Members of the Inspector-General of Police Special Tactical Squad have been accused of torturing an electrician, Olaoluwa Bolarinwa, to death while trying to use him as a bait to arrest his friend.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the policemen stormed Olaoluwa’s house in the Ekotedo, Iyaolobe area of Ibadan, Oyo State, on March 26, 2020.
They were said to have arrested Olaoluwa and his nephew, Oreoluwa Abiona, and took them and two televisions, decoders and phones, and detained the two men at the Mokola Police Station.
The police reportedly called Olaoluwa’s wife, Blessing, the following day to come and bail Oreoluwa, saying her husband’s friend was their main target.
The operatives were reported to have ordered the 46-year-old Olaoluwa to give information that would lead to the arrest of his friend, identified simply as Bosun, who was suspected to have been involved in a bank robbery.
Blessing said after securing Oreoluwa’s release on bail, all entreaties to get her husband freed were rebuffed by the policemen.
The victim’s brother, Boyo Adeshina, told PUNCH Metro that Olaoluwa was later moved from the Mokola Police Station to an undisclosed location, which made the family to search for him.
He stated, “It was at the Mokola Police Station that we got to know that my brother had been moved to the Obada Police Station. The following Saturday, we went to the Obada Police Station, where I was told that there was no record of him there and we were directed to the Ogun State Police Command’s Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, Eleweran.
“When we got there, we were directed to the IGPSTS and with the help of my sister, who is an army officer, we got to know that the policemen were from the IGPSTS in Lagos.
“We called the phone number that the IPO gave Oreoluwa and Truecaller identified the number as belonging to System, but immediately we asked him about Olaoluwa, he dropped the call.
“My brother-in-law called him and the policeman told him that he was in Lagos that we should come and meet him at the police headquarters in Obalende, but when we got to Obalende and called him, he told us that he was on his way to Abuja and would call my brother-in-law and give him the details of my brother’s offence, but whenever we called him after that, he used to cut off the phone.
Ädeshina said he got a lawyer to call the policeman to demand his brother’s offence and his whereabouts.
He stated, “The cop said my brother and others were involved in armed robbery, which was different from what we were told at the Mokola Police Station that Olaoluwa was just needed to track a suspect and would be released as soon as the suspect was found.
“Four weeks after that, I went to their office at Ayobo. The policemen we met there denied knowing any cop called System. They also said there was no case of any Olaoluwa there. My sister and I went back the following week and met another policeman, who told us that all the suspects and their IPOs had been moved to Abuja.
“He asked us to go home and wait until after the lockdown. We went back but the following week, we were chased away because we asked for their phone numbers to enable us contact them to know when the commandant would be available.
“I later went back to the station with my sister. They brought out their register; I was behind the policeman who brought out the register and he asked me to call System; they spoke with him after which they allowed us to see the commander.
“The commander asked me if Olaoluwa had been arrested before and I said no. She asked if I knew he was an armed robber and I told her it was not possible. The commander ordered that the suspects be brought out, but four men were brought and the first man, who claimed to know Olaoluwa, said he was their sponsor and that he was in charge of providing guns for them during operations.
“The commander told us that Olaoluwa died three days after his arrest. She and her men had forgotten that two weeks after Olaoluwa’s arrest, they gave him a phone to speak to his wife. We asked them to release his corpse to us, but the commander said because he was an armed robber, they would not release his corpse for burial. She didn’t allow us to ask how our brother died.
“They called my brother an armed robber and killed him without taking him to court; we want Nigerians to stand up and fight for us. My brother’s death is a case of extrajudicial killing. My brother was not a thief and he was murdered. We want justice.”
When the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, was contacted on the telephone by our correspondent, he did not pick his calls and had yet to reply to an SMS sent to his telephone as of the time of filing this report.