Jiti Ogunye, a Human Rights Lawyer, has criticised the Ondo State Police for the death of a suspected kidnapper, who passed on while in custody.

The Police had suggested that the suspect was a victim of Tramadol overdose. 

Ogunye, in an article issued on his social media page and obtained by SaharaReporters, alleged that the Police is culpable in the suspect’s death, as he spent nine days, all the while asleep, in their custody. 

The lawyer, in the write-up title, ‘Sleep of Death of An Alleged Kidnapper’, noted that the Police ought to have revived the kidnapper, whose identity was unknown till his death, as he would have assisted security forces with clues on how to address incessant abductions.

He wrote: "Seriously speaking, the Police just missed an opportunity to crack an armed robbery and kidnapping ring in the Ondo North Senatorial District, an area that is currently ravaged by a kidnapping epidemic. If the alleged kidnapper had lived, the Police might have obtained useful information from him.

“It will be interesting to know what intensive care efforts were made to revive or resuscitate the alleged criminal, who obviously had fallen into a state of coma. What sound and thorough medical attention did he receive? How, using medical procedures, was he fed during those nine days? Was he abandoned to starve to death in his state of sleep, while the Police were just waiting for him to self-awake?

"Or was it the disposition of the Police that the alleged kidnapper was facing a divine 'sleep arrest' and God's judgment for his crime, for which he was yet to be found guilty.”

He noted that the Ondo State Police Command lacked professional skills, mostly in the manner used to parade the suspected kidnapper before journalists, stating that "If the photographs of the alleged kidnapper, presumably released by the Police, in which he was lying lifeless on a rough interlocking stones’ pavement, a position in which some 'recovered' weapons were placed on him, were a pointer, it was very glaring that the Police had found him guilty, in his state of sleep."

He called for an immediate inquiry to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of the suspect, and urged the Ondo State Government to order a coroner’s inquest into the death of the suspected kidnapper.

He added: “The circumstances surrounding the death of the alleged kidnapper require an independent investigation. If I were the Attorney General of Ondo State, I would authorise a coroner's inquest, including a first class autopsy, to determine the cause of death — not because of any desire to indict the Police, but to conduct our law enforcement processes in line with the rule of law and international best practices. The State and the Police in Ondo State may learn some lessons from such an inquiry.”

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