Taiye Atobiloye, a police officer of the Kwara State Police Command, died in a cell at the Kogi State Police Command’s D Division after being held for being absent from duty for two days in the Zone 8 Command in Lokoja, Kogi State.
According to Punch, Atobiloye, who was assigned to the Oke Onigbin Division in Kwara State, was assigned for a month to a special assignment called Quick Intervention at the Zone 8 Command. He remained gone for two days after returning to duties in Lokoja.
Atobiloye allegedly spent about eight days in the cell before his death. A source told the publication;
“What happened was that every month, the Zone 8 Command usually picks policemen from every division and posts them for special duty for a month in Zone 8 Command, Lokoja, and after one month, the policemen will return home.
“So, Atobiloye, who was attached to the Oke Onigbin Division, was part of the policemen posted to the Zone 8 Command, Lokoja, but when he resumed, he didn’t come for work for two days and was punished by being detained in a cell for about eight days.
“It was when policemen checked on him in the cell that they realised he had slumped and died in the cell. At the cell he was detained, only offending policemen are usually detained there, so it is likely he was alone in the cell.”
A relative of the deceased, Femi Igbekele, said family members of the deceased, including his wife, tried to contact him on the phone after he left for special duty but it was all abortive.
“AP No 232980 Inspector Taiye Atobiloye, serving at Kwara State Command, attached to the Oke Onigbin Division was sent to Lokoja Zone 8 on special duty called Quick Intervention.
“For the past eight days, all family members were calling him but no response from his phone number as the phone was ringing but nobody picked, likewise his wife called him and nobody picked (up) the call until the information reached the family that he was detained at the D (Division) Lokoja, and died in the cell.”
Spokesperson for the Zone 8 Command, Ruth Awi, who confirmed the development, said Atobiloye was found drunk after abandoning work for two days. Awi also told newsmen that the policeman was detained so he could be sober.
“He was not detained at the Zonal Headquarters, he was detained at the D Division in Lokoja. He reported at the Zonal Headquarters and then disappeared into thin air; there are punishments for people who abscond from duty without any excuse. But in his case, he did not only stay away from work, he was drunk when he was found.
“For the effect of the drink to be cleared, the boss said he should stay in the cell for two days until he is fit for interrogation to explain where he went to and where he was coming from. So, he was detained at the D Division for about two or three days after which the news came to us that he gave up.”