Co-tenants of Muyiwa Ijaduola, a commercial driver allegedly pushed to death by a policewoman in the Igando area of Lagos State, have fled the house.
PUNCH Metro gathered on Tuesday that the co-tenants abandoned the house after they learnt that the police arrested and tortured the deceased’s siblings and would be coming for them too.
This is just as the eldest brother of the deceased, Ayodele Ijaduola, told our correspondent that Muyiwa or any member of the family did not have epilepsy, saying anybody could go to the family house in Ikeji Arakeji, Osun State, to ascertain his claim.
PUNCH Metro had reported on Tuesday that residents blocked the Igando end of the Lagos State University-Iyana Iba Road to protest against the alleged killing of 46-year-old Muyiwa by a policewoman, identified as Corporal Taiwo.
It was gathered that Muyiwa, a father of three, was stopped by Taiwo, who allegedly demanded N500 from him, pushing the driver into a gutter when the man said he had only N300.
Muyiwa was said to have hit his head against the edge of the gutter and died, after which Taiwo and her unidentified colleague fled the scene.
When PUNCH Metro visited Muyiwa’s house on Alhaji Noah Street, Egan, Igando, on Tuesday, the apartment was deserted.
A resident, who begged not to be named, told our correspondent that the co-tenants fled the house on Monday after they learnt that the Igando Police Division arrested and allegedly beat up Muyiwa’s younger brothers – Ayodeji, Tolulope and his wife, Zainab – for about four hours, adding that there was speculation that the policemen would come for them.
She said, “It is only Muyiwa who stayed here. His wife and three children live in Ikeji Arakeji, Osun State. He usually visited them once in a while. Since Monday, the co-tenants fled the house. Even Muyiwa family members have fled for now.
“They said policemen from Igando were coming to raid the house and harass people in order to sweep the matter under the carpet. After they arrested the deceased’s brothers on Monday, everyone fled.”
Muyiwa’s eldest brother, Ayodele Ijaduola, told PUNCH Metro on the telephone that the police’s claim that the deceased had an epileptic attack was false.
He said, “The epilepsy claim by the police is not true. Muyiwa did not have any epilepsy. We do not have epilepsy in our family. The police are free to go to our family house in Ikeji Arakeji, Osun State, to verify that. We are ready to have the autopsy conducted to know the truth. He did not die because of any epilepsy. Up till now, we have not seen his corpse.”
Also, Pastor Matthew Abisoye, the pastor-in-charge of Healing Power Gospel Church, where Muyiwa worshipped, said the deceased was once his driver and he had never seen any trace of epilepsy in him.
He said, “Muyiwa attended the Healing Power Gospel Church. He was an active member of my church. In fact, he was once my personal driver. I have never seen or heard anything like epilepsy about him. I call on the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, to investigate this incident to the fullest.”
One of Muyiwa’s siblings detained at the police station on Monday, Tolulope, said the police locked them up on the claim that they instigated the protest.
He said, “The three of us were beaten by policemen at the division. They said we were the ones who instigated the residents to protest. They locked us up in the cell. We were freed around 5pm at the Area M Command, Idimu. My body is still very weak.
“We spent about four hours in their cell before they moved us to the area command. Our offence was that we started the protest and demanded to see the corpse of Muyiwa.”
The Lagos State Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Damasus Ozoani, said a post-mortem examination would reveal the cause of Muyiwa’s death, adding that the police would not withhold the corpse for no just reason.
He said, “It was said that he died from a suspected epileptic attack. The police are not medical personnel. It is the post-mortem examination that will reveal the cause of death and that is what the police are waiting for.
“The corpse will be released to the family members as soon as the examination is done. We are hastening up the process and I assure you that anyone found culpable will be dealt with. Investigation is ongoing into the matter.”
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