Human Torture Family blames state agency, DSS, for their son's demise

Eyitayo was reported to have assisted his friend Rilwanu and one Balogun Stanley Oyewole in the scam.

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Eyitayo

(Punch)
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The Lagos State Command of the Department of State Services (DSS) has received blame from the family of a deceased man, Damilare Eyitayo, who was allegedly tortured to death.

The DSS has however denied this claim, stating that 39-year-old Eyitayo died from complication which came about when he jumped from their van.

He was given the best medical attention to help his condition, but this did not save him.

According to Punch Metro, the deceased was arrested on April 4, 2016 by the DSS in connection with an ongoing investigation regarding the cloning of phone numbers of government officers.

The Department of State Services were said to have been a look-out for a man named Rilwanu, who lives on Aje Street, Pleasure in Iyana Ipaja.

ALSO READ: Man who cloned Gov. Ambode's phone number tortured to death by DSS

The search did not bring up any result as Rilwanu had already fled his residence when the DSS operatives arrived at his home.

They however met his wife who led them to the house of his best friend, Eyitayo. It was during the course of arrest that he sustained injuries.

According to Eyitayo's brother, Oyetunji, the deceased was preparing for his marriage set to hold in December 2016. He said he does not believe the DSS' explanation on the death of his brother.

Oyetunji said, “We suspect foul play. The DSS did not inform the family until April 23. Why did they hide his death from us? Every time I went there, they said the official handling the matter was not around and I could not see Damilare (Eyitayo). His death is painful. He was set to marry in December 2016.

“He was not a member of any syndicate. He was a friend to Rilwanu, and the suspect had fled knowing what he did. Damilare’s offence was that he was a friend to a suspect. Now, the DSS is begging us to leave everything to God.”

The family, through their lawyer, Babs Animashaun, have submitted a request for a coroner inquest to the Attorney General, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, to learn details of Eyitayo's death.

ALSO READ: Abductors kill corps members after collecting N1.5m ransom

Animashaun said, “We were informed that the deceased was arrested because he was a friend to a suspect that the DSS was interested in arresting. We were also informed that it was the wife of the suspect, after she had been beaten by the gun-wielding officials, that told them her husband was not around and led them to the house of the deceased.

“When the DSS operatives got to the deceased’s house, he was thoroughly beaten before he was taken away. We were informed that the deceased died same day in the DSS custody.

“We hereby request that an inquest be conducted into the circumstances of the death of the deceased to ascertain the cause and manner of death.”

Kunle Ajanaku, the DSS Director for Lagos State, stated that the agency always ensure the application of humane treatment against suspects.

The arrest of Eyitayo is in response to a directive by the Lagos State Government to arrest and prosecute suspects connected to the phone number cloning of a Governor.

Ajanaku said, “It is regrettable that the man died. We do not engage in extrajudicial killing. When you talk of the best practices in terms of human rights and how we detain suspects, the DSS comes near first.

“This is a syndicate that has been able to clone the phone number of a governor. The state government submitted a petition that all the suspects involved should be arrested and prosecuted.

“Some of the suspects were traced to the deceased’s house. It took surveillance and technicality for weeks to trace his place. Instead of him to cooperate with officials, he resisted and turned violent. When they managed to take him into the vehicle, he struggled and escaped from the van.

“He was pursued and in the process, he fell down twice. As a result of his violence, we handcuffed and chained him. When he was brought to our office here, we saw his condition and rushed him to the hospital. He died while in the hospital.

“We have sent the case file to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions for advice. We are ready to listen to the family. An autopsy will be conducted; we do not have anything to hide.”

 Rilwanu and his accomplice Balogun Stanley Oyewole are however in the custody of the DSS operatives.

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