An alleged member of a syndicate that cloned the number of the Lagos State governor has reportedly died in custody.
According to the Eyitayo's family lawyer, the 39-year-old suspect who was said to have assisted his friends, Rilwanu Jamiu and Balogun Stanley Oyewole, in the scam, was in the custody of the DSS opeartives instead of that of the police, where he was allegedly killed.
His family is also alleging foul play in his death, while asking the DSS to explain how it happened. They have also refused to collect the body of the deceased for burial from the DSS until the circumstances of his death are clear.
According to the family, the late Eyitayo was arrested at midnight on April 4 by DSS operatives, who were on the trail of a syndicate that had allegedly cloned Governor Ambode’s mobile number, and taken to the DSS office at Shangisha area of the state, where he reportedly died during interrogation.
It was gathered that the DSS operatives were on the trail of Jamiu, said to be Eyitayo's friend, and that led to the arrest of the late Eyitayo at his residence at 37, Aje Street, in Iyana Ipaja.
The operatives reportedly broke into the late Eyitayo’s apartment while he was asleep, beating him up and chaining his hands and legs.
In a press statement released by the family, a resident who witnessed the assault on the young man, told them:
“I overheard Eyitayo telling the DSS people that the person they were looking for did not stay with him. He told them the suspect was his friend and only visited him the previous day.
But, his explanation did not convince them. They beat him mercilessly till blood came out of his face. We could not recognise him again.”
The DSS operatives were said to have moved to other apartments in the building, beating occupants and searching their rooms for the suspect and after three hours, whisked Eyitayo away to their Shangisha office.
The late Eyitayo’s neighbours and friends who had been going to the DSS office for his bail, were kept in the dark about his death and on April 6, two days after his death, the DSS Director invited his landlord, Pa Taiwo Sobiye, to help the agency look for his family members.
Pa Sobiye said:
“When I got there, the Director called me to his office and told me Eyitayo died during interrogation. He said they tried to stabilise him medically but he eventually died. The Director asked me to help find his family members, but I told him I did not know anybody with him.
The DSS copied out five numbers from the late Eyitayo’s phone and gave me to call. I could not reach any of them except one man, who had been coming to the house as his brother.
I could not tell him his brother is dead. Some 19 days after, we eventually met with the family members. We all went to the DSS office together and they heard the news from the DSS themselves. We were told the body had been taken to the mortuary.”
The bereaved family is therefore accusing the DSS of torturing their son to death, wondering why he would be chained and tortured when he did not know anything about the crime.
The family head, Joseph Oluokun, swore they would get to the root of the matter:
“We have been told how Damilare was chained and tortured for hours before he was taken into custody. The DSS told us that he fell as he attempted to escape.
How is it possible for somebody whose hands and legs were chained to attempt to run? We are yet to be told the truth about the death of our son. This is why the government must help us to get justice.”
The family, through their lawyer, has requested a coroner inquest to be set up to ascertain the cause and manner of the victim’s death.
Read the letter from the lawyers.