The Man Centre Police Division, Ikeja, Lagos State, has raided a nightclub on Oba Akran Road, in the Ikeja area of Lagos State, arresting a 24-year-old, Gabriel Faleye, who died a few hours later.
The family members, who spoke with PUNCH Metro, alleged that the policemen tortured Gabriel to death, adding that the police did not take him to any hospital when he became unconscious.
The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, however, denied that the suspect died from torture, saying he was attacked by a mob when he tried to rob in the area, and the police rushed him to a hospital where he later died.
Our correspondent learnt that Gabriel, who was seeking admission to a university, had gone to the club, identified as Roya, with his friends on Sunday when a fight broke out between them and another group.
It was gathered that the fight started around 2am on Monday, when Gabriel and his friends were going home, and one of the clubbers, said to be drunk, urinated on Gabriel.
Our correspondent gathered that a fight had ensued, during which the owner of the hotel made a distress call to the Man Centre Police Division.
It was learnt that before the police arrived, one of the violent clubbers entered his car and deliberately ran into Gabriel, during which he sustained injuries.
PUNCH Metro learnt that when the policemen arrived, they arrested Gabriel and one of his friends, Ibrahim Musaka, on the ground that they allegedly robbed in the area.
It was gathered that Gabriel’s friends, who followed the policemen to the station, told the policemen that the 24-year-old needed medical treatment, but the policemen allegedly refused.
Our correspondent gathered that the suspect died around 5am.
Angry family members were said to have stormed the station alleging that the policemen tortured Gabriel.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro, the deceased’s father, Ibrahim Faleye, who hails from Abeokuta, Ogun State, and lives in Oke Ira, Ogba, Lagos, said he was only told on the telephone that his son had an accident.
He said, “Gabriel was staying with his mother in Ikeja. He usually went to nightclubs once in a while. He was seeking admission to the University of Lagos.
“This morning, I was called by my wife’s younger sister that Gabriel had an accident and the police took him to a cell. I was later told he had died. The police said they wanted to see me urgently at the station. I was shocked when I was told that he had died.”
The family lawyer, Alex Okpako, said the police had not allowed the family to see the corpse.
He said, “This incident happened when Gabriel and his friends were about leaving the club around 2.30am to come home. The other group is suspected to be Yahoo boys (scammers). They were drunk and one of them urinated on the deceased. They wanted to fight, but they were immediately separated. Later, the boy brought a car and deliberately rammed into Gabriel by the roadside.
“When the police came, Gabriel’s friends begged them to take him to a hospital because he had been injured. The police refused. The Yahoo boys were later released when they bribed the policemen.
“The policemen beat up Gabriel inside the van. He was not given urgent medical attention. They said he was pretending. He died around 5am in their cell. We want justice done in this matter.”
Our correspondent gathered that the family members had refused to leave the police division, demanding Gabriel’s corpse.
The hotel management could not yet be reached for comments on the incident as of press time.
The police spokesperson, Badmos, said there was no reason to torture the deceased, adding that the case had been transferred to the State Department of Criminal Investigations, Yaba.
She said, “The suspects were earlier attacked by a mob while they tried to rob their victim. During preliminary interrogation, Gabriel complained of pains and he was rushed to a hospital where he was later confirmed dead. There is no reason to torture the deceased.”