On Wednesday, July 24, 2019, a video of a young man, shot and abandoned on the ground of where seems like a police station began to circulate on social media.
In the one minute, nineteen second’s video, voices in the video seem to agree that the young, laying in his pool of blood, had committed an egregious offence that he deserved to die. A male voice in the video said he does not deserve to live.
“Let me call my father before I die,” the young man pleaded but his plea was ignored by police officers who ignored his obvious urgent need for medical attention and continued to flash their cameras in his face.
A man, who seemed angry by whatever this young man must have done responded: “God will punish your father. God will punish your father that you want to talk to”. The video ended with this helpless man quiet and lifeless on the ground. No one helped him; both the policemen and those at the scene watched on as he bled out.
Who was the victim?
Obi Chinedu, a 24-year-old student of the University of Port Harcourt, was the young man in the video, SaharaReporters found out.
According to Obi Udochukwu, his brother, Chinedu had gone to visit his friends at Sango Ota in Ogun State, on July 15. He would later go out to buy a phone at a store close to Sango Ota Police Station.
Udochukwu explained, “While getting the phone, he and the salesgirl had an altercation. She insisted she needed to test the phone before he could leave the shop with the phone. He said there was no need for a test but she kept insisting.
“Chinedu left the phone for the storekeeper to test as she had insisted and went to sort out other things. When he got back to the shop, he realized the storekeeper had not tested the phone as she had insisted she wanted to do. This annoyed Chinedu who felt his time was being wasted.
“This led to a brawl between the two. The storekeeper got support from the people around and Chinedu was beaten up, then, handed over to the police at Sango Ota police station. He was in police detention till the next day, Friday, July 19.
“He narrated what happened to my mother when he called her from the station the next day. My mother called me that I should get his friends to bail him out. That night the police did not release him. They said he would remain in the cell for being too aggressive but his friends later bailed him.
“Before he was bailed, the owner of the shop went to the station to apologize to him that he was a customer, he does not deserve to have been treated the way he was. They settled and that was the last I heard from my mum. That was on the 19th. That was the last authentic information we heard from him.”
Chinedu’s family members thought all had been settled and were expecting him to return to Port Harcourt, where he lived with Udochukwu. Unknown to them, Chinedu had been rearrested and held in detention.
Aggrieved by his earlier detention, Chinedu had gone back to the shop, where he had gone to buy a phone to foment more troubles after he was released on Friday. According to the brother, the police said he destroyed properties and threatened to throw the storekeeper, who had caused his detention, from a storey building.
Asked how that degenerated into shooting him and leaving him to bleed to death, Udochukwu said the police told the family that Chinedu broke the handcuff that was used to restrain him and also destroyed cars within the station.
“The police said while they were interrogating him, he broke the handcuffs and right there in the interrogation room, he saw an axe, picked up the axe in the interrogation room and started destroying cars.”
In the now-viral video, a man, possibly a police officer in mufti, was seen holding an axe. Also, there was a vehicle with a damaged windscreen.
SaharaReporters’ attempts to reach Abimbola Opeyemi, the spokesperson of Ogun State Police Command was unsuccessful as he failed to respond to multiple calls put through to his phone and message sent to him via WhatsApp.