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Ogun Police Parades Innocent Man As Cultist

Ogun Police Parades Innocent Man as Cultist, Ignores Media & Legal Redress
Ibara Police Division, Ogun State, Nigeria

Police brutality continues to be a social-political concern, despite youths’ commitment in October 2020 to end abuse of power by public security agencies in Nigeria. Today’s story is about Oluga Abiola. Who is next?

Abiola is a fresh Bachelor of Science in Mathematics graduate of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, popularly known as FUNAAB, an academic institution situated in the heart of Gateway State, Ogun State.

He has curated a fine curriculum vitae to engage in the labour market following his convocation on the 27th of January, 2024.

Following his graduation, Abiola went home exactly eight days after graduation to help his widower and retiree father when the Police officers of Ibara Division arrested him on Sunday afternoon, 4th of February 2024, on an allegation of recording police activities with a smartphone.

According to Abiola, the police officers who beat him up claimed he had recorded the raiding they were carrying out, which was not the case as Abiola was on a chat with his friend on WhatsApp.

The officer collected my phone and went through it but found nothing yet kept hitting me with a stick and forcing me to enter their vehicle. We were about seven people who knew nothing but were arrested, Abiola told West Africa Weekly

Abiola’s dad, Mr. Oluga, who is an old man, visited the DPO of Ibra Police Division, Lateef Balogun, and his team under his command to investigate what transpired, “I will knack the gun on you, if you dare move close to me,” one of the officers addressed him.

Ibara Police Division, Near Government House, Isale-Igbein Ogun State

These officers, in their usual modus operandi, paraded Abiola and other youths around the city of Abeokuta, especially the axis of Lafenwa.

Some of the other youth were detained in the cell for at least three hours with a team involving the anti-cultism unit,” says Abiola

Meanwhile, during the interview with Abiola, he expressed the trauma and humiliation he had to go through as the police officers paraded him and others publicly before being locked in the Ibara Police Division, which falls under his area of jurisdiction.

According to him, “I slept in a poor-conditioned cell till Monday 5th of February”, he said.

In a bid to effect the bail of Abiola, his relatives met with an Officer in the division, Lateef Balogun, who maintained a ‘No Bail’ stand while claiming only three others would be bailed.

Officer Balogun insists Abiola’s bail will only come from the State Commissioner of Police, stating his offence is of state concern.

I learned your brother studied Math, he’s just brilliant but not intelligent. I will teach a lesson,” he said to Abiola’s brother at the police station.

One of the officers who requested not to be named informed his brother that those who were arrested were not cultists as her colleagues had claimed while hinting to him to reach out to State command for help.

While Abiola slept the third day under unlawful detention, yet denied his freedom via bail option, the division in an unscrupulous means to curate a list of 11 youths suspected of cultism in the ongoing killings in Abeokuta, printed his name on Punch Frontpage Newspaper as suspected cultist member.

Also, his name was discussed among others on Channels TV as reported by the Ogun State PPRO, Omolola Oduntola, who, without conscience nor proper investigation, forwarded the list to the media as criminals.

Abiola was then transferred from Ibara to the State Headquarters at Elewaran, in the forces anti-cultism division, to spend another night in unlawful incarceration.

On day 3 of illegal detention, on Wednesday 7th of February, 2024, his relatives went with a lawyer to bail him out. The officers of the police on duty delayed the process, having arrived at 10:30 AM (WAT), and he was later released at 4:00 PM.

Abiola’s release was placed without seeing his lawyers engage him on rights violated, a haven approach of the criminals whose investigation on cultism is to nab innocent youth and parade them as criminals for extortion.

Despite the illegal arrest and detention, Abiola has since taken to social to inform fellow youth of the continuous gross human rights abuse still at large through police brutality.

Amidst the gross misconduct, the State Commissioner and Police command, Elewaran is yet to honour the request of his lawyer, having served concerned authorities for redress.

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