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Police allegedly torture father of 3 to death in Ogun

A suspected cultist, Oduyiga Seyi, has died in the cell of the Ogun Police Command after alleged torture by the command’s operatives. Seyi Oduyiga, a…

A suspected cultist, Oduyiga Seyi, has died in the cell of the Ogun Police Command after alleged torture by the command’s operatives.

Seyi Oduyiga, a 39-year-old stylist and father of three, was reportedly arrested in connection with the rival cult clashes in Sagamu, where more than two dozen have been killed recently.

His younger sister, Mary, said the victim went out to charge his phone near his home in Atoyo, Sagamu, when he was pounced on by the operatives on November 18.

According to Mary, Seyi was accused of being a cult member despite vehemently denying the accusation.

She said the police justified his detention by pointing to tattoos on his body.

“On Saturday, November 18, around 5:00pm, my brother went out to charge his phone around his house on the same street.

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“There was no electricity; a neighbour put on a generator, and he went there to charge his phone. His house is at Atoyo in Sagamu. He sat under the tree in front of the house where he was charging his phone and took off his clothes due to the heat.

“He saw a team of policemen on patrol, and he attempted to run away but fell down and was arrested. He was taken to Awolowo police station along with one other person.

“The police accused him of being a member of a cult, but he denied it. They took his picture and sent it to some suspected cultists who denied knowing him.

“The police said he would not be released because he had tattoos on his body, whereas the tattoos were Psalm 23.

“He wrote the verse of the Bible on his body, drew the two hands of Jesus supplicating on his chest with the inscription ‘only God can judge me.’ He also wrote on his neck “the day I will never forget,” dated April 7, 2014.

“Later, we pleaded for his release, but they did not release him. They released the other person arrested, stating that the other one would be released because he did not have tattoos on his body.”

She said all efforts to secure a bail for Seyi were denied by the police.

Mary said the family members were shocked to learn that Seyi had died in the Police custody on Friday.

“After some hours, I lost my patience, went back to the policewoman, and pleaded to be allowed to see him and give him the food. She agreed and took us to the cells again. Some inmates said he had been taken out since morning; we later called upstairs to meet the Deputy Commissioner.

“We did not know he wanted to break bad news to us; he then said, “Your boy was misbehaving in the cell overnight; he was biting the inmates, talking to himself; he was behaving like he had run mad. They took him to the hospital, and on getting to the hospital, he gave up.

“On getting to the mortuary, we saw blood on his body; we saw some holes with blood; they had even stitched the area. I was confused that the police could deposit our man in a mortuary, embalmed him without our notice.

“It means there is something fishy. It could mean that he might have been poisoned; they might have hit his head with a gun butt; I saw bruises on his body. I saw bruises on his back; he bled; I saw blood in his eyes. He died on Friday.

“Before he died, he was given a phone to call home; he spoke with my cousin and begged him that he should be fast to take him out of the place because he could not withstand what he was facing.

“We were told that his eyes were tied, legs tied, and turned upside down. There was blood in his eyes; there was blood in his body,” she said.

Mary hinted that the family would brief lawyers in order to file a petition over the incident to seek justice over her brother’s death.

Reacting on Sunday, the Police Spokesman, Omololoa Odutola, admitted that the suspect died in the police cell, but said he was not tortured.

“Torture is strictly against our protocols and principles. Ogun state police command is well versed in the legal framework that safeguards the rights of individuals in custody, free from all forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment,” Odutola said.

She said Seyi and Gbenga Adejoke were ‘notorious members of Buccaneer and Eiye confraternity’ who were arrested by the command.

“For the records, the deceased was already charged for Cult related activities and he was taken to Court on Thursday, 23rd November 2023 where he was to be arraigned before a special Court on cultism case in Isabo Abeokuta, but the honourable Court did not sit, and he was brought back to Eleweran in Abeokuta the same Thursday.

“Seyi was to be taken back to the court at the next available day that the Court will sit, which is on Friday, 24th November 2023. However, on Friday, 24th November, at about 0500 hours, Seyi went berserk, shouting, biting his teeth, and assaulted other suspects in the cell until he got exhausted. Other suspects in the cell alerted policemen on duty.

“He was taken to the police hospital and later to Ijaye General Hospital Abeokuta, along with other suspects he gave bites in the cell for medical treatment against infection. Other suspects were treated and discharged, but Seyi, while on medical attention, later gave up the ghost.”

Odutola disclosed that the command has commenced an autopsy to determine the cause of his death.

“As soon as the autopsy report about the deceased is out, the police will give further details,” Odutola said.

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