The family of a 33-year-old man, Dauda Danladi, has accused the Bauchi State Police Command of torturing him to death.
It was gathered that Dauda, who got married last year, died on Thursday, July 8, while allegedly in police custody.
He was said to have been arrested by a team of security operatives in front of his shop located in Yelwa Kagadama, a suburb of Bauchi metropolis around 9pm on Thursday.
An eyewitness, Liatu Nuhu, who sells groundnut milk and rice gruel close to the shop of the deceased told Punch that the police and the vigilante arrived in Gestapo style and started arresting people indiscriminately.
“I was doing my business when, suddenly, the police and some vigilantes came, more than 10 of them, and started arresting people. The Divisional Police Officer got out of the vehicle and directed them, ‘Arrest him! Arrest him!’ And that was how they arrested the boys playing snooker, others who were chatting and the deceased who was standing in front of his shop,” Nuhu narrated.
“We kept telling them not to arrest him, we told them that he was our neighbour here and we knew him to be someone of good character. We asked why they would arrest him, but they still took him away. Today (Friday) in the morning, we went to the police station around 7am, they told us to stay at a far distance and wait for the DPO to come to the office. So, I decided to go to my place of work. By 10.15am, I returned, only for me to see the deceased’s wife crying profusely. When I asked her what happened, she told me that her husband was dead.” he added.
Speaking to Daily Trust, the younger sister of the deceased, Dorathy Danladi, said her brother was arrested while in his shop alongside some other young men who were playing snooker in the area.
She said the family was not told the offence the deceased committed and were surprised to later learn that their brother and breadwinner of the family died in custody under questionable circumstance
“They have refused to give us his corpse. We want them to give us his corpse so that we can confirm what they are saying because we know that when they arrested him last night Thursday, he was hale and hearty,” she said.
She therefore, called on the Inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Police in Bauchi to ensure thorough investigation into the matter and bring all those responsible for the death of their brother to justice.
When contacted, the Commissioner of Police, Bauchi State, Sylvester Alabi, told journalists on the phone that five people were arrested with a revolver pistol in the area, adding that two of them were later released because they were found innocent while the other two were still being held at the Police station.
“The deceased was not even part of them, he was about 200 metres ahead. He was gasping for breath in his business place and the police assisted him to the hospital and then, he died. If police had not assisted him to the hospital, people would have said they are bad people. The police now assisted, now na wahala (sic). I have told the PPRO to go to the media and tell people the correct version of the story,” he stated.
In a statement issued on Saturday, July 10, spokesperson of the State Police Command, Ahmed Wakil, said the police received a distress call about a person who had slumped and was gasping for breath.
“Police rushed to the scene and met the victim who was later identified as Dauda surname yet unknown, lying unconscious and reasonably suspected to have an asthmatic attack and was quickly evacuated by the patrol team to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH) for medical attention where he was unfortunately certified dead by a Medical Doctor,” Wakil stated.
The PPRO said that the Commissioner of Police in the state has ordered for a discreet investigation including autopsy to ascertain the actual circumstances surrounding the incident after which the outcome shall be made public.
Meanwhile, a brother of the deceased, Mark Danladi has taken to Facebook to demand for justice.
“Let it be upon record that My brother Dauda Danladi was gruesomely murdered on 8/7/2021 by some scoundrels labelled as the Nigerian police force NPF Yelwa division. They were on a raid arresting anybody they feel like. They forcefully took him away from his shop despite explaining to them he has a shop there. He was harrased and beaten to death for no cause,” Mark wrote.
“Such mischievous act meted upon an innocent person is uncalled for. Police officers with such kind of barbaric attitude, should, as the matter of immediate effect be dismissed from duty . To face the law. Nigerian Police Force KILLED MY BROTHER. It’s just pathetic.”