The family of Pelumi Onifade, a 20-year-old journalist, who was killed by police officers attached to the Lagos State Task Force, has demanded justice from the Lagos State Government, Inspector-General of Police and the Commissioner of Police in the state over the killing of their son.
It was gathered that Onifade, who was working with GBOAH TV, was arrested by the policemen at Abattoir, Oko Oba area of Agege, on October 24 while on official duty and shot dead days later.
Speaking with SaharaReporters, the deceased’s uncle called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.
He urged the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammad Adamu, and the state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, to ensure that police officers involved in the killing of Onifade were brought to book.
He said, “On 24th of October 2020, there was a crowd in a compound at Oko-Oba, Agege. Onifade Pelumi and his colleague were sent as media personnel to know what exactly was going on in that area. While in an interview with the residents, they said, “we are hungry, we want soldiers to leave so we can carry our food, this food is for COVID-19''.
“Apparently, they believed the COVID-19 was stored in a warehouse close to the compound. During the interview, task force officers came with cutlasses, throwing bottles and shooting live bullets as they attacked the crowd. Out of fear, the crowd including Onifade Pelumi ran for their lives. In a short while, his colleague saw that Pelumi had already been injured and was being carried by four task force officers into their van (Black Maria), his colleague tried to defend him showing his ID card and making them understand that he was putting on a GBOAH TV jacket, they threatened him with a cutlass and cocked their gun at him.
“A thorough search was conducted from police stations to prisons all over Lagos State for four days (Saturday 24th to Tuesday 27th) after which a 'missing person' graphic was shared across all social media platforms to aid the search of Onifade Pelumi which went viral. That same evening of Tuesday 27th of October, the head of task force Lagos State called, saying he saw the post, and they agreed to meet us on Wednesday 28th of October at the State Headquarters, Ikeja.
“After the meeting with the task force, the officer that led the squad said they arrested five people at the Ministry of Agriculture Abattoir, Oko-Oba, Agege, but one person died and they have dumped his corpse at Ikorodu mortuary. They scheduled a meeting for Thursday to confirm if his name was in the list of those arrested, if not they will go to the mortuary at Ikorodu to confirm. Due to the public holiday on Thursday, the appointment was rescheduled for Friday.
“On Friday morning, we got to Ikorodu and behold it was Pelumi Onifade's Corpse. At age 20, he was the breadwinner of his family that consisted of his father, mother and two younger sisters.
“We are asking for these four points agenda; whoever pulled the trigger must be identified and prosecuted accordingly. In the absence of the culprit, the person who led the squad must be held responsible and prosecuted. The family of Onifade Pelumi should be compensated and we demand a public apology from the Lagos State Government and Lagos State Police Command.”