OGUN, Nigeria – One Mr. Boyo Adesina has accused the police of allegedly torturing his brother, Olaoluwa Bolarinwa, to death in detention.
The accused police officers were those attached to the Inspector General of Police Tactical Squad, in Itele, Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government area of Ogun State.
Adesina appeared on Thursday before the Ogun Judicial Panel of Investigation set up by Governor Dapo Abiodun as demanded by the End SARS protesters.
The Lagos resident told the panel that his brother was arrested on March 29, 2020 in Ibadan by some men of the IGP tactical squad.
According to him, Olaoluwa was initially detained for a night at Mokola Police Station in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Thereafter, he explained that his brother was taken away to an unknown destination, which he said put their family in trouble as they moved from one police station to another to know his whereabouts.
“I was told he was moved from Mokola to Ayobo in Lagos State. Getting to Ayobo police station, they checked the incident register but couldn’t find him. I went back to Mokola and I was told that it was written in the incident register that he had been transferred to Obada in Abeokuta, Ogun State. He was transferred by a policeman nicknamed ‘Ijoba System’,” Adesina stated.
The distraught man said he also visited the police station at Obada, but could not find his late brother.
It was learnt that Adesina got the said Ijoba System’s phone number from one Oreoluwa Abiona, who was also arrested the same day Olaolauwa was arrested.
According to the petitioner, the police officer, who he described as the IPO of the case, told him on phone that Olaolauwa did not commit any crime.
He narrated that the officer said the tactical squad was only using the deceased to track a suspect known as Bosun, with a promise that he would be released soon.
The man recalled how he travelled from Lagos to Ogun on several occasions to see his brother, but without success.
“We went to Ayobo again and an officer told us to go to Itele. I narrated my story to someone we met there. They brought out their incident register and the police officer told us that there was no record of Olaoluwa.
“Later, we were told that he had been moved to Abuja, that we should go home; that was in the first week of April 2020. They said they will call us after the COVID-19 lockdown to come over to Abuja.
“When I didn’t hear from them, I went to Itele again and I saw the head of the tactical squad, one Toyin Omosebi, who said she had been sick and didn’t know much about the case,” the panel was told.
The bereaved brother said he called the police officer known as Ijoba System on the phone again and narrated his ordeals to him.
This time, he said the policeman asked him to return to Itele the following day.
“I called Ijoba System over the phone again; I prayed and begged him to tell me where my brother was. He told me to return to Itele the following day.
“When I went there, the officers spoke to Ijoba System on the phone. They brought out the incident register and I saw Olaoluwa’s name.
“Thereafter, I met Toyin Owosebi. She asked me if Olaoluwa had been sick before, I said no. She said my brother was an armed robber, I said it was not possible. Then, she told me my brother died three days after he was arrested.
“I said it wasn’t true because Olaolauwa spoke with his wife three weeks after his arrest. Later, I asked for the body of Olaoluwa, but the woman police officer said he was an armed robber, so they could not release the corpse to the family.
“I know they tortured my brother to death inside the cell. This is unfair. My brother left behind a wife and three children. He is also survived by an aged mother. Who will cater to them?” the petitioner lamented.
He appealed to the panel to ensure the release of his brother’s corpse, while also asking that the policemen involved in the case be prosecuted.
“Above all, I want compensation for the survivors of my brother. His wife, kids and mother are now living in poverty. He was their breadwinner. We need justice. This matter must not be swept under the carpet,” he said.