Kehinde Omotosho, a 49-year-old trader in Gbagi market, Ibadan, Oyo State capital, has died in the custody of the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the police.
The police team stormed Mr Omotosho’s neighbourhood around Agugu area at about midnight of July 16.
Kehinde was arrested alongside some persons in the area by the operatives, who reportedly came to arrest his nephew, Kabir.
Kabir was allegedly involved in a fight that led to the killing of an individual in the area.
The officers of the CID, Iyaganku, who came to make the arrest, were led by an operative of Agugu Police division identified as ‘SOJ’.
Mr Omotosho was later remanded in the CID office at Iyaganku, for six days, as against the 48 hours ultimatum stipulated in the Nigerian law.
According to one of those arrested, Jelili Rasak, Mr Omotosho died in the cell on July 21 as a result of torture.
“He could not sleep because they were standing all night, day after day, inside this dingy cell. By Monday night, four days after our arrest, Mr Omotosho had developed so much discomfort that he became very ill,” Mr Rasak said.
This paper learnt that rather than have him access medical treatment, the police authorities at Iyaganku tied him with ropes and made him lie face down all through the night.
“By 5 a.m., Tuesday, 21st day of July, Mr Omotosho gave up the ghost in the cell,” Mr Rasak said.
He said before Mr Omotosho died, he screamed for help but was ignored until other inmates joined in the scream. He was eventually taken to a clinic where he died.
When contacted, the police spokesperson in the state, Olugbenga Fadeyi, denied that the man died in the police cell.
In an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, he stated that the man was amongst those “randomly picked” by the operatives on that fateful day.
“There was a fight between OPC (vigilante) and some cultists and it resulted in the death of an individual. Police went to that place to randomly pick some individuals for interrogation with the aim of getting the culprit.”
“The man took ill while at the cell and was taken to the police clinic where he eventually died. Police called the family members and informed them,” the police spokesperson narrated.
He said the corpse has not been released because the police want to carry out an autopsy to ascertain the cause of his death.
When asked for the dates of these incidents and the duration of detention, he declined comments.