Just terrible: Policemen tied my son’s hands to his back, tortured, and shot him dead – Grieving mother

Seyi's parents

From when he cried into the world about 28 years ago, till he took his final breath just two weeks ago, Seyi Fasere lived a hard life full of struggles and unfulfilled aspirations.

He was born into the poor family of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Fasere of Ilupeju Ekiti, Ekiti State but he determined to rewrite the story of the family by acquiring quality education. His parents waited anxiously for him to complete his studies and get a good job. But a bullet from a policeman dashed the hope and cast gloom on the family which had been living happily despite their level of poverty.

[READ: Ekiti student killing: NANS gives police commissioner 72-hour ultimatum to produce “killer cop” (PICTURED)]


Seyi had gone to Ilupeju Ekiti to raise some fund to pay his tuition to enable him write the second semester examination which started on Monday March 10 at the Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti but he didn’t live to see the day. He had managed to raise N100,000.00 and was returning to Ado Ekiti, the state capital when he ran into a gun duel between a gang of robbers and a team of policemen  at Oye Ekiti.

The robbers had targeted a branch of United Bank for Africa in Oye Ekiti. The bank was said to have been destroyed by the explosives launched by the robbers who had simultaneously attacked the Divisional Police Station in Oye which is less than one minute drive from the bank.

Seyi, who was travelling in a commercial bus to Ado Ekiti, ran out of the bus with another passenger–72-year -old Mrs. Victoria Adewuyi–and the driver of the bus, when the shooting continued.

The trio ran and took cover inside a bush nearby. Seyi, who had  N100,000.00 on him was said to have been arrested in the bush by policemen who combed the bush in search of the fleeing robbers.

Seyi’s 65-year-old mother told journalists that her son was arrested on Thursday night after the shootout and was tortured and detained at the police station overnight.

From the photographs one of Seyi’s siblings said he took at the station after the killing of Seyi, who was a 400 level student of Business Administration and Management Department, it was evident that the boy was arrested before he was shot dead.

The photograph already published in daily newspapers showed Seyi’s hands tied to his back and his trousers turned inside out in the usual manner suspects in police stations in the country are made to dress.

Narrating  how his son met his untimely death, the 60-year-old woman said, “Seyi  was going back to Ado to pay his fees when he ran into the robbery incident. He ran and hid in the bush with the other passenger and the driver of the bus but the police arrested him on  Thursday after the incident and killed him the following day to show that they were working.

“We saw his corpse at the police station. His hands were tied to the back and he had been tortured before he was killed. His corpse was first taken to the bush and they brought it out as if he was killed inside the bush. One of the robbers said to have been shot and injured by the police bullet hid in the bush, but he was washed out by flood through the drainage after a heavy rain which fell overnight. When Seyi’s corpse was shown to the robber who is receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Ido Ekiti, the robber even said that Seyi was not a member of the gang. He said that there was no Yoruba among them.

“But the police are now fabricating lies by labeling my son a robber. I  want the government to help me. My son must not die in vain. They know that we have nobody to fight for us and that is why they are treating us like criminals. But God will judge it.”

The second passenger in the bus in which Seyi travelled also corroborated the claim of the parents.  Adewuyi, the septuagenarian who lives in Ilupeju Ekiti like the deceased, said that she knew Seyi very well and she saw his younger brother who had assisted him to bring his luggage to the bus stop where Seyi had boarded the Ado Ekiti bound bus.

Adewuyi said, “I boarded the bus at Ilupeju and Seyi joined the bus at Eshinku; he too was going to Ado. Later, the bus ran into the scene and it was shot. The driver sped to a sawmill and we all ran away from the bus into the bush. I later came out of the bush because I realised that  if I was killed in the bush, my children might never know. I am very sure that Seyi was not part of the robbers. I came home and told his mother and asked if her son had returned home, but she said no and everybody went to search for him.”

The principal witness, Adewuyi, had made statements at various police stations on the matter

The grieving mother said although nobody could raise her son from the dead, she wanted the tag ‘armed robber’ placed on his son to be removed and the killer cop known as Akobi Esu (Devil’s firstborn) punished according to the law.

The execution of Seyi, according to the National Association of Nigerian Students, would not be allowed to be swept under the carpet. The chairman of the Joint Campus Committee of Ekiti axis of NANS, Damilare Bewaji, in a letter to President  Goodluck Jonathan on the matter, gave the police 72 hours to fish out, dismiss and prosecute Akobi Esu for the  killing or be ready for a mass action by the students in campuses in the state.

The letter read in part, “We demand that the Commissioner of Police in Ekiti State should within 72 hours produce the trigger-happy and uncivilised police officer that opened fire on Seyi Fasere, dismiss him and pave the way for his prosecution.

“We demand that the National Headquarters of Nigeria Police Force should immediately set up a panel to investigate the remote and immediate cause of the death of Seyi Fasere.”

The Chairman,  Transition Committee Students’ Union of Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, Adeoye Aribasoye, who said that Seyi was well known to him, recommended psychiatric test for all policemen and women in the country. He said the incessant killings of innocent persons by members of the Nigeria Police Force has made this important.

However, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Victor Babayemi, said that investigation into the killing of Seyi was ongoing.

The PPRO said, “There was a simultaneous attack on the bank and a police station. The hoodlums came with dynamites and guns and attacked the bank and the station at the same time. They (robbers) used a rock in front of the police station as a cover during the operation, but our men were able to repel them after the exchange of gunfire.

“Our men went to the rock after the hoodlums fled and recovered some dynamites from the place. Bloodstain was seen there and the bloodstain was traced into the bush where the corpse of Seyi was recovered.

“One of the robbers who was shot and arrested said he could not identify Seyi because he was not among the team that attacked the station. He (suspected robber) said that he was part of the team who attacked the bank and not those who attacked the police station. He also explained that their gang leader recruited them separately, making it difficult for all of them to recognise one another.”

However, some questions are begging for answers. Who tied Seyi’s hands to his back? Is it possible for an armed robber to tie himself that way and engage in a gun duel? Although the police have not denied killing Seyi, but when was he killed and how are some of the questions the police need to answer.

In 2012, Miss Tayo Abe was killed at dawn inside a maize farm at Orin Ekiti in Ido Osi when some policemen got inside the farm and opened fire on five siblings. Tayo was killed while two other were injured by police bullets.

Three youths were killed in Ikole Ekiti during the protest over the relocation of the University of Oye Ekiti from Ikole to Oye Ekiti, this happened at noon and Seyi was killed at dusk. These are just some of the killings of innocent persons traced to the police.

Punch Newspapers

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