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.
OPAN disassociates self from online group called ‘OPMAN’
The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN) wishes to disassociate itself from the group known as Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria, which cleverly adopts the acronym ‘OPMAN’.
This statement serves as a notice to individuals or organizations having dealings with this group, ‘OPMAN’ as our lawyers engage the Corporate Affairs Commission to address this development, OPAN said in a statement adding that it has no affiliation whatsoever with the group.
OPAN President, Austyn Ogannah, said: “Our attention has been drawn to the existence of a group which adopted a name similar to ours and goes by an acronym that is closely identical to ours.
“For the record OPAN has no affiliation with this group or its promoter(s).
“The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN), registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on 14th of November 2011, is the umbrella body for organisations and persons in the online/digital media space with a mandate to self regulate practitioners and promote responsible use of the new media in Nigeria.”
NITDA sets up team to investigate, protect Nigerians from data breach
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), today inaugurated the NITDA Data Breach Investigation Team at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarters, Abuja. The effort was aimed at safeguarding the rights, privacy and data of citizens in the country.
The Director General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi CCIE, while inaugurating the Team said thay, “ever since the Agency issued the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) on 25th January, 2019, there has been an unprecedented interest in the regulation as witnessed by the various engagements and inquiries about it”.
He further stated the objectives of the National Data Protection Regulations includes: Safeguarding the rights of citizens on data privacy; Fostering safe conduct in transactions involving the exchange of Personal Data; Enabling Nigerian businesses to be globally compliant & competitive to create jobs for eligible Nigerians.
Inuwa said that, “NITDA, as the IT sector regulator has a duty to ensure that the objectives of the regulations are being realised”. The highlight of the event was the inauguration of a 15-man committee that will investigate and checkmate any breach of the National Data Protection Regulations (NDPR).
Reps ask CBN to suspend cashless policy
The house of representatives has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to halt the controversial cashless policy it recently re-introduced.
At plenary session on Thursday, the lower legislative chamber said the policy leads to significant decrease in credit extension by Nigerian money deposit banks.
The also said it has negative impacts on small and medium enterprises “which are clearly the engine room for growth of the economy.”
In a circular released on Tuesday, the CBN had directed all deposit money banks in the country to charge 3% processing fees for withdrawals and 2% for deposits of amounts above N500,000 for individual accounts.
Corporate account holders will be charged 5% processing fees for withdrawals and 3% for deposits of amounts above N3 million.
The directive was, however, criticised by some Nigerians for various reasons.
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