The Department of State Services (DSS) has been alleged to have used the influence of the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu to pay N15m to a man it ‘tortured’ to death.
According to online news medium Premium Times the deceased, 34-year-old, Saheed Eyitayo was a friend to Rilwanu Jamiu, a man accused of cloning the phone number of Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
The DSS raided Eyitayo’s home at No 37, Aje Street, Pleasure, in the Iyana Ipaja area of Lagos in commando style at 2:30am on April 4.
The operatives manhandled occupants of the building beating Eyitayo to a pulp that he could barely move.
A search of the house showed that the suspect Jamiu who had once stayed there for a few weeks was no longer resident there.
The DSS operatives took Eyitayo along with them that day.
Michael Lasisi, a relative to the deceased said attempts to contact the DSS proved abortive.
“We had gone to the SSS office several times, and they told us ‘come back you cannot see him.’ Until finally on the 23rd (of April), 19 days after he was killed, they now told one of my brothers Oyetunji that he had died. Meanwhile they had told the landlord not to tell anybody that he had died.
“They did that so as the days elapsed they would be able to manufacture lies to cover up the official criminality. They could not tell us what he has done. They said his friend was part of those who cloned the governor’s number. They traced the friend to his house but they did not see him.”
On May 3, the Eyitayo family met with the DSS at its Shangisha office, but they stormed out in anger accusing the agency of trying to rope their son into the cloning.
On the role of Oba Akiolu, a family source it was a show of shame at the Oba’s palace as family members disagreed on the compensation fee.
“I think the SSS had told the Oba that some members of the family who gave them a hard time during the initial discussion shouldn’t be allowed to be part of the negotiation. The excuse they gave was that the Oba did not want a crowd in his palace,” a family member, who sought anonymity for security reasons, said.
“The family lawyer put up a spirited effort to make the DSS [as the SSS is also called] pay more compensation, but members of Saheed’s family would have none of that,” an attendee at the meeting said.
“In fact, one of them was stepping on his (lawyer’s) feet and telling him not to be too hard of the DSS and to accept whatever the DSS was offering so that the matter can be settled. The lawyer was almost in tears,” another family source said.
“At a point, they even threatened to fire the lawyer if he would not agree with the decision of the family.
“One of them said that they should accept the offer of the DSS because the body of Saheed was suffering and they needed to bury him urgently to stop the suffering,” the source said.
Another source said none of the deceased family members saw his corpse before the negotiation.
“The DSS did not allow the family see the corpse of the dead victim before they forced the family to reach a negotiation. That was the plan. When they finished the negotiation, they called Saheed’s uncle to come and look at the body but he was only shown his legs,” a source said.
Another source said, “If you see the corpse, you would know that he was tortured and killed in a brutal manner. He had two deep cuts in the back of his head, apparently inflicted by a machete or other similar sharp objects. There were cuts and bruises all over his body,” the source said.
Babs Animashaun, the lawyer who represented the family, declined to comment saying it was a confidential matter.
“That is strictly confidential between the parties. I cannot share the details of the settlement with the public,” he said.
“The family agreed to settle with the SSS out of court. They can never be happy with what has happened but at least they were able to move on. That is what is important,” he added.
The DSS could not be reached relay its said of the story as it doesn’t have a spokesperson.
The Oba is also yet to respond to his role in the matter, as his officials were yet to respond to a letter sent to the palace.