Tope Adeyemi has sued the Nigerian Police Force for unlawful detention and torture.
The 29-year-old, who was on his way back from a choir rehearsal on the 23rd of May, 2018, was apprehended by members of his community and handed to the Police as a thief.
According to Adeyemi, a woman and her husband had claimed he was caught on CCTV camera, when he entered their compound and carted away items worth N350,000.
“I was transferred to SARS department like a criminal without any investigation or proof. My mum was asked to pay the N350,000 worth of items stolen, so as to end the case but she asked that since they have proof, that it should be provided before she can pay. While these negotiations were going on, I was beaten and tortured in the SARS office,” Adeyemi said.
Adeyemi was arrested and detained for three days and denied access to his lawyer and relatives.
While in detention, a lawyer was arranged for him by a man simply identified as Mr. Isaac, who was said to be the investigating officer handling the case. The lawyer arranged for Tope, according to him, handled the matter shoddily and he was sent to KiriKiri Maximum Prisons, where he was further detained for three months.
Tope narrated how his relatives tried to secure his bail upon getting to know of his arrest and detention, but were hindered because of the stringent conditions in his bail bond.
He said: “All through my stay in prison, my family, particularly my mother ran from pillar to post trying to secure my bail. Even when the court granted me bail after the second hearing, I was still denied because of my bail conditions.”
Mrs Adeyemi described her son as a god-fearing man, who was a victim of the “inhumane and anti-poor activities” of the SARS personnel.
“My son is not a thief and has never stolen before. This is an unfair treatment of an innocent citizen. He was framed by unscrupulous members of the society who thought they could get easy and fast money from us; that is why the accusers never showed up in court or provided evidence,” she stated.
While in Kirikiri prison, he suffered various degrees of injury that included a fractured neck and punctured eardrum.
Adeyemi, who is a bass guitarist and music teacher, was however released when the State Department of Public Prosecution struck out his case on August 24, 2018.
The lead counsel, Nelson Olaonipekun, said: “The Police flouted every law against humanity and also the administration of Criminal Justice Law, and we are going to sue for justice for Tobi Adeyemi”.