Seyi Akinade killed himself after losing N7 million in forex trading following his arrest and illegal detention by SARS operatives, a panel of inquiry on police brutality heard on Thursday.
His mother Funmilayo Akinade told the panel in Ogun that the operatives were from the Zonal Intervention Squad of SARS, a police formation at Obada – Oko, near Abeokuta, at that time.
The ZIS unit was later scrapped by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, following the alleged killing of a soccer star, Kazeem Tiyamiyu (aka Kaka) in February.
Seyi, a student of the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), was taken in a raid on a student hostel in Abeokuta.
His mother, in her petition, said he became depressed and drank a poisonous liquid later confirmed by a medical doctor to be the insecticide brand “sniper”
Recounting his experience, a witness and a friend of the deceased, Damilare Adejoro who was also among those arrested said, “on February 3, 2020, Inspector Babajide Adebusuyi and his three other colleagues raided and arrested all the 17 students staying inside Chocolate City Hostel at Camp, Abeokuta, detained and locked us all night inside the cell at the Station.
“The officers did not tell us what our offence was but rather when we got to the station, we were locked up with other 52 inmates already in a small cell after we were asked to pay a sum of two million naira for bail which we could not afford to pay.”
Adejoro added that while in the police custody, his late friend who was a forex trader severally told the officers that he had opened trading business online that would run into loss if not attended to, but they refused him access to his mobile phone, slapped and even made jest of him which eventually made him lost over seven million naira.
Adejoro added that before his friend committed suicide on April 22, 2020, he went on his Twitter page and wrote severally, “this is my story in case anyone is wondering why I did it” and on his last day on earth, he wrote “I guess it’s goodbye now…no one heard my cry for justice and this had to happen haha…bye world”.
Adejoro added “I believe this panel would ensure justice and bring hope to the common man” while requesting that the parents of the deceased be compensated for the huge loss that led to the death of Mr. Seyi Akinade.
Another witness and landlord of the victim, Olaleye Adejare confirmed the incident, saying the police officers eventually collected N120,000 before releasing the students without any just cause.
Responding, one of the respondents, Inspector Babajide Adebusuyi said they arrested the victim, “but it was because they got information that some people were smoking Indian hemp in the house even though the deceased as well as his friend were not culpable.”