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Family demands justice as man ‘detained illegally’ dies in police custody

Family demands justice as man ‘detained illegally’ dies in police custody
July 25
10:24 2020

Kehinde Omotosho, a trader at Gbagi market in Ibadan, Oyo state capital, has died after being “detained illegally” at the state criminal investigation department, Iyaganku, Ibadan, Oyo state, for five days.

According to a complaint lodged in Flag’IT, a crime-reporting app launched by the Akin Fadeyi Foundation, Omotosho was arrested in lieu of Jelili, his nephew who was allegedly involved in a fight.

After his arrest, the police reportedly nabbed Jelili but still refused to released Omotosho, who was said to have fallen ill on the fourth day after he was cramped into a small cell which had between 136 and 140 persons inside it.

“Mr Omotosho was kept in Police detention under very inhuman conditions. He and Jelili Rasak Olaotan were detained in a 16 x 16 cell said to be filled already with between 136 and 140 suspects, under very asphyxiating and abhorrent condition,” Akin Fadeyi Foundation said in a statement.

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“Between these days, Mr. Kehinde had no access to any of his relatives and could not feed. He and his fellow detained relative, Jelili depended on begging for miserly portions of bread from fellow inmates.

“He could not sleep because they were all standing all night days after days upon days inside this dingy cell. By Monday night, 4 days after a very horrendous experience, Mr. Omotosho had developed so much discomfort that he became ill at ease and very ill.
“Rather than have him access medical treatment, the Police Authorities at Iyaganku had him tightly tied up with ropes like a lunatic and made him lie face down all through Monday night.

“By 5am, Tuesday, Tuesday, 21st day of July 2020 morning, Mr. Omotosho gave up in the cell of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Iyaganku. Immediately after this, Jelili who was also illegally detained alongside Mr. Omotosho started screaming for attention for his Uncle. He was prevented for long until other Detainees under the Leadership of a Cell Leader called “State” lent their voices before the Police came to ferry Mr. Omotosho to their Police Clinic. Mr. Omotosho of course was dead. Even after this, the Police prevented Jelili from calling the relatives till much later at 12 noon to inform them of such tragic development.”

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The foundation said after the death of Omotosho, the police got an extended family member of the deceased to sign an affidavit that there would be no case against the police over the incident.

“To cover up its tracks and absolve itself from responsibility, on Friday, 24th of July 2020, the Nigerian Police, State CID, Iyaganku got an extended family member of the late Kehinde Omotosho, who had no authority on behalf of the family to swear to among other things an affidavit of ‘No case’,” the statement read.

“The affidavit also stated that the family would not be interested in the autopsy of the late Omotosho who was unlawfully arrested and illegally incarcerated. It was curious that the Nigerian Police with all its exposure to professional capacity strengthening and best global practices, would even conjecture cajoling an uneducated family into picking up the corpse of an illegally detained man without autopsy. Why is a supposedly innocent police department also demanding for the signing of a “no case” affidavit?”

But Khadijat, the eldest child of Omotosho, reportedly told the foundation that the family is not in support of the affidavit sworn to by an extended relative.

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“This extended relative did not have the authority of the biological children of the late Omotosho, and they insist on demanding for investigation, as to why the Nigerian Police would unlawfully arrest their breadwinner and keep him till he died in their custody,” the foundation said in a statement.

“We have a hand written letter of Khadijat sent to our organization. Needless to say that Khadijat, her siblings and other members of the family have remained inconsolable, traumatized, horrified and in a state of shock.”

Gbenga Fadeyi, police public relations officer in Oyo, neither responded to calls or text messages at the time this report was filed.

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