Family of Akano, in Isu, Nnwangele Local Government Area (LGA) of Imo State has called on the police high Command to probe the circumstance surrounding the death of their son, Mr. Godwin Chukwudi Julius Akano.
The family alleged that their son, Julius while in Police custody at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) Panti , Yaba, Lagos, was denied medical attention while in the detention despite the advice of two police doctors.
They further alleged that the police only made half-hearted efforts when he was at the point of death. According to the spokesman for the family, Mr. Nnamdi Akano, the police detained Julius despite obvious signs that he was seriously ill.
In a swift reaction, Lagos State police public relations officer, DSP Bala Elkana, said the suspect did not die in police cell but in isolation centre at Yaba. “They were two suspects arrested for international fraud, running into several millions. They were charged to the court for fraud. But the court remanded them in police custody because the Correctional Centres don’t accept inmates. So the burden was on us to keep the suspects. Along the line, one of them, Julius developed some symptoms, the police rushed him to police hospital Folamo, where he was referred to Isolation centre, Yaba, where he died. Because of his death, we granted the second suspect bail to go into isolation so that he will not infect other suspects in our cell. The symptoms is that of COVID-19”.
Akano said he was an importer and a bread winner of the family with a young wife and four children that are now left to bemoan the crude fate that befell them and a future without their beloved father.
He said: “My brother was traced by the police and arrested on May 22. He was accused of fraud/forgery with one Obinali Osuwoke. When he was arrested and interrogated by the police over a certain amount in his account, he explained to them that it was a friend’s money. He subsequently took them to the person through which the money came into his account (Obinali Osunwoke).
“When he got to the police and explained the whole situation the head of Panti, Mrs. Yetunde O. Longe, a deputy commissioner of police who wanted to release him on bail so that he could come whenever he was needed. But her deputy, Mr. Oketunji, an assistant commissioner of police, refused saying that granting him bail would jeopardize the investigation. Consequently, the late Godwin Julius was detained.
“As a family, we are bitter and we are calling for an investigation. Why did the police refuse doctors’ advice to take our brother for proper treatment until he collapsed and consequently died.”