Tragedy struck in Oke-Afa community, Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State yesterday, when a 43-year-old man was allegedly tortured to death by Lagos policemen attached to Okokomaiko Police Station.
The deceased, identified as Bukola Adeogun, was arrested along with over 30 residents of the community by the policemen at about 10p.m., Tuesday night, during an alleged raid of criminal hideouts.
Vanguard newspaper reports that Bukola, who operates a lotto kiosk located at the entrance of his 23 Oke-Afa Street residence, was allegedly arrested while leaving the kiosk for his apartment.
It was learned that aside Bukola, the 29 other residents arrested during the raid were allegedly detained while in shorts.
Bukola, a father of four including a two-month-old baby, was said to have been allegedly tortured during interrogation.
The deceased’s wife, Adewunmi, told Vanguard that few minutes after the Lagos policemen left the community, she went to the station, but was not allowed to see her late husband. Her words:
“He was about leaving his shop when the police apprehended him on Tuesday night and efforts to ensure he was not taken to the station proved abortive.
After they left the community, I went straight to the police station with some co-tenants, begging them to release him to me. But they did not. I was asked to come today (yesterday), to bail him.
I left the station that night.
At about 2a.m. today (yesterday), the Police brought my husband home and he was emitting foams from his mouth. He could not move any part of his body. All efforts to revive him proved abortive.
When I inquired from those who were arrested with him, they claimed that he was tortured and tear-gassed during interrogation.
On realising the consequence of me arriving at the station today (yesterday) to meet the corpse of my husband, they decided to release his body at about 2a.m.”
Vanguard reports that when they visited the station at about 11a.m., hundreds of youths and relatives of the deceased were sighted at the entrance of the station, demanding to have a chat with the officers that came to their community for the raid.
A relative to the deceased, who identified himself as Yusuf, told Vanguard that the Police was responsible for his brother’s death. He said:
“Why would he be released at 2a.m. and not either yesterday (Tuesday) night or this morning(yesterday)? It is an indication that they knew the consequence of their atrocity. We will not allow this to be swept under the carpet.”
In a swift reaction, Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Chike Oti, told Vanguard that the policemen were not responsible for the death of the 43-year-old man. Oti said:
“What happened is that criminal hideouts within that axis were raided by the policemen attached to Okokomaiko Police Station. “He was among those brought to the station for interrogation.
Few minutes later, a woman stormed the station claiming that her husband was among those arrested during the raid. “She claimed that the man was sick and demanded that he should be released to her. “The Police obliged her and they went home together. So, no one died within the station’s premises and he was not tortured to death.”