A former council official in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos, Olusegun Adekoya, Wednesday narrated how he was framed for accessory to murder of Mr. Emmanuel Ubah, a.k.a Onwa and was almost tortured to death by men of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IGP IRT).
He said his eardrum got cracked due to the excessive beating he received while in detention for an offence he did not commit.
Before he was released through the intervention of the Lagos Commissioner of Police Imohimi Edgal, his lawyer, Ikeja Branch chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Adesina Ogunlana, was denied access to him.
Adekoya was arrested in connection with the killing of a businessman, Mr. Emmanuel Ubah, a.k.a Onwa, in Festac Town on July 21 2017.
Olusegun Adekoya said he was picked up last Tuesday men of the IGP IRT as part of the investigations. He was bundled into a vehicle and taken to the IRT office near FSARS at Ikeja headquarters.
Adekoya said was stripped and thoroughly beaten in a bid to force him to confess.
Another suspect, identified as Abidemi “Badoo”, had informed the police that Adekoya gave him N1 million cash to carry out the killing.
Olusegun Narrates His Ordeal
“I was arrested on December 12. About four officers surrounded me. They were from Abuja. I said they should have invited me. The next thing, their leader said: ‘Take him away’. I was bundled into their jeep. They took me to an offices near SARS office.
“I was taken upstairs to one Mr. Felix. He said: ‘That’s the man’. I was taken to a place downstairs that looked like a shrine. It was demarcated with a red banner. I was stripped naked. I asked: ‘What is my offence’? They said I was going to die there.The next thing, the officer brought out his gun and shot at the right side and at the left side of me and said: ‘I’m going to kill you here!’ I told him I was innocent.
“He brought out a paper from me to write a statement. I asked to see my lawyer. I received the kind of dirty slaps I had never received in my life by different officers in mufti.
“They said I should put it in writing that the sum of N1million was given to me, and that I delivered it to the suspect who killed somebody. I refused to write. They started beating me, hitting me, asking me to do what they asked me to do. The statement of my accuser was brought to me.
“They said I should put what I read in the statement in my own statement. I said let my lawyer come. They beat me more. I started writing rubbish. They took the pen from me and started writing. The more I talked, the more I was beaten. After they finished, I was asked to sign, which I did.
“They took me to Cell 2. I was pushed towards the toilet where about 40 people were standing. I stood there till daybreak. All my legs were shaking. I was transferred to Cell 3, which they called Jankara Cell. So many detainees were protesting their innocence.
“Some had been there for eight or nine months without seeing their families. Sometimes the officers would ask suspects to bail themselves with N350, 000. Some would pay N200, 000 to be freed. There were many with wounds who could not walk. Some had sores on their body.”
Adekoya said he was taken before the suspect, Abidemi “Badoo”, who insisted that he gave him N1million.
Hours later, he was taken before Edgal, who interrogated Abidemi “Badoo” in his presence.
“He said he knew Badoo while I was chairman of Amuwo Odofin Environmental Tax Force.
The CP said: ‘Listen young man. If I should find out that this man is innocent, I won’t take it easy with you. Tell me the truth.”
“It was then the suspect said that I was innocent. He said he was tortured to mention names, including my name, and the names of some APC chiefs. The CP then directed the officers to take me to the Police College Hospital for treatment. There was no nurse there,” he said.
Adekoya said he was grateful for the CP’s intervention, which saved him from further torture.
“If not for the CP that God used to intervene in my case, I don’t know what would have become of me. My doctor told me that my eardrum has been cracked. Something was coming out from my ear. I still feel severe pains all over my body,” he said.
Ogunlana said he would file a suit on Adekoya’s behalf to demand damages for the torture and illegal detention for five days.
“Nobody is saying the Police should not do their work, but our laws do not allow for the stripping of people of their dignity, torture and dehumanisation,” he said.