A group, the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice, has accused police operatives attached to the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Magbon, Abeokuta, Ogun State of extra-judicial murder of a detainee, Sunday Adetiba.
According to the group, Adetiba, 29, who was arrested last week Thursday, has died from gunshot wounds he sustained in the hands of the operatives of SARS who stormed his workshop in Ogijo town in Ogun State.
In a statement issued on Wednesday and signed by the Executive Chairman of CHRSJ, Comrade Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman, the deceased was a victim of police brutality who was gruesomely murdered as a result of minor quarrel between him and some of his colleagues who sell metal products in Ogijo area of the state.
Sulaiman in the statement said Adetiba, who worked as a contractor alongside others in Phonex Steel Company, located in Ogijo, was accused by his envious colleagues of being a member of an armed robbery syndicate.
The statement said: “Rather than investigate the claims, which in our own opinion was done out of malice, they stormed his workshop armed to the teeth to effect his arrest. From all indications, we have been told that he did not resist arrest being a lawful citizen but the police operatives opened fire on him.
“From the gunshots to the legs, he sustained a mortal injury, which we have been told have resulted in his death as he was not availed any form of treatment in the last one week since they took him away.”
Sulaiman specifically accused an operative of the squad, popularly known as Ogedengbe, as the chief culprit who led the men and who is believed to have fired the fatal shots to the legs of the deceased.
Other members of the SARS team that effected the arrest, according to the group in the statement, are Ojoge and one other commonly known as Airtel, who is said to be attached to Ogijo Police Divisional Headquarters.
Apart from terminating the life of the victim, Sulaiman also accused the police of torturing the wife of Adetiba, Adejoke Awolaru-Adetiba, who is said to be heavily pregnant.
“I was told that the wife of the deceased was severely battered by these men when she visited the police station in Ogijo before he was transferred to Abeokuta. She was beaten to a pulp by these officers not minding her delicate condition,” Sulaiman wrote in the statement.
The group also stated that the harassment of the family members of the deceased has continued as the operatives have vowed to arrest a friend of Adetiba, simply known as Abiodun, whom they accused of informing the family of the arrest of his bosom friend.
On what the group intends to do, Sulaiman said: “We are ready to see to the end of this case, we are determined to bring the culprits to book and we will not spare any efforts what so ever in seeking redress for the deceased who was clearly extra-judicially murdered by the police in their custody.”
He stated that the group has taken the case to the relevant authorities such as the office of the Inspector-General of Police, the Police Service Commission, the National Assembly and the Presidency.