Plain Murder: Policemen torture 50-yr-old man to death over bail money

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Nigerian Police Force

A 50-year-old photographer has been tortured to death by policemen in Oyo State after he could not pay money for his bail.

A 50-year-old photographer, Kola Adeyeye has been reportedly tortured to death by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Oyo State Police Command because he could not come up with the money they demanded for his bail.

Punch reports that the deceased was taking a herbal concoction at a joint in the Challenge area of Ibadan, the state capital, at about 8.30 pm when the police stormed the place and arrested him along with four other people.

It was gathered that those arrested were taken to the SARS office in Dugbe where their statements were taken and after rounds of beatings, the suspects were taken to a courtyard where the head of the SARS team interviewed them.

ALSO READ: "Authourity Criminals: Policemen allegedly raid Ogun community, torture farmer to death"

After the interview, the SARS head allegedly cleared all suspects but ordered that they pay some money for their bail before they would be released from detention.

It was learned that while the four others paid between N25,000 and N40,000 to get their freedom, Adeyeye who could not come up with the money, was thrown into detention where he allegedly spent seven days before a man sent by his pastor, paid N3,500 for his bail.

It was while he was being taken home on a motorcycle that he reportedly slumped and died.

One of the suspects arrested with the deceased who said his family was made to pay N40,000 for his release narrated what happened on the night they were arrested:

“We were arrested on Friday, April 21, 2017, around 8.30 pm. The man was taking herbs while some of us were smoking.

When we demanded to know our offences, the police said they were conducting a raid. They took us to their headquarters at Dugbe. When we arrived there, they first took our statements.

They then took us to a room where they descended on us. The beating was serious. The elderly man kept telling them that he was a photographer, but they didn’t listen to him.

Later, they took us to a courtyard called Assembly, where their boss interviewed us. By Monday, three persons had been released after paying some money.

The policemen visited my house for a search and they did not find anything incriminating. They searched the man’s house as well without seeing anything. Their senior officer then said we were innocent and could be released as well after paying for bail.

My family paid N40,000 for bail but nobody showed up for the photographer. If he had been released on time, he probably wouldn’t have died.”

A friend who said he tried to bail a suspect on another incident, said he had gone to the SARS office for the bail when he sighted the late Adeyeye and when he asked how he could bail the deceased, the police demanded N30,000 for his bail and that he was the one who contacted, he contacted the victim’s pastor, who urged him to negotiate the sum.

“When they said I should bring N30,000, I called his pastor to inform him and he said I should negotiate with them.

I later returned on Friday and when the policemen saw me, they said I could bring N5,000 because the man was seriously sick and needed urgent medical attention.

I told them that all I had was just N2,000. I borrowed N1,500 from a motorcycle rider that took me there to make the money N3,500.

They said the money must be complete. I left to look for the balance. But before I got back to the place, I discovered they had asked another motorcycle rider to take him away because of his critical condition.

It was on the way home that he slumped on the motorcycle and died. As I speak with you, they still have his mobile phone which they seized pending when we would pay the balance of N1,500.”

Speaking on the incident, the victim's younger brother, Olaolu Adeyeye, said a neighbour alerted him to the arrest of the deceased.

“I saw two of those that had been bailed and they said they paid N25,000 each before they were released. I didn’t have any money and had to call other relatives to raise the money.

When the money was not forthcoming, I asked my neighbour, a doctor, to help us. I was later told they had brought him home. He was dead with a lot of torture marks.”

However, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Ajisebutu Adekunle, but denied that the police were responsible for Adeyeye's death, saying he was not tortured in any way and that the police never asks anyone to pay for bail.

“The suspect was not tortured in any way. Are you aware that he died after his release from detention? The police did not torture him. Death can come anywhere, anytime.

You are aware that people sleep in their homes without waking up. So, his death has nothing to do with his arrest and detention.

ALSO READ: "Indictment: 'The only interrogation Nigeria police knows is torture' - Amnesty International"

He was not the only one arrested. He was arrested during raids of black spots. The command has embarked on raids of criminal hideouts to curtail the activities of criminals in Oyo State.

On the issue of the bail money, I will find out. If it is true, appropriate measures will be taken against those responsible. Bail is free.”

from - Gist

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