The report of the autopsy conducted on the remains of Inspector Taiye Atobiloye, the policeman who died in a cell at the ‘D’ Division of the Kogi State Police Command, has revealed that he had marks of violence on his body.
The report also indicated that the victim, who was hypertensive, was starved in the cell.
Atobiloye was attached to the Oke Onigbin Police Division, Kwara State.
Trouble started in April 2023 when he was redeployed for special duty in Zone 12, Kogi State, which he declined.
His widow, Oluwabukola, said when his efforts to stop the deployment failed, Atobiloye travelled to Kogi State to resume.
He was, however, detained for late resumption at the ‘D’ Division.
She claimed that after one week without anyone taking the numerous calls she made to his telephone line, she heard from a third party that her husband had died in the cell.
Oluwabukola, while demanding justice, alleged that Taiye, who had spent 22 years in the police force, was tortured to death.
The Zonal Police Public Relations Officer, Ruth Awi, however, claimed that the policeman was drunk and that he collapsed in the cell.
The Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, ordered an investigation into the death and promised that justice would be served.
The five-page post-mortem report exclusively obtained by PUNCH Metro was issued on May 3, 2023, and signed by one Dr Awelimobor Daniel of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja.
The report listed the primary causes of death as “acute left ventricular failure” and “hypertensive cardiovascular disease,” while the secondary cause was indicated as “multiple superficial soft tissue injuries.”
The report stated in part, “Brought in dead to the hospital; said to have slumped and died while being detained at a police station in Lokoja, Kogi State.
“External examination: young man, not pale, axyanosed, anicteric, no pedal oedema, obvious bruising and external signs/marks of violence are seen over the forehead, face, shoulders, both wrists and on the leg.”
The report also indicated that the victim’s “stomach was empty and contracted.”
A senior medical consultant, Sylvester Ikhisemojie, while analysing the report, said, “He was described as a young adult, which goes to show that he had severe sequelae of neglected, long-standing hypertension that was quite possibly not diagnosed until he died.
“The left ventricular hypertrophy he had takes some time to develop. Plaques in the aorta suggest generally poor cardiovascular health but the lung and splenic congestion indicate that he was in congestive heart failure at the time he died. All of these changes are complications of hypertension and they show typical target organ damage that somehow spared the brain.
“It would be abnormal for an individual to sustain that pattern of injuries from a fall. He may have been starved also because the report notes that his stomach was empty and contracted, which means that he had not eaten any food for at least 8-12 hours.”
A family physician in a general hospital in Lagos, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case, said the deceased had heart failure due to a sudden increase in his blood pressure.
“Maybe he could not take his drugs and due to other features like torture, because he was noted to have multiple bruises on various parts of his body like forehead, hands, legs,” the doctor said.
The victim’s family lawyer, Abidemi Ademola-Bank, said the autopsy report had established a prima facie case of manslaughter against the Deputy Commissioner of Police who ordered Taiye’s detention and the DPO of the ‘D’ Division.
He said, “According to the autopsy report, the deceased was brought in dead. He had multiple superficial soft tissue injuries on his body, particularly on his hands, legs, and his back (external injuries). The deceased was found with an empty stomach, which is evidence of starvation. The deceased had an acute left ventricular failure.
“In summary, it is evident that the deceased was tortured, starved, dehumanised and traumatised to death by the officers at “D” Division Lokoja, Kogi State.
“If he had not been detained and treated in this manner, the deceased could still be alive. This is a typical case of man’s wickedness against man. The IG must do something about this, and the officers involved must be brought to face the wrath of the law.”
On the allegation of drunkenness, the lawyer said it was made up by the police to whip up sentiment against the policeman, as nothing in the autopsy indicated such.
“Late Inspector Taiye would never drink during the day or office hours,” he added.
The Force Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, had yet to respond to enquiries from our correspondent on the development.