Ordinarily, leaving close to a police station sounds like an advantage of being free from security treat but for Olufemi Samson Arowolo, it’s a dangerous adventure as incessant harassment by officers and men of the Shagamu Road Police Station, Ikorodu goes on unchecked.
Arowolo, who lives adjacent Shagamu Road Police station somewhere around popular garage in Ikorodu was on his way to work on Thursday, January 6th, 2022 when he saw some men sitting at a Bar opposite the Station smoking and drinking at a public glare. The men at the bar called Arowolo who declined to meet them owing to the fact that he was not aware they were police officers. Arowolo told SECURITY MONITOR that they were in mufti and seem under the influence of the substances consumed.
Arowolo was seriously in pain when he speaks with SECURITY MONITOR. He said, “The guys at the bar subsequently ran after me and dragged me back with my T-shirt. They said I publicly disrespected police officers. One of them that I later identified as Ayo called four other unknown officers attached for my arrest. By that time, members of the public tried to intervene with a view to ascertain the offence I committed; they chased them away telling them that I was rude”.
With physical injuries in all over his body, Arowolo said he was arrested and dragged into a room inside the Sagamu Road Police Division. “ I was handicuffed to the back, tortured with planks, iron pipes, wires and some other injurious items while till my hand got dislocated”.
“Office AY as he’s fondly called in his bid to find criminal evidence against me to premise the inhuman torture and acts of lawlessness tagged alleged that I was a Yahoo boy. He seized my phone and forcefully asked me to provide its password. After thorough and extensive search, the officers were seriously infuriated to the marrow that nothing incriminating was found on my phone”.
Arowolo added that the officer AY led squad was seriously looking for a cover-up to justify the several injuries inflicted on him that “officer AY brought out some of the substance they were taken prior to the incident which turned out to be Indian Hemp and gave it to me while he set his phone camera and other officers pointed guns at me with the threat of killing me if I refused to admit that the Indian hemp was found on me. The officers threatened me that in any event that I makes any effort to escalate the matter beyond the four walls of the police Division, they will use the video to implicate me and ensure that I was further remanded in prison”.
But Adekunle Ajisebutu, Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP and Public Relation Office of the Lagos state Police Command informs newsmen that of the Police found Indian Hemp on Arowolo during a stop and search operation. According to the Command’s spokesman, Arowolo incited violence against the officers, leading to his arrest and subsequent release. CSP Ajisebutu however added that the State Commissioner of Police, AIG Hakeem Odumosu has ordered Criminal Investigation Department, CID of the command to investigate the matter and unravel mystery.
The victim’s lawyer, Fatai Adekoya Adebanjo in a petition submitted to the Lagos Commissioner of Police, CP stated that his team is taking the pains as legal practitioners and human rights activist to draw the attention of the command to “the saga which has snowballed into subjecting our client (Arowolo) to an enormous pain by virtue of the injuries inflicted on him arising from the persecution of unsuspecting members of the public by men of The Nigerian Police under your jurisdiction to the extent of dislocating his hand”.
The petitioner submitted that” we respectfully demand on behalf of our Client that the Nigerian Police Force should compensate our Client with the sum of Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000) as specific, exemplary and general damages, owing to the fact that the officers who caused this ugly situation did so in the cause of their duty”.
Not a few Lagosians are aware of Arowolo’s case as the video of his brutalized body trends on the social media. A check on posts and comments of Nigerians depict high level of anger against the police for continuously subject suspect to a criminal that must be tortured and injured.
Ismail Adesanya, a civil society activist wonders why police fail to learn from the endsars saga and adjusts its jungle judgment system. Adesanya, while reacting to Arowolo’s case on a Facebook group appeals all Nigerians to brace up for another mass action against abuse of police rights. The activist urges police authority to ensure Arowolo gets justice.
Owei Lakemfa, a famous newspapers columnist in his recent article tiled; ‘The Rule of Lawlessness’ warns that torturing and brutalizing any suspect while affecting an arrest is criminal and that the Nigerian Police should desist from such infamous act.
Ikorodu Ambassadors Group has also made move to ensure Arowolo’s case is not swept under the carpet. The president of Ikorodu Youth Initiative, Rasheed Fatuga and his secretary, comrade Samson Bisiriyu also concerned and visited the Divisional Police Officer, DPO of Shagamu Road Polioce Station and demand justice e for Arowolo. According to their post on social media, the DPO confirmed that the case is under investigation.