The silence of the police authorities regarding the investigation into the death of police inspector Taiye Atobiloye, who passed away while detained at the ‘D’ Division of the Kogi State Police Command, has caused distress for his family.
Previously, it was reported by City Round that Taiye, who was initially stationed at the Oke Onigbin Police Division in Kwara State, had been assigned to the Zone 8 Police Command in Lokoja, Kogi State, for special duty. However, a disagreement at the division resulted in him rejecting the posting, which was initially intended for another inspector. Despite his unsuccessful attempts to reverse the deployment, he ultimately reported to the zonal headquarters but was detained for unauthorized absence from work.
The family of Taiye alleges that he was tortured and died while in custody.
In response, the family’s legal representative, A.G. Ademola-Bank, has demanded a thorough investigation into the inspector’s death, a public apology, immediate payment of his entitlements, and financial support for his burial.
Joshua Atobiloye, the elder brother of the deceased inspector, informed City Round that they have not received any official communication from the police since the incident occurred.
He said, “Since the incident, we have been to the Federal Medical Centre at Lokoja to identify his body, and an autopsy has been conducted to unravel the cause of his death. Until now, there has been no response from the police at Lokoja.
“No action has been taken on the issue; they didn’t call us or write to us or communicate in any way with us. The autopsy result revealed that they tortured and beat him seriously. We have already written a petition to the Nigeria Police Force at Abuja, but they have not responded till now.
“Our family counsel met with the Commissioner of Police on Tuesday regarding our demands, and he asked us to see the IG in Abuja. We don’t want this case to be covered up and the perpetrators to go scot-free. We want justice for Taiye.”
In addition, while speaking to our correspondent, Ademola-Bank mentioned that the Investigating Police Officer conveyed to the family that the investigation report had been submitted to the Commissioner of Police in Kogi State.
“About two weeks ago, when Taiye’s family notified me about the burial of the deceased, I called the IPO to ask about the investigation and why the silence from them, and he said they were done with their investigation and had forwarded their report to the CP of Kogi State.
“When we met with the Kwara State CP, they seemed to paint a picture of Taiye as a lazy officer and a drunk, and I said if this was true and he was absent from work for two days, should death be the penalty for his offense? This was someone who served the Force for 27 years,” he added.
Previously, Muyiwa Adejobi, the Force’s Public Relations Officer, had ordered an investigation into Taiye’s death by the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba. Adejobi assured the family that justice would be served.
In the meantime, Taiye’s family provided our correspondent with an audio recording in which Adigun Salami, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the ‘D’ Division in Lokoja, Kogi State Police Command, mentioned that he had made attempts to release Taiye when he was brought to the cell.
“I did what I had to do because I can also sleep and not wake up. When he was brought to the cell that day, and they said the order came from the provost, I called him (provost) and told him I would not accept this suspect because we had a sergeant who had been earlier detained but damaged our office.
“I even feigned an excuse that the door of the cell was not good, but he insisted that we detain him. He is my superior, and I couldn’t argue with him,” he said in the audio.