The family of Obalogbo in Ila-Orangun, has petitioned the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIG Zone XI, over the death of their son, Saheed Agboola, who allegedly died in the custody of Ota-Efun Police Division in Osogbo, Osun State.
The family, in a petition dated April 21, 2020, signed by its lawyer, Mr Kazeem Odedeji, demanded a proper and discreet investigation into the circumstance leading to the death of Agboola in police custody.
The petition stated that the deceased on March 30, 2020 reported a case of threat to his life at Ota-Efun Police Division in Osogbo, but the police turned the case against him when the suspect he reported made a counter-complaint that Saheed was owing him about N462, 000 from a daily thrift he coordinated.
The letter read: “Our client’s son was arrested and detained. He was released on administrative bail the following day.”
“Saheed was invited to the police station on April 15 where he was quickly rushed to Osogbo Magistrate’s Court and was arraigned without the knowledge of any member of the family, who could make arrangements for his bail pending trial. He was thereafter ordered to be remanded in police custody.”
”It was noted that the father of the deceased saw him late on April 15, 2020, and he was in a very high spirit, not suggesting any unwholesome behaviour.”
“Surprisingly, late Saheed Agboola’s uncle and guardian were invited to the police headquarters on April 16 where he met with senior police officers led by the Commissioner of Police, Osun State Command, who broke the news of Saheed Agboola’s death on the excuse that he committed suicide in a police cell.”
“Mr. Agboola Rasaq sought to see things for himself, but alas, the situation he met the deceased did not in any way suggest that of somebody who took his own life.”
“Another question agitating the mind of our client is ‘how on earth will a suspect in police cell such as Ota-Efun divisional police headquarters take his own life and nobody would be available to come to his aid?’ How a suspect/defendant dies in a police cell like a chicken beats everybody’s imagination.”
“It is against the above background we hereby have our client’s instruction to demand a proper and discreet investigation into the circumstance leading to the death of Saheed Agboola in the custody of the Nigeria Police.”
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of Osun State Command, Yemisi Opalola, said, Saheed committed suicide in the cell using his shirt.
She said: “The man (deceased) is not a suspect of police, but he was remanded in police custody by the magistrate’s court. There was nobody with him in the cell because this period of pandemic the Inspector-General of Police gave an order that we should not keep anybody in our cell unless the person committed a capital offence like, murder, armed robbery, arson, and the likes.”
@ The Nation