Police deny torturing suspect to death in Ogun

THE Ogun State Police Command has denied allegations that its officers tortured a suspect remanded in its custody, Seyi Samson, to death.

This was contained in a statement by the state’s Police public relations officer (PPRO) Omolola Odutola on Sunday, November 26.

Odutola said the command was committed to safeguarding citizen’s rights, including those in their custody.

“Ogun state Police command is well versed in the legal framework that safeguards the rights of individuals in custody, free from all forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment,” she said.

“For the records, the deceased was already charged for cult-related activities, and he was taken to court on Thursday, 23rd November 2023, where he was to be arraigned before a special court on a cultism case in Isabo Abeokuta, but the honourable court did not sit. He was brought back to Eleweran in Abeokuta the same Thursday,” Odutola noted.

She stated that the suspect was to be taken back to the court on Friday, November 24, but began exhibiting strange behaviour early the same day, biting other inmates before he died.

“On Friday, 24th November, at about 0500 hours, Seyi went berserk, shouting, biting with teeth, and assaulted other suspects in the cell until he got exhausted.

“Other suspects in the cell alerted policemen on duty, and he was allegedly taken to the Police hospital and later to Ijaye General Hospital Abeokuta, along with other suspects he gave bites in the cell for medical treatment against infection. Other suspects were treated and discharged, but Seyi, while on medical attention, later gave up the ghost. Every other allegation is hereby debunked,” she noted.

Police accused of killing suspect

On Saturday, a social media user, Anne Abidemi Akinnagbe, who identified herself as the deceased’s cousin, made a post on Facebook accusing the Police of being involved in his death.

She disclosed in the post, which has now been deleted, that the deceased, whom she referred to as Seyi, was arrested on Monday, November 20, when he went to charge his phone.

    Screenshot of post calling Ogun Police out over Seyi Samson’s death.

    “It was hot, so he had removed his shirt at the front of the house where he sat with another friend. The Police drove by and saw them, parked and started questioning them. They said he was a cultist because he had tattoos. Tattoos he got when he went to SA, mostly Bible verses and DOBs. They took him to Eleweran from Sagamu. They would later release the person he was arrested with but kept my cousin there,” she noted in the post seen by The ICIR.

    Akinnagbe, however, noted that when the deceased’s sister visited the Police station to deliver food to him, she was told he had died after being made to wait for hours.

    “His sister went on Friday to give him food. She got there, and they asked her to taste the meal, which she did. Then go and bring him; they started turning her round and round. She waited and waited, they didn’t produce Seyi. She went close to the cell, and the inmates told her he wasn’t there. Shortly after, they called her into the DPO’s office. They told Toyin that Seyi suddenly started talking to himself and was restless, so they took him to the hospital, where he stopped breathing.

    “Nigeria Police took my cousin who was hale and hearty, sane to the point of prostrating and begging them that he wasn’t a cultist, they took him on Monday, somehow he had managed to become insane and where they took Toyin to was the mortuary where he was embalmed, lying lifeless and cold. Nigeria Police didn’t have anyone to call when Seyi was talking to himself; he had to have died and lying in the morgue, and his sister had to come in and be turned around for hours before they would later take her to the morgue to see him,” she noted.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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