Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council has demanded justice for late Kehinde Omotosho who died in police custody recently.
Omotosho had last month died in police custody in Ibadan, the state capital after spending five days in custody.
NUJ while reacting demanded justice for late Omotosho and another suspect, Mr. Jelili Rasaq, who was arrested in lieu of a criminal suspect known as Kabiru.
Our correspondent gathered that the duo were on Friday 17th July, arrested and detained till Wednesday July 22nd in lieu of another suspect, Kabiru during which Omotosho allegedly died in a mysterious manner in the hands of anti-cultism unit of the Oyo State Criminal Investigation Department.
NUJ in a statement by its Chairman, Comrade Ademola Babalola and Secretary, Comrade Sola Oladapo decried the ill treatment and flagrant violation of the rights of the affected citizens.
The duo regretted that the alleged human right violation of the duo came six weeks after the CP read the riot act to his men against tramping on fundamental rights of citizens.
NUJ alleged that from the moment of their arrest and until the death of the deceased, the officers of the Anti-Cultism Unit prevented the deceased’s and Mr. Jelili Razaq’s family members from visiting them or providing them with food.
The union argued that prior to his unlawful arrest, detention and death, the deceased had no underlying medical ailment.
NUJ said, “After breaking down the door of Mr. Omotosho (now deceased), the police officers demanded to see one Mr. Kabiru who, about 5 months prior to that time, had moved to another apartment in different vicinity.
“Upon realizing that their prime suspect, Mr. Kabiru, no longer resided in the apartment, the police officers arrested the two occupants of the house – Mr. Omotosho (now deceased) and one Mr. Jelili Razaq – in lieu of the suspect.
“At the point of arrest, both Mr. Omotosho and Mr. Jelili Razaq requested to know the crime for which they were being arrested but instead, the police officers gun-whipped them with their weapons several times. Thereafter, the police officers from the Agugu Police Division (led by SOJ) returned to the Agugu Station while officers from the Anti-Cultism Unit proceeded with both the deceased and Mr. Jelili Razaq to the State CID. They were thereafter locked in the cell, alongside about 130 (One Hundred and Thirty) inmates. This was around 1:20am on Friday, 17th July 2020.
“On Monday, 20th July 2020, the deceased and Mr. Jelili Razaq were brought before the Officer-in-Charge of the Anti-Cultism Unit for interview. In the course of the interview, the OC demanded that both the deceased and Mr. Jelili Razaq produce their prime suspect, Mr. Kabiru, before they could be released.
“However, both the deceased and Mr. Jelili Razaq informed the OC that they were all co-tenants, and that Mr. Kabiru had relocated to another place and did not inform them of his new location. Nevertheless, the OC insisted that their release would be consequent upon their production of Mr. Kabiru. They were, thereafter, returned to the cell.
“It was at the point of this interview that the police informed the deceased and Mr. Jelili Razaq that the prime suspect, Mr. Kabiru, was involved in a fight, which led to the death of a person. There was however no suspicion or allegation that either the deceased or Mr. Jelili Razaq were involved in the said fight or committed any crime whatsoever.
“The following day, on 21st July at about 5am, Mr. Kehinde Omotosho, died in police custody. Prior to his death, the deceased spent 5 days in detention while Mr. Jelili Razaq spent 6 days before being released on bail, both without any investigation, reasonable suspicion of crime, or arraignment.
“From the moment of their arrest and until the death of the deceased, the officers of the Anti-Cultism Unit prevented the deceased’s and Mr. Jelili Razaq’s family members from visiting them or providing them with food. Prior to his unlawful arrest, detention and death, the deceased had no underlying medical ailment”.