16th February, 2012
As it has strangely become one of its hallmarks, the Nigeria Police has yet another case of extra-judicial killing on its hands. A distributor with a sausage roll manufacturing company, Ademola Lawrence Adedeji, died, on 9 February, at a Lagos police cell under mysterious circumstances.
Adedeji was detained at the Area F Police Command, in Ikeja, after being accused of issuing a dud cheque to the Lagos-based Adebola Group, which manufactures sausage rolls.
The deceased allegedly owed the company a huge sum, and after a cheque he issued to clear the indebtedness bounced, the company invited the police. His wife and some friends who were with him till late in the night on the day of his arrest claimed he was refused bail, after they could not produce a hefty sum demanded by the police. The relatives later left Adedeji hale and hearty and went home.
But to their utter shock, when they returned early the next day, 10 February, they were informed that the man they left in sound health the previous night had died. The policemen at the Ikeja division claimed the deceased suddenly took ill overnight and was rushed to an hospital where he died.
The hospital management, however, refuted the police claims, saying the deceased was brought in dead to their facility. A week after the tragic incident, the actual cause of Adedeji’s death remains shrouded in mystery.
The police have yet to offer any convincing explanation on how citizen Adedeji died in their custody. Adedeji, who turned 39, four days before his death, left behind a wife and three kids.
The police hierarchy has yet to comment on this curious death, fuelling speculations that there is an attempt to bury the matter, as they did countless cases in the past.
Adedeji’s death brings to mind the contempt with which an agency charged with law enforcement practically takes the laws into its hands, kills and maims the citizens it is expected to protect.
This new case of police high-handedness and brutality must not be allowed to go the way of prievious cases. We demand that the police authorites immediately launch an investigation into how the late Adedeji died under the watch of its men, and those culpable be made to answer for this glaring injustice.