Police deny reports of torture of suspected criminal who died in custody

Frank Mba

The Nigeria Police has de­bunked reports published by some media organisations and some social media platforms that a 47-year-old Olaoluwa Bo­larinwa who was arrested in connection with robbery activi­ties in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, was tortured to death by mem­bers of the Inspector General of Police Special Tactical Squad (IGPSTS) while in their custody at Itele area of Lafenwa, Ogun State.

Adeshina Boyo, a member of the family of Olaoluwa, had stat­ed in an earlier statement made to some media houses said, “They called my brother an armed rob­ber even without taking him to court. Nigerians should stand up and fight for us. My brother’s death is a case of extrajudicial killing. He was murdered! My brother was not a thief and nei­ther was he an armed robber. My brother was a community leader in his community and everyone knew him.”

A team of concerned crime reporters took it upon them­selves therefore to ascertain the veracity of the claim made by his family to newsmen by visiting the said police command at Itele in Ogun State, where the suspect was kept before his death.

A call was made to the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Frank Mba, to get his reaction to the allegations made by the family of the deceased against his men, in response, he said, “Bolarinwa, fondly called ‘Laolu’ was arrested on March 26, 2020, in Ekotedo Iya Olobe, Ibadan, along with his nephew, Oreolu­wa Abiona, over robbery cases and must have been charged to court if not because of COVID -19 pandemic ravaging the world.

The FPRO further said, “Laolu died in hospital where he was admitted after noticing chronic illness in him,” adding that it was confirmed by the doctor the deceased was an ul­cer patient.

“The deceased’s family has the right to visit the hospital for more confirmation instead of lying that police killed their brother and denied them access to the corpse for proper burial. It is surprising that the deceased’s family is insisting he wasn’t an armed robber after he and other suspects have made confessional statements.”

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