Police, family bicker over suspect’s death in custody
Operatives of the FESTAC Town Police Division in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos, have been accused of torturing a suspect, Albert Okechukwu, to death.Okechukwu, an indigene of Aguleri, Anambra State, was arrested last Friday at Alakija, along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
He had just come into the country with his relative, Alex Ejimofor from their Port Novo, Benin Republic base, when policemen stopped and accosted them.According to the victim’s brother, Onyeka, their phones and laptops were searched by the policemen, who accused them of being fraudsters, attempted to extort them.
Onyeka said the duo, in their early 20s, rebuffed the policemen and denied parting with money, which got the security agents angry. He claimed the policemen descended on the two men, hitting them with batons and gun butts.
But the police denied the allegation, insisting that the suspects were mobbed by motorcyclists at Alakija for attempting to dispossess one Salisu Abdulahi.The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of FESTAC Town, Olukole Oladeinde, a Chief Superintendent of Police, in his reaction, said policemen only went to the scene to rescue the suspects from mob action, adding that Okechukwu died while he was being rushed to the hospital.
He said: “It is untrue that policemen tortured the man to death. That’s what the family is claiming to paint the police bad. They were mobbed at Alakija for attempting to steal a motorcycle belonging to one Salisu Abdulahi.
From what policemen learnt at the scene, they did something to Salisu and he became unconscious. Then, they wanted to steal his motorcycle.“Other motorcyclists at the bus stop noticed what happened and descended on them. When policemen got to the scene, the two suspects had been beaten to a pulp. They were seriously injured but were rescued. While they were being taken away, the mob pelted them with stones.”