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Is The Police Your Friend? 70-yr-old man dies after torture in detention

The police in Ondo State have been indicted in the torture killing of an old man in their detention.

  • Published:
IGP Solomon Arase play

IGP Solomon Arase

(Nigeria Police Force)

The maxim that the police is friends with the ordinary 'bloody' citizens was once again rubbished when a 70-year-old man identified as Gbenga Omolo, a member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), was allegedly tortured to death while in detention in the cells of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Ondo State Police Command, and then labelling the man an armed robber.

According to reports, Omolo suffered untold and dehumanizing beatings in the hands of the police officers for several hours at the Oda Road SARS office and died in their custody and the operatives later dumped his corpse in the mortuary of the State Specialist Hospital, Akure.

Members of his union made the death of Omolo known during a protest they staged to decry the murder of one of their own.

According to a member of the union, Omolo was not arrested for any robbery related offence and wondered why the old man should be detained at the SARS office and why he should even be tortured in the first place.

It was gathered that Omolo got into trouble when he challenged a police officer in mufti for obstructing the road with his vehicle.

The report has it that on Thursday, May 28, there was a traffic hold-up at the popular Arakale Road, Akure, the state capital, and the late Omolo who was coming through the road, discovered that it was a car that obstructed the road and he was said to have questioned the driver of the vehicle, not knowing that he was a police officer.

This effrontery seemed to anger the officer as eyewitnesses report that he came down from his car and attacked the elderly man, beating and pummelling him in the process.

The action incensed some sympathizers who went to the man's rescue and mediated on his behalf.

But the officer was not palliated as he mobilized his colleagues the following day and they stormed the area and started arresting anyone in sight and on inquiring about the 'insolent' old man, the heavily armed SARS operatives were taken to Omolo and he was arrested and taken to their station where he was promptly dumped in the cell.

A source said that the sum of N150,000 was demanded for his and his union members rallied and raised the sum of N100,000 to go and bail the man four days later only to realise that he had died in police custody.

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