Ejioye Omolola, a young man in his mid-30s, died inside a Lagos State police station on Friday, May 7, after spending five days in police custody over his failed attempt to rescue a motorcycle rider hit by stray bullet in the Ikorodu area of the state.
In a chat with FIJ on Monday, a lady who lived on the same street with the deceased said he was arrested on Sunday, May 2, by police officers attached to Igbogbo Police Station, Ikorodu, and then transferred to the office of the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (CIID) in Panti, Yaba area of Lagos.
“That particular day, someone shot in the neighbourhood and it hit a bike man. People came out to check the body. Eji also came out to check the body to see if it was a known person. While they were still checking the bike man’s body, the police van was passing and people started running away. He stood there because he didn’t do anything,” the lady said.
“So the DPO told them to arrest him because he didn’t run and he said he wanted to know what stuff he was made of. That’s how they arrested Eji. His girlfriend who was visiting tried to beg, but Eji told her not to so they wouldn’t harass her. He was taken to Igbogbo Police Station.
“He was transferred to Panti because DPO said he already called Panti to inform them about the murder of a bike man and an arrested suspect, although he knew that Eji wasn’t the murderer.
“They didn’t state the bail charges from Sunday till Thursday evening. Eji had never been arrested, and earlier I stated he was skinny and fragile. He was transferred to Panti — the yard for hardened criminals — on Thursday night. The police told his relatives to look for a sum, probably between N80,000 and N100,000. I’m not so sure. By Friday, they called them that he had died.”
According to the lady, who craved anonymity, the police said Omolola gassed up in custody and died, and had refused to release his body for burial.
“They have not released his body as at when I heard last,” she said. “They have been postponing and pushing it forward. Influential people started involving themselves in the case to ensure justice. The police officers and DPO should be brought to book.”
When FIJ contacted State CIID, Panti, for reaction, DSP Enny, the Station Officer, asked our reporter to either speak with the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge or the State Public Relations Officer.
Muyiwa Adejobi, the spokesman of the Police in the state, also referred the reporter to a statement released earlier, where he suggested that the deceased died of an ‘underlying illness’.
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