POLICE TORTURE GOSPEL ARTIST, ONE OTHER TO DEATH, COMMUNITY PROTEST

By Lucky Nwanekwu

Angry residents of Lagos Island, yesterday, stormed Area ‘Á’ Command, Lion Building, to protest the death of two of their own, who were detained at police divisions under the command. Identities of the victims were given as Atansuyi Ifedolapo and Tope.

The protesters explained that policemen from the station raided a bar on Edumare Street last Friday and arrested over 100 fun seekers. The residents accused police of torturing one of the victims, identified simply as Tope, to death at Lion Building Division, while the second victim, Atansuyi Ifedolapo, reportedly died at Jankara Police Post, at the weekend.

Trouble, as gathered, started for late Ifedolapo, 20, an upcoming gospel artist, after an iPhone that was put in his care got missing. It was gathered that the owner of the phone, who had accused him of selling it, allegedly hired some thugs, who beat up Ifedolapo before he was taken to the station last Friday.

The father’s story

Late Ifedolapo’s distraught father, Mr. Gabriel Atansuyi, told journalists, yesterday, that “my son said the phone got lost, but the owner insisted he sold it. “When I visited him in the cell Saturday morning, he showed me the injuries inflicted on him by miscreants, before he was handed over to police at Jankara Police Post.

“He told me that the phone actually got lost, but that the torture made him to state otherwise. I agreed to pay the owner N200,000, which he claimed was the cost of the phone. “Around 3p.m. on Saturday, while I was trying to get him food, I received a call to go and see the Divisional Police Officer, Adeniji Adele Division for a settlement.

“On arrival, I was told to wait for the complainant. While waiting, the DPO took me to the Area Commander’s office at Lion Building, where I was told that my son, Ifedolapo, was dead. “Police claimed he committed suicide. But he was murdered because he had no reason to commit suicide.

As a gospel musician, he had put some lyrics together, which he intended to produce by Easter. Now, they have truncated his vision.”

‘Tope had ulcer’

Explaining how the second victim met his end, one of the protesters, who gave his name as Sijuade Omowarere, said: “We were at the bar enjoying ourselves when policemen stormed the venue at 2a.m., ordering everyone to go on their knees.

Some people started running and got themselves injured in the process. “At the end, about 197 persons were arrested and taken to Lion Building. No reason was given for the raid, as there was no violence while the party lasted.

“On Saturday, Tope’s father went to Lion Building and told policemen that he was an ulcer patient. He was taken to the Lagos Island General Hospital on Sunday, but we were told that he did not respond to treatment.

“He was returned to the station, only for us to hear that he died this morning (yesterday). No policeman has been able to explain the reason for the raid to us since Saturday. Rather, they chased us away with tear gas canisters.”

Effort to reach the Lagos State police spokesman, Famous Cole, failed as his phone was switched off. But policemen at the police post, where Ifedolapo died, claimed he committed suicide in the cell.

Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/protest-singer-another-die-lagos-police-cells-iphone/

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