” the police said.
Meanwhile, a tenant has been accused of using the police to harass the relatives of an Oyo State-based widow at her house located at Bilyman Usman Street in Jab, Abuja.