Policemen attached to the Ore Division of the Ondo State Police Command have been accused of torturing a yet-to-be-identified hotel lodger to death at a cell in the police facility in the state.
Sources gathered that the victim was lodging at a hotel in the area when the policemen stormed the premises to arrest him and other lodgers on Saturday.
Following their arrest, the policemen took the lodgers to the police station where they were detained and allegedly subjected to traumatising tortures before they were released after paying various amounts for bail.
A source, however, told our correspondent that when the policemen observed that the health of the deceased lodger was deteriorating as a result of the alleged torture, they quickly granted him bail after he paid them N5000.
“Every other person arrested along with the deceased was granted bail with N20,000 and the money was paid through a Point-of-Sale operator at the police station,” the source said.
The source said the family of the deceased victim, after securing his bail on Tuesday, observed that he was complaining of severe pains all over his body.
In a bid to rescue him, the source said the victim was rushed to the hospital, adding that he died while receiving treatment in the hospital.
Reacting to the development, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Funmilayo Odunlami, in a statement on Thursday, denied the allegation that the victim died as a result of being tortured by policemen, adding that the claim was a ploy to smear the image of the command.
The statement read, “ On Monday, March 13, 2023, the police command was informed that suspected political thugs were in town and lodged in different brothels within Ore and its environs.
“On the strength of this information, policemen attached to the Ore Division embarked on a routine raid of black/flash points and brothels fingered to be where some of the miscreants were lodged.
“Suspects arrested were diligently screened and released on bond the next day. However, on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, one of the managers operating a brothel in the area called the DPO to inform him that some people brought a lifeless body to his office claiming the person died a day after he was released.”
Odunlami said those who brought the corpse to the manager invaded the Ore Police Station in an attempt to destroy and burn down the station but were dispersed by the policemen on duty.
“It is pertinent to state that the Ondo State Police Command does not handle issues relating to police brutality/ incivility to the members of the public with kid gloves as we are committed to upholding the primary duty of the job, that is, protection of lives and property with a high level of professionalism.
“The command said it would not be deterred by the evil concocted by some people who want to smear the image of the state police command