Police torture Lagos artisan, break hand, victim alleges frame-up

An artisan, Oluwafemi Arowolo, has accused policemen attached to the Sagamu Road Police Division of the Lagos State Police Command of breaking his left hand while torturing him at the station in the Ikorodu Local Government Area of the state.

He claimed that the cops ordered him to confess to being the owner of some Indian hemp, which they planted on him.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the 35-year-old was on his way to a place in the Garage area of Ikorodu when a policeman, identified only as AY, stopped him.

Oluwafemi stated that the cop was with some other colleagues.

“They were drinking and smoking. Because he was not in uniform, I ignored him. But AY and one other policeman people call Alhaji held my shirt and shorts.

“Everybody in the area came out to challenge them because they know me in the community, but AY called his colleagues and they all dragged me to a room in their station.

“I was handcuffed and they collected my phone. They asked for my password and searched the phone, but did not find anything incriminating. About six policemen started beating me after AY complained that I was rude,” he added.

Oluwafemi alleged that the policemen tortured him to confess to a crime he did not commit, adding that his left hand was dislocated during the assault.

“They beat me with planks, iron pipes, wires, till my hand got dislocated. It was at that point that they removed the handcuffs. AY said he would make sure I was imprisoned, but I kept asking what I did wrong.

“So, he placed Indian hemp in my hand and threatened to shoot me if I refused to say it was mine. AY then gave me my shirt to wipe the blood on my face and used his phone to do a video recording of me saying the Indian hemp was mine.

“The incident happened around 2pm on Thursday, January 6, 2022. If you watch the video, you will realise I made the statements under duress; a gun was pointed at me. When a journalist took the matter up, they sent the video to cover what they did.

“People in the area who saw the policemen taking me away contacted my family and my mother visited and secured my release. I want justice; I can no longer do anything on my own,” he stated.

Torture marks were also seen on the artisan’s hand, back and neck.

His mother, Adesola, said he had been admitted to a traditional bone-setter facility, adding that he was in serious pain.

She said, “The most annoying thing was that when I asked what my son did, the policeman (AY) said my son was passing and greeted him, but when he realised that he knew my son, he called him back, but my son said he was in a hurry and left.

“So, AY said he felt insulted that my son wanted to ridicule him publicly. The police said they found Indian hemp on my son; it was just a set-up. My son said it was when the policemen were threatening him that they brought out the hemp. The police instead of enforcing the law are breaking it.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Adekunle Ajisebutu, said Oluwafemi was arrested during a stop and search as part of measures to clamp down on cultists and other criminal elements in the area.

He noted that the victim was caught with hemp.

“Upon his arrest, he put up violent resistance, incited and caused an attack on the policemen. However, the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has directed that the case be transferred to the State CID for an independent and unbiased investigation. At the end of the investigation, appropriate disciplinary actions would be taken against the policemen if found guilty.
The Commissioner of Police has consistently emphasised professionalism in the discharge of police duties, and would deal decisively with any police officer exhibiting unprofessional conducts in the command.”

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