By Ola Ajayi, Ibadan
SEARGEANT Fakere Adegboyega wept uncontrollably with his two handcuffed hands stretched towards his boss who is the Oyo State Police Commissioner, Mr. Adisa Baba Bolanta,Â pleading with him to temper justice with mercy.Â
His cries attracted sympathy from passers-by after they were told that the weeping police officer has put in 20 rigorous years in the service of the force.
In fact, most of them branded Oyo Police boss a â€˜wicked and harsh manâ€™ on hearing the persistent pleas from the officer.Â However, their sympathy soon turned to praises for the Police after details of the officerâ€™s alleged unprofessional misconduct were narrated to inquisitive journalists.
He was alleged to have unduly used violence on a harpless 27- year- old Monsuru Akanji, who was accused of stealing a laptop.Â The humiliation and torture meted on the suspect, an Ordinary Diploma Holder in Business Administration, eventually led to his untimely death.
Monsuruâ€™s story was made more pathetic after it was discovered that the laptop which he was accused of stealing was actually taken by another man who returned it after using it.Â Unfortunately, the laptop was found but the family of Monsuru who had a promising future, has to live with the reality that their once adored and shining star, has fallen never to be seen again.
Monsuruâ€™s journey to the great beyond started when one of his friends complained at the Agodi Police Station that he suspected him of stealing his laptop, not knowing that another friend just came into the room and took the laptop which he returned later.
He was arrested around 7.30 pm.Â The following day, his father went to the Police station to see him but he was told that his son slumped and was taken to Adeoyo State Hospital . On getting there, all he met were the remains of his son.
This prompted a strongly worded petition which was channelled to the State Police boss, Adisa Bolanta and he subsequently ordered full investigations into the circumstances that surrounded the death of Monsuru.Â Luckily, investigations later revealed the gruesome manner in which Monsuru was tortured to death by a Police Officer and the Police Commissioner promptly paraded him.
Giving details of the incident, the Police boss said,Â â€œOn the 30th March, 2010, the command woke up to grapple with the reality of the demise of a suspect in a case of theft at Agodi Divisional Police Headquarters. The command was told that the deceased took ill and was rushed to Adeoyo State Hospital where he was confirmed dead.
Then came the accusation that the suspect did not die a natural death but as a result of torture he was subjected to by the Investigating Police Officer, one Sgt. Fakere Adegboyega. Sequel to the conflicting reports of his death, I ordered a full investigation into his death by the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation Department. The investigation and the autopsy report carried out revealed that the IPO, a Sergeant exhibited acts that are at variance with his professional ethos and training which the medical reports suggest could have led to his death.
â€œHe was then arrested and tried departmentally. He has since been dismissed from the Police Force and would have been charged to court but for judiciary workers who are on strike.Â Â The command had concluded arrangement to meet the family of the deceased to say sorry for the gross error committed by the dismissed policemanâ€.
The CP further stated that his case was compounded because he went into hiding when he knew that the suspect had died.Â â€œHe disappeared for three weeks before he showed up. When asked why he ran away, he said he was indisposed and had to go away to take care of himself.â€
When interviewed, the remorseful policeman was praying earnestly to God to let him off the hook. He claimed he did not touch the suspect but he noticed when he was brought to the station that he had scars on the left side of his head, adding that the mob had beaten him to a pulp before bringing him to the station.Â Â Â He appealed for leniency from the Commissioner of Police, stating that he never beat the suspect.