By Temitope Adedeji in Akure
A 70-year-old-man, Pa Gbenga Omolo, has died in the hands of the officers of the Nigeria Police Force in Ondo State while being tortured.
He died in the custody of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Akure, as a result of heavy torture meted out to him.
The septuagenarian driver and grandfather was said to have bravely challenged a rampaging police officer who used his vehicle to obstruct the road along Arakale area of Akure, the state capital.
The police officer used his official vehicle to indiscriminately obstruct the road and caused heavy gridlock for several minutes without been challenged.
“Omolo was passing through the Arakale road with his own vehicle when he noticed that a police officer used his official vehicle to block the road and this caused a traffic- hold up for some minutes,” one of the deceased sons told WESTERN POST.
Following his daring challenge of the police officer, Pa Omolo was said to have been attacked and beaten to pulp by the man in uniform before he was later rescued.
But the incident took another dimension, when the police officer returned to the station and reported the incident to his colleagues in the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Akure.
The SARS team was said to have allegedly mobilised to Amudipe Street in Akure, believed to be the abode of Pa Omolo, and arrested him along with other innocent residents of the area without any justification.
“It was at the point he was repairing his tyre that another team of the officers came to arrest him alongside some innocent residents numbering about six who were sympathising and pleading for his release,” a source said.
All attempts to secure the release of Pa Omolo and the remaining innocent residents proved abortive as the policemen were said to have allegedly demanded the sum of N150, 000 for the bail.
One Mr. Muyiwa, the NURTW branch Chairman in the motor-park, however, raised the sum of N100, 000 for the bail.
But to everybody’s dismay, Pa Omolo was found dead following the heavy torture given him while in custody. Several colleagues of the deceased, who were mostly members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) on Wednesday, staged a peaceful protest over his maltreatment and death.
Already, the Police Commissioner in the state, Isaac Eke, has invited the deceased’s family to a meeting over the incident, to see what can be done to pacify the family.
WESTERN POST learnt on Wednesday that some bereaved members of the family and close colleagues of the deceased in the driver’s union have vowed to challenge the matter in court.
Sources in the Ondo Police Command told the newspaper that the officers involved in the ugly act are being detained at the Police Headquarters in Akure. Pa Omolo’s remains have, however, been deposited at the General Hospital’s morgue in Akure.