We Never Torture Him, Police Give Account of How Cult Suspect Died in Custody As Family Disagree
The Nigeria Police Force, Ogun state police command on Sunday explained how a suspected cultist Seyi Oduyiga died in its custody.
The police said Oduyiga, along with another suspect, Gbenga Adejoke, who were accused of being members of Buccanneers and Eiye Confraternity, had been arrested and were being tried by the police.
Police spokesperson in the state, SP Omolola Odutola, said though, Oduyiga died in a police cell in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, his death was not out of torture as being reported in some quarters.
“Torture is strictly against our protocols and principles. Ogun police command is well-versed in the legal framework that safeguards the rights of individuals in custody,’’ she stated.
She explained that police arrested one Seyi Oduyiga and Gbenga Adejoke, suspected notorious cultists and members of cult groups – Buccaneer and Eiye Confraternity.
“For the records, the deceased was already charged for cult-related activities and was taken to a special court on cultism in Abeokuta on Thursday.
“The court did not sit, however, and he was returned to police headquarters on the same day.
“Oduyiga was to be taken to court at its next sitting which was on Friday.
“However, at about 5 a.m. on the same Friday, he went berserk, shouting, gnashing his teeth, and assaulting other suspects in the cell until he got exhausted.
“Other suspects in the cell alerted policemen on duty and he was taken to the police hospital and later to Ijaye General Hospital, Abeokuta, alongside suspects that he had bitten.
“Other suspects were treated and discharged, but Oduyiga while on medical attention, later gave up the ghost,’’ Odutola stated.
She added that police had ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of Oduyiga’s death and would make the result public.
However, against the Police’ claims that Oduyiga died of exhaustion, the family of the deceased have insisted he was tortured to death for refusing to pay a bribe of N200,000. The deceased sister, Mary Oduyiga, insisted that justice must be served.
She explained “We pleaded for his release but they did not release him. They released the other person arrested, stating that the other one would be released because he did not have tattoos on his body. Seyi was denied bail. He was arrested on Saturday evening, and we went back there on Sunday and were told that Inspector Raji was the IPO. They asked us to come back on Monday; the family representatives did not see the IPO on Monday; they said he had stepped out.
“Seyi was begging to be released since he had not committed any offence. My brother who was there said the IPO threatened to ensure he made him suffer, The IPO threatened that he must be taken to Headquarters Eleweran and was eventually taken there on Tuesday.
“I was living in Ibadan; I had to come to Abeokuta on Thursday evening over the matter. I went to Eleweran on Friday and took along foodstuffs; bread, malt, and bottled water. When I got there, I did not see the IPO; I was asked to wait for him.
I got to Eleweran around 10:00 AM and could not see the IPO until 1:00 PM. When I first met him and told him I wanted to see my elder brother, Seyi, he said I should go out and wait until he was finished.
“When I brought the food to the officers and said I wanted to give my brother in the cell, they charged me N2,000, but I paid N1,000 to a policewoman.
“After some time, I lost my patience, went back to the policewoman, and pleaded to be allowed to see my brother, then she agreed and took us to the cells.
Some inmates said he had been taken out since morning; we were later called upstairs to meet the Deputy Commissioner.
We did not know he wanted to break the bad news to us; he then said, “Your boy was misbehaving in the cell overnight; he was biting the inmates, talking to himself; he was behaving like he had run mad.
They took him to the hospital, and on getting to the hospital, he gave up. He just stopped breathing.”