Tension As Man Arrested For Murder Dies In Lagos Police Custody

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There was a protest at the Ikorodu area of Lagos State on Monday over the death of a man, Omolola Rotimi Ejioye, also known as Eji, who was arrested for alleged murder.

According to Eji’s family members and the protesters, he died in the custody of Lagos State Police Command.

The police, however, denied the claim, clarifying that Eji was “never tortured to death but fell ill”.

During the protest on Monday, the placard-carrying youths alleged that the deceased was detained illegally.

One of the protesters, a nursing mother who came to the protest ground backing her baby, wailed that justice must be done.

A law firm representing the family, Yakubu Eleto Chambers, in a statement, said the police denied Eji’s bail despite his poor state of health.

The firm claimed Eji died in the custody of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti on May 7.

It said, “Our brief reveals that late Omolola Ejioye was unjustly arrested at Ladega, Ikorodu around 8 pm on Sunday, May 2, 2021.

“Our brief reveals further that one Inspector took him from Ikorodu to Panti and handed him over to another inspector in Panti D4 department.

“It should be noted that the deceased was unjustly arrested due to the death of one Okada rider in Ikorodu.

“Few days before the untimely death of our client, the family and friends further requested for the administrative bail of our client but the police asked them to bring N100,000, which they couldn’t produce.

“Eventually, when the family was able to see him, they noticed that he had been subjected to torture by inmates and was already seen soaked with bruises and bloodstains.

“Our clients on that premise requested for the bail but an Inspector denied our client’s administrative bail on the night of May 6, 2021, despite the deteriorating health condition of Eji. Upon getting to the SCIID, Panti on Friday, May 7, 2021, they were told that the Ejioye died in the middle of the night.

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“Having seen clearly that our client died unprecedentedly in the hands of the police, we are hereby requesting for an autopsy report on the cause of the death of our client.

“We are also requesting that police release the corpse to the family for befitting burial for our clients and furnish us with the police investigation report.”

In a statement on Monday, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, was quoted as saying that the suspect was neither tortured nor maltreated by the police, at any point, despite his alleged involvement in the murder case under investigation.

The statement signed by the Lagos Police Command Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, read in part, “On 7th May 2021, at about 4 am, the attention of the officers on duty at the State CID, Panti, was drawn to the strange behaviour of the suspect, Omolola, suggesting an underlining illness and he was quickly rushed to Falomo Police Hospital, Ikoyi, Lagos where he gave up the ghost while on admission.

“The corpse has been deposited at the mortuary for the performance of Autopsy to ascertain the probable cause of death.

“The Command, therefore, urges the general public to disregard the fake, unfounded and mischievous news which has been in circulation by certain individuals to distort the fact and escalate misinformation on the incident, for reasons best known to them.”

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