…Family petitions IG
…Ex-Police Officer in show of strength
By Dayo Johnson
QUESTIONS are being asked why the Ondo State Police Command still holding on to the corpse of a 40 year old farmer, Aanu Olanusimi, who died mysteriously in their custody since September 2019 at the police station in Idanre area of the state after he was arrested by detectives for allegedly stealing of cocoa beans from a farm at Irikose, Ago Oni Rice village.
While the police insisted that he developed complications and died in the hospital less than thirty minutes after his arrest and on the way to the police station, the family of the deceased said that his death was not natural as claimed by the police.
The deceased was alleged to have stolen cocoa beans from one Chief Akinruli’s farm on September 4, and he was thereafter arrested and detained. He was said to have been fingered by one of the labourers of Chief Akinruli.
Families of the victim have cried out over alleged plan by the police in the state to sweep the case under the carpet.
They questioned why the command had refused to release the corpse of their son to them for autopsy and burial since he died in the police custody in Idanre if he actually died naturally and not that he was tortured to death by police detectives during interrogation.
The 80 year old mother of the deceased, Comfort Olanusimi, speaking on behalf of the family through a lawyer Fidolyn Akindiose dismissed as “blatant lies the submission of the state police command that their son died on the way to the police station.
The mother of the deceased, Mrs. Comfort Olanusimi, through her lawyer, Fidolyn Akindiose in a petition to the Inspector General of Police and a copy made available to Vanguard in Akure, the state capital said that ”news came to his mother that her son died shortly after his arrest.
Family petitions IG
But to their surprise, “the police had refused to release the corpse of the deceased for his family for burial since he reportedly died in September 2019.
The family said: “On November 4, 2019, she (Mrs Olanusimi) was with her son Aanu at the farmland camp when one Chief Akinruli of Idanre and a police officer from Idanre Divisional Police station came to arrest her son.
“In inquiry for the offence committed she and her son were told that Aanu has been stealing Cocoa seeds from Akinruli’s farmland as was reported by his labourer.
“Her son then followed Akinruli and the police officer on a motorcycle to the police station.
While our client was getting ready to go to the police station, another motorcyclist came to tell her that her son was vomiting on the road and had been taken to the state hospital in Idanre.
“She was later told that her son has been transferred to the State Specialist Hospital Akure (UNIMEDTH, Annex Akure). Very early the next day, when she got to the state hospital, Akure she was told that her son had died.”
According to the family, the deceased, was hale and hearty, without any complaint of illness before his arrest.
“Up to this moment, the body of our client’s son has not been released to her.”
The lawyer alleged that the police had perfected a report that would indicate that the deceased drank poison shortly before the arrest.
Akindiose said: “The deceased had no reason to take up his own life.
“It is our contention that the acts of the said Chief Akinruli, his labourer and the investigating Police Officer, known as Londo constitutes criminal acts to wit; false accusation, professional negligence, criminal conspiracy, murder and failure to produce corpse .
“It is our appeal to the AIG to use his office to take over the case from the homicide section of the state Criminal Investigation Department, Ondo State Police Command for further investigation, and for the release of Aanu’s corpse, so that justice can be done.
We have nothing to hide—Ondo Police
Contacted, the command’s spokesperson, Femi Joseph, denied complicity in the death of the suspect.
Joseph pointed out that “the police had no authority not to release the corpse to the family. The Commissioner of Police, Andie Undie, had personally intervened in the matter.”
The Command advised the family of the deceased to approach the Idanre Divisional Police Officer DPO, who had been briefed on the corpse of the farmer.
Joseph dismissed the allegation that the police held on to the corpse purposely to cover up their deeds.
Joseph said: “We have nothing to hide, the suspect died in the hospital where he was rushed to after he developed complications on the way to the police station in Idanre.
However, reliable source informed vanguard that the police command in the state held on to the corpse because a retired police officer has interest in the case hence the show of strength to oppress the family of the deceased farmers by not releasing his corpse over three months after he mysteriously died in their custody.