Police exhume body of fashion designer shot dead by police in Lagos

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The body of a fashion designer shot dead by a police in Lagos was on Tuesday exhumed from the cemetery and taken to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, for autopsy.

25-year-old Jamiu Ayodele was killed on May 7 at about 7:30 p.m. at 49, Wosilat Daudu Street, Ijeshatedo, where he went to attend a friend’s birthday party.

He was buried soon after according to Muslim rites but following the cry of justice from his family members and civil society organisations, the case has now been taken up and the corpse exhumed to aid investigation.

Muhammed Yakubu, the Ijeshatedo Divisional Police Officer (DPO) who is allegedly responsible for killing Ayodele reportedly denied the act initially, claiming no one died. However, it was later discovered that was not the case, hence the directive to exhume the corpse.

The Nation reports that men from the Anti-Robbery Squad, State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, some workers in the Department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine, Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM) and some relatives of the deceased were at the cemetery when the body was exhumed.

Addressing the death of Ayodele, an elder sister of the deceased, who requested not to be named, said the family has been communicating with the Commissioner of Police, who she said directed that the body would be exhumed for further investigation. She said the police were also at the cemetery for inspection three weeks ago. She also expressed concerns about justice being served to the police officer who killed her brother and said the only thing she heard so far is that he has been queried.

She said:

 “As a family, we want justice to prevail. The police have their public service rule, which they must follow; we are not going to teach them what to do, but justice must prevail.

“We have heard different things from the police, including that the late Ayodele was a criminal, that he has a file with them and that he is a cultist. We first want our family name to be cleared that he was not a cultist and nor a criminal. The police report wrote that it was during a riot that he was hit on the head. The incident happened around 7:30pm; Ayodele observed Salat Maghrib (Sunset prayer) at 7pm, how could he have been in a riot scene? This is embarrassing. As a family, we want them to do justice to the case. They should not tamper with the body; they should do the actual thing that they are supposed to do.

“I give kudos to the Commissioner of Police, he has handled this case well and it shows he is intelligent; all the police officers that have also been involved in this case have been useful and helpful to us. We do not have any problem with them. We hear of different situations where police shot people dead; this shows that there is need for government to sensitise the police officers, they should be trained. It was not like this in the past; people used to be happy when they see police officers, because they know that they would be protected, but today, seeing the police van triggers fear in people.

“If a DPO is alleged to have slain my brother, who do we want to report to? It is a shame that someone of that calibre should be found under negligence of duty. The police officers need psychiatric test. They need to know their state of mind and they should visit psychologists, because there are so many factors that would make a man to shoot into the residents where armless civilians are living; this shows that something must be wrong. Police are not hired killers. When did the police officer become hired killers?”

An initial report signed by Dr F. I Osuolale of Department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine, LASUCOM says that his death was as a result of severe craniocerebral injury and penetrating missile injury to the skull.

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