The family members of a Lagos trader, Mrs Basirat Akinmushire, have demanded an investigation into her death while in the custody of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team, Lagos.
They said the 54-year-old, who was arrested at a market on Isolo Housing Estate, Isolo, was hale and hearty until the police called to inform them that she had died.
Our correspondent learnt that a rights group, Network for Police Reforms in Nigeria, had written the Police Service Commission on behalf of the family, alleging that the suspect was extra-judicially murdered.
PUNCH Metro had reported that a man, Olatunde Adetunji, was arrested by the police team in the Ikeja area for alleged robbery and cultism.
Adetunji, an alleged member of the Eiye Confraternity, was said to have claimed that Basirat, aka Area Mama, kept the gang’s weapons.
The 31-year-old allegedly said they usually paid her N5,000 after every successful operation.
The pepper seller, who was subsequently arrested, was said to have told the police that she was coerced into keeping the guns used by the gang.
She allegedly confessed to have transferred two guns belonging to the gang to one Junior, aka Jungle.
Basirat, according to a statement she allegedly made to the police, said the gang threatened to kill her if she leaked their secret.
The police had claimed that the woman, while leading detectives to Junior’s hideout, attempted to escape and fell into a ditch where she got injured.
The deceased’s younger brother, Babajide Lateef, while denying the allegation of arms keeping, said the mother of three was arrested on September 13.
He said, “Since that Thursday that she was arrested, we started going to their office in Ikeja, but we were prevented from seeing her. This was ongoing when we read it in the newspapers that she was attempting to escape when she fell into a ditch.
“On Friday, September 28, the police called us and announced that she was dead. On October 2, we were taken to a morgue to see her corpse. We were told that it was when she was running away that she fell and she was taken to a hospital, where she was admitted to until her death.
“She was not the kind of woman that would keep guns for robbers. She was a gentle woman and did not make trouble with people. I am not saying this because I am a family member; ask from her church members and co-tenants and everybody will testify to her good character.
“Initially, we decided to take her corpse for burial after we were asked to write a letter for the release of her corpse; we had called a lawyer who drafted a letter for us. But when we were told to swear to an affidavit that after the body was released to us we would not make any trouble, we consulted some lawyers who advised against it because the police could use it against us and arrest family members.
“At this point, what we want is the help of the government to unravel the cause of her death and the reason for the affidavit.”
Lateef lamented the effect of the death on the deceased’s husband, a retired head teacher.
He said the widower, Samuel Akinmushire, was admitted to a hospital for three days and had suffered depression.
The National Coordinator of NOPRIN, Okechukwu Nwanguma, in a letter to the Chairman of the PSC, asked that an autopsy be conducted on the corpse.
“The police claimed to have carried out an autopsy, but the family did not know when and where this happened. The family demands a thorough and impartial investigation to unravel the actual cause of death. As part of this investigation, the family demands a transparent autopsy where the family medical and legal representatives will be present.
“NOPRIN calls on the PSC to ensure a prompt, impartial and thorough investigation into the cause of death and that necessary actions should be taken against any officer involved if a case of extrajudicial killing is established,” he said.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, said there was no foul play in the death.
He said, “The police were investigating a very serious case of armed robbery and gunrunning. Along the line, the woman became a suspect in the case. She was arrested on the suspicion that she was the gang’s armourer and she admitted to the crime.
“She mentioned the name of another suspect whom she claimed had some of the guns. She was taking police operatives to the place when she suddenly jumped out of the vehicle and started running. They chased her and she fell and broke her leg.
“She was taken to the Police College Cottage Hospital, Ikeja, from where she was referred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, for better treatment. LASUTH further referred her to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi. Days later, the woman died at the hospital.”
Oti explained that the affidavit demanded by the police was only a requirement by law to ensure the deceased’s family did not return to deny receiving the corpse.
Footballer Tiyamiyu Kazeem ‘killed by SARS operative’ buried amid tears (PHOTOS)
Tears flowed, tributes poured in as the remains of Tiyamiyu Kazeem a.k.a (Kaka), assistant captain of Remo Stars FC of Ogun State were buried on Thursday at his family house in Ajaka, Sagamu, Ogun state, according to Islamic rites. The Witness reports.
The footballer was allegedly pushed out of a vehicle by an operative of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), Inspector Olaniyi Ogunsoro, who had mistaken him for a suspected internet fraudster (Yahoo boy), before he was hit by an incoming vehicle on Saturday.
See photos below:
Man treks from Calabar to Yenagoa for new Bayelsa Governor Diri
Murtala Anas Jos, an indigene of Plateau State and staunch supporter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria’s main opposition party, has trekked from Calabar, Cross River State to Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital to celebrate the victory of Bayelsa Governor Diri.
The Witness reports that Jos, who arrived Yenagoa on Wednesday, February 26, said it took him eight days to complete the journey, adding that he undertook the task to mark the victory of his party and Governor Douye Diri at the Supreme Court.
Jos said having followed the political trajectory of Diri, he was happy that the senator against all odds later emerged as an incumbent governor of Bayelsa.
The PDP supporter claimed that the main opposition party remained the only party that understood the problems of the country and knew how to address the yearnings and aspirations of the people.
Bayelsa Governor Diri
His words: “I came from Calabar to Bayelsa State. It took me like eight days trekking to reach Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
“I decided to do this because of the love I have for my party, the PDP and to celebrate with Senator Douye Diri over his victory at the Supreme Court and subsequent swearing-in as the Bayelsa State governor.
“This act is to show how I love and cherish my party, PDP, and to encourage the distinguished gentleman, who has come to work for prosperity, growth and development of Bayelsa State.
“I have never had any interaction with the governor not discussed with him but I’ve been following him since his days in the House of Representatives and Senate, and I know he is the type of leader Bayelsa needs at this moment.
“Though some hoodlums attacked me between Akwa Ibom and Rivers, they snatched my phones but I was not discouraged, because I was eager to celebrate my party’s victory in Bayelsa State”.
Breaking: Court delivers judgment on Ambode’s suit seeking to stop Lagos Assembly probe
A suit by a former Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, seeking to stop the State House of Assembly from probing him, has been dismissed by a High Court sitting in Ikeja, the Lagos capital.
The Witness recalls that State Assembly had in August 2019, set up a nine-man ad-hoc committee to probe Ambode’s administration over the purchase of 820 buses for public transportation in the state.
Delivering judgment on Thursday, February 27, Justice Yetunde Adesanya held that the court lacked the jurisdiction to stop the lawmakers from investigating the ex-governor, stressing that the investigation is not an indictment.
“The claimant (Ambode) has not been indicted. An invitation by an agency of government cannot in any way cause a breach of the threat of the fundamental rights of the claimant.
“I hereby find that the claimant’s action is an invitation to the court to cripple the legislative exercise of the statutory power of the Lagos State House of Assembly under Section 128 and 129 of the 1999 Constitution.
“That is not the function of the court, and no court of law should accede such invitation. The claimant’s suit is hereby struck out,” the Judge ruled.
Ambode loses in court
The former Lagos State Governor instituted the civil suit against the State House of Assembly, its Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, and the Clerk of the House, Mr A. Sanni.
The Witness understands that other respondents to the suit are Fatai Mojeed, the Chairman of an ad-hoc committee, as well as eight members of the committee. They are Mr Gbolahan Yishawu, Mr A. Yusuf, Mr Yinka Ogundimu, Mrs Mojisola Meranda, Mr M. Makinde, Mr Kehinde Joseph, Mr Temitope Adewale, and Mr Olanrewaju Afinni.
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