…Demands Full Investigation
A human rights group, Campaign For the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Lagos Chapter and the family of 20 years old Jibril Muhammed, who was alleged to have died after being tortured while in police custody, on Monday, stormed the Zone 2 office of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Onikan Lagos, demanding full investigation of the circumstances leading to Jubril’s death.
Jubril, a security guard in a company, Barka Nigeria Limited, situated at Magboro-Ibafo, Ogun State, was said to have died on December 24, 2018, seven days after he was arrested and detained by men of the Zonal Intervention Squad (ZIS) of the Nigeria Police Force, Obada, Ogun’s State.
His arrest according to his family and CDHR was at the instance of the company’s owner, Mahmud Jamal, a Lebanese, who reported a case of missing goods from his warehouse. to the Ibafo Police Division.
CDHR and late Jubril’s family on Monday stormed the Zonal headquarters of the Police with placards of various inscriptions such as ‘Jubril was never a criminal’, ‘we demand arrest of Mahmud Jamal’, ‘ZIS Obada, explain to the world how Jubril’s died in your custody”, ‘AIG Zone 2 bring all the perpetrators to book’ and many others.
CDHR had in a petition signed by it Chairman, Comrade Alex Omotehinse and Comrade Akintunde Adedeji, Secretary and captioned ‘alleged torture and gruesome murder of Jubril Mohammed by I.P.O. Ojekunle Oladapo, the Officer-in-Charge police custody at Zonal Intervention Squad (ZIS) Obada, Abeokuta and DPO Ibafo Police Division. Demanded for justice and diligent prosecution of the perpetrators of the heinous act.
In the said petition, CDHR after listing the circumstances surrounding Jubril’s death, make the following demands ‘urgent and immediate summon of all the perpetrators of the grievous crime and their collaborators.
“Immediate interrogation of Investigation Police Officer (IPO) Ojekunle Oladapo, O/C both of ZIS and Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Ibafo Police Division to explain the roles played by them in the unfortunate death of Jubril’s.
“Police officers found culpable in the unwarranted death of Jubril should and must be brought to book while justice must be seen to have been dispensed, to serve as deterrent to other erring officers who are fond or in the habit of torturing suspects in police custody which is anomaly and aberration in line with Amnesty International Statue/condemnation brutality, torture and inhuman degradation of people which has given Nigeria Police bad name and dented institution image and reputation”.
After a meeting with Mr. Lawal Shehu, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Zone 2, both the CDHR and Jubril’s family lead by his father said they are pleased with what they have heard from the AIG
The CDHR chairman, Comrade Omotehinse said: “with the little time we spent with the AIG, he is a man of integrity. The man have spoken well and said the Zonal command has commence investigation into the matter..
“The AIG have assured us that the Command have got in touch with those who are involved and they are already being investigated. We wants to assure you that with the little time we spent with the AIG, he spoke like a Godly man who believe in justice and he had assured us that justice will be done”.
Omotehinse commended the AIG for his steadfastness for coming into the matter as soon as possible. And I wants to assure you as the AIG had promised, we want to believe that all he had told us on this matter will come to pass”.
The Command’s spokesperson Mrs. Badmos Ifedolapo, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) who spoke to journalists after the meeting said: “there’s an allegation against one of our units, the Zonal Intervention Squad (ZIS) which has also been the operational arm of this Command and the CDHR, that’s Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, has brought it to our notice, the Command received the report.
“Like your chairman had said, there is on the spot investigation, the AIG who never condone any act of omission or commission of our men. Who never condone any misbehaviour from any serving police officer, had ordered a detailed investigation into the occurrence.
“What we want to know is that you should be rest assure that justice will be served.
“It is an allegation as we have said and the allegation would be investigated as directed by AIG Lawal Shehu and at the end of the day, if any policeman found culpable be rest assure that justice would be served. He is not only going to be handled dismissal as AIG had said, he is going to face prosecution, if he is found culpable.
“Autopsy will reveal what actually transpired, we are in constant touch with the family members, they are well represented. There is no cause for alarm, we (the Command) stand for justice and according to the dictate of the AIG, we should respect every human rights at every single minute of our actions”.
On the call for arrest and interrogation of the Lebanese who was alleged to have instigated the Jubril’s arrest and torture before he died, CSP Badmos said the call is unwarranted since the man only reported an occurrence, which she said everyone can do when issue happened, to the police, adding that the Lebanese never partake in the investigation that let to Jubril’s death.
According to her, “On the Lebanese man, the Lebanese man did not partake in the investigation, everyone has the right to report any occurrence to the police. I don’t think the man actually carried gun to shoot the victim, but I think the best thing he can do is to report when there is an incident and the man has reported according to the dictate of the law. So if anything has gone wrong, that will be determined when we investigate. And if the man had died of natural death, we own it to God because we own our life and determined what happen to it.
“But as it is, we want every one of us to be calm, the CDHR, the family members have met with the AIG and he had assured and reassured them that what is right will be done”.
The deceased cousin, relation, Saidi Isah, who have been following the matter since December 17, 2018, when the deceased was arrested and eventually died while in custody said: “I wants to appreciation the AIG, from what I have seeing and heard from him today, I believed that we shall get Justice”.
Isah pleaded with the Command to urgently act on the matter in revealing the main cause of his cousin’s death, this he said will lay the whole issue to rest.