Men of the Nigerian army allegedly tortured a young man identified as Yinka Adekunle to death in Osun State.
It was gathered that the deceased with his friends engaged in a fight with some soldiers in mufti after the latter challenged them for not using belts to hold their trousers.
Adekunle questioned the soldiers who never identified themselves the authority under which the soldiers were challenging them. This led to a fight.
A sister of one of the victims said when the soldiers showed their real identities, they arrested her brother and took him to the Ibodi barracks in Ilesha where they tortured him.
“I received a call that my brother was at the barracks so I quickly stepped out and moved to the place, they brought him out and I probed to know what happened so he explained to me.
“They said they wouldn’t release him and his vehicle if they didn’t get Ojeere because there were three people they had a quarrel with on that day.
“The next day, I got there and asked people around what the problem was, they informed me that my younger brother and his friends ‘sagged’ their trousers, that they had no belts on, that the soldiers asked if they were not aware that the trousers could fall to their knees.
“But the soldiers weren’t in uniform and moreover, they’re all in the same age bracket so my brother and his friends said ‘leave us alone, how is it your business that we’re sagging?’
“It turned into a fight and the soldier said he sustained an injury, a very small wound that would have healed by now. Later I called Ojeere, he explained what happened in detail to me.
“The soldiers asked for N500, 000 but I negotiated to N150, 000 but they insisted on N300, 000. I informed Ojeere but he told me he didn’t have up to but that he had N40, 000 with him.
“He said when we get there and beg them, they might listen to us so I said let’s go with an aged person, possibly they would respect such person and listen to us. Ojeere said it might be too late for them to attend to us. That was around 8 pm.
“When we got there that day, as they sighted Ojeere, they pounced on him and beat him with ‘koboko’ (horsewhip), hit his head with wood, they threw him into the mud. I wanted to capture the incident on my phone but the soldiers seized my phone, they wanted to destroy my phone.
“After that, they said we should go and look for the N300, 000. I begged them to accept N100, 000 plus the N40, 000 Ojeere had with him, so they could release them that night.
“I told the soldiers that they could still keep the vehicle in their custody but that they should release the men to me that night and that we would bring the balance but they refused. They insisted on collecting N300,000; they said we could sell our phones. That was on a Friday.
“On Saturday, I returned there and saw my brother and Ojeere cutting grass, I got them food to eat. My brother told me that Ojeere puked at night and the soldiers asked him to eat his vomit. He was telling them he was sick, but they kept beating him. That morning, he was very weak, he was already fainting. They kept beating him, he was falling, they didn’t stop.
“We told them to allow us to take him to the hospital and that he was sick, but they didn’t believe us until he fell. They intensified the beating thinking he was pretending but when they saw that he wasn’t breathing, they said they were taking him to the hospital. We remained in the barracks, not long after that, Ojeere’s father came with his uncle.
“Before his death, I had asked Ojeere for the contact of any of his family members but he said their numbers were in the phone, whereas the soldiers already seized his phone.
“The soldiers returned without Ojeere and I was wondering why. The soldiers asked me to return to Ilesha, they put my brother into the armoured tank and asked us to be at the police station. I went to the police station with my husband, it was at the police station I met with Ojeere’s father who told me Ojeere is dead.
“I quickly rushed to the armoured tank and saw my brother gasping for breath, I screamed, asking them if they wanted to kill my brother. They quickly rushed my brother to the hospital and placed him on oxygen and he was alright.
“Later I heard the commander telling another officer that the issue would be resolved and that the DPO would solve the problem once they paid the DPO. They spoke in Hausa, they didn’t know I understand the language.”