By Efe Onodjae
When 23-year-old Arowole Paul drove his father’s tricycle to seek income for the family, he was assured that the Nigeria Police Force would provide him, like other citizens, with protection.
However, little did he realise that those whom his safety depended on, would be responsible for cutting his life short.
On January 14, sadness made the home of the Arowole’s its dwelling as Paul, a fashion designer, who lived around Okunribido Church Bus Stop in Lawson area of Lagos State, lost his life to two police officers and an accomplice who beat him to death at Ojulegba, Lagos State. The accomplice was said to be a civilian who assists the police in chasing defaulters.
When Vanguard arrived at the family house of the deceased, his father, Mr. Arowole Olasankanmi; his friend, Mr. Samuel Bashorun and his girlfriend, who identified herself as Christiana, were present, waiting to narrate how the shocking event unfolded.
Olasankanmi said: “It happened on Saturday, I had given him the key to my tricycle to work with. Late that night, I had not seen him and was worried because it was unlike him to stay out late
“When I waited all night and did not see him, I saw his girlfriend who told me what happened to my son and my tricycle. She said the police stopped him and one of them got into the tricycle as one of the police was struggling with him for the tricycle, he decided to speed off because he was afraid that they would take his tricycle from him.
“On seeing that he might escape, one of the policemen jumped back into the vehicle, chased him, and hit the tricycle from the back before it tumbled over.
“They brought him out of the tricycle, dumped him in their vehicle and drove him to their station. At this point, the boy was still very much alright, this was according to his girlfriend, Christiana and an eyewitness.
“The next day we continued with our search for him, checked all the police stations in the area, and came back with nothing. We were worried because if, indeed, something terrible had happened, we ought to see his corpse and the tricycle outside one of the stations.
“By 2 pm on Sunday, we finally got to the Area C, Surulere police station. When we asked, they began looking at us suspiciously, nobody wanted to attend to us, eventually someone stepped forward and invited us to an office upstairs. That was when they told us that our son was dead.
“They said they don’t know what happened but that he died and has been taken to the mortuary. I was surprised because my son was healthy when he left home. I said he can’t die like that.”
Younger sister of the deceased, Hannah told Vanguard that when the news of her brother’s death was broken to her, she hurriedly informed her grandmother, saying “I rushed to inform my grandmother and I called my mother to tell her about it. We returned home to meet his friend who came to confirm to us that he had died
“We left to park where the incident happened, to find out what really happened to him and we met a man who told us he knew all that happened.
“He took us to the mortuary and showed us a video of the incident, yet the police insisted that they didn’t know how it happened.
“The next day we went back with more family members to the station but they told us only four people could enter. We were then informed that the people who killed him had been locked up at Panti Police station and that we had to institute a case against his killers.
“However, our family said that they do not want to institute any case, that we only need his body since he was dead already but the Panti police told us that they cannot release his body as it was part of the evidence of the case. Meanwhile, the mortuary attendant told us that they need a police report before they can release his body to us because it was brought in by the police.”
Friend of the deceased, Mr. Bashorun, told Vanguard how an elderly woman implored Paul, his friend, to take her to Ojulegba.
He said: “We were together that day and worked till evening. On his way back from where he dropped the elderly woman, he ran into a police informant. The person helps the police to arrest people. The guy jumped into Paul’s tricycle.
“While they were dragging for control, the tricycle tumbled, his girlfriend who was at the back, fell and fainted and pedestrians rushed and helped her. As soon as the tricycle was raised, the police used their vehicle to block him.
“They dragged him out, put him in their vehicle and took him to the cell. By this time, they had beaten him severely.
“They hit him on the chest and he had difficulty breathing. Fortunately, there was one policeman at the station who was always with us in this area. He was the one that alerted them that it appeared that the boy would die.
“It was when we went back that the police started denying ever seeing him or his tricycle.”
Bashorun, who explained to Vanguard that the man who played a video of all that transpired on that fateful day did so while shivering, said in the video, they saw Paul sitted in a chair severely beaten and appeared dead.
“It was the video that confirmed to us that he had died. It was a shock to us. We had all been playing and working together up till the evening,” he added.
The 65-year-old grandmother of the deceased, after hearing the news of her grandson’s death, died a week later.
The Lagos State Police Spokesman, SP Benjamin Hundeyin when contacted said: “The case is under investigation, and an autopsy has been carried out, which will confirm from state SCIID if the result is out.
On the other hand, the Aunty to the deceased, Mary Akinbami confirmed to Vanguard that the autopsy result has been released and it shows that a gun was used on Paul Arowole’s head which led to internal bleeding of his skull.
The post How grandmother died a week after police officers allegedly beat grandson to death in Lagos appeared first on Vanguard News.
Leave a Reply