Policemen tortured me to sign murder statement – Ex-LGA worker

An ex-worker of the Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, Lagos State, Segun Adekoya, has accused some operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team of torture.

Adekoya, who was an environmental task force official at the LGA, was arrested by the detectives in the FESTAC area of the state last Tuesday.

He was released on bail on Saturday after spending four days in the Lagos office of the IRT located at the Lagos State Command headquarters, Ikeja.

He alleged that one of the policemen wrote a statement indicting him for the murder of a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Emmanuel Uba, alias Onwa, and tortured him until he was forced to sign the statement form.

But the police denied Adekoya’s allegations and said he was being investigated in connection with the murder.

The environmentalist told NationReformer.com on Wednesday that on the day that he was arrested, he received a call from a resident, one Mr. Godwin, around 2pm, inviting him to come to an office in FESTAC Town.

He explained that on his arrival at the office, he met two policemen from the Area E Command who initiated a discussion with him.

He said he was chatting with the cops when three other policemen barged in and introduced themselves as the IRT operatives.

“They said they needed me to help them in an investigation and I told them that they should have invited me formally. Suddenly, one of the policemen, called Eke from Area E, slapped me. They bundled me into a Jeep and took me to Ikeja.

“On getting there, I was taken to one policeman, Philip. They forced me to remove my clothes and I was left with only boxers. When I asked them what my offence was, they replied that I would die in the cell.

“One of them brought out his gun and shot at the wall to scare me. They brought a statement form out and when I demanded to see my lawyer before writing anything, they gave me several slaps. They said I should write that I gave a sum of N1m to some suspects who killed Onwa.

“I insisted that I would not write what I did not know about even if they killed me. They beat me up with a cow horn.

“They said somebody accused me of delivering the money to the main suspects. When I asked to see the person, they beat me again.

“To stop the torture, I started writing rubbish on the statement form.

“However, one of them collected the pen and the form from me and wrote the statement. The more I complained, the more I got beaten up. They tortured me to sign the statement and some papers and took me to a cell. We were about 40 in that cell.”

He said he was transferred to another cell the next day and later, he was brought before one suspect called Bidemi, aka Baido.

“They asked him how much I gave him and he said N1m. I was shocked. As I wanted to talk, they beat me up and I was taken back to the cell,” he added.

NationReformer.com learnt that the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, became aware of Adekoya’s arrest on Friday and ordered that he be brought to his office for interrogation.

Adekoya said Philip took him and four suspects, including Baido and one Apase to the CP.

“I told the CP that I worked as the Chairman of the Task Force on Environment at the Amuwo Odofin LGA and that I know every nook and cranny of the council due to the nature of my job. I told the CP that I knew Baido as someone who collected money at a junction, while Apase was an OPC leader.

“The CP asked Baido to look at him and say the truth. He said he was tortured to mention names, including mine. The CP directed that I should be taken to the Police College Hospital for treatment.

“They took me to the hospital, but to my surprise, they didn’t allow me access to any medical personnel. I am still feeling pains all over my body and my ear drum is affected,” he added.

He said he was released on bail after the CP’s intervention, adding that his wallet, wristwatch, ATM card and identity cards, among other items were still with the police.

Adekoya’s lawyer, Mr. Adesina Ogunlana, said a suit would be filed against the police for alleged abuse of his client’s rights.

“Nobody is saying the police should not do their work, but they must not do it outside the ambits of the law, which are the police Act and the constitution. Our law does not accept torture and stripping people of their dignity,” he added.

However, the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Moshood Jimoh, denied the allegations in a text message to our correspondent.

He said, “The man was arrested for murder; he was not tortured. The case is still under investigation.”

The spokesperson for the Lagos State Command, SP Chike Oti, stated that Adekoya’s account of what transpired at the CP’s office was not true.

He said, “The man was arrested in connection with a case of murder. The people arrested for the murder mentioned him as an accomplice. His statement was recorded under caution. Afterwards, he was granted administrative bail. The matter is still under investigation. He should stop whipping up unnecessary sentiments and allow the police to investigate the matter. If he is indicted for murder, he will go for a murder trial.”