Suspect Dies in the Cell, as Lagos Officials Arrest Wanderers in Surulere

An unidentified suspect has allegedly died in police custody in Lagos State.

It has been learnt that the deceased was arrested and detained at the Denton police station in Ebute-Metta but supposedly died while in the cell.

The reasons and for the arrest of the mentioned suspect and the precise time have not been officially confirmed yet. However, a reliable police reports that the death is causing ripples in the police command as the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko, has summoned the Divisional Police Officer of the station over the death.

In a related development, officers of the Lagos State government have allegedly raided suspected street urchins in the Surulere local government area of the state.

Eyewitnesses said that more than twenty persons were hauled into three vehicles used as mobile cells.

The vehicles had the inscription ‘Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development’ (MYSSD).

The eyewitnesses said the mobile cells were crowded with people and the officials were seen last Friday moving through streets and picking people, mostly beggars, who they forced into the vehicles which were then secured with padlocks.

According to an eyewitness, the vehicles conveying people in a cell have been spotted. They were overcrowded, but the officers kept moving from street to street, along Akerele, Lawanson and Ogunlana Drive.

“They were picking mostly beggars and persons considered as wanderers. They kept the people in the overcrowded mobile cell as they move from street to street. I heard them screaming for help”, the eyewitness said.

The eyewitness added that the state officers frequently storm the area on routine raid.

“Sometimes you will just see the Rapid Respond Squad policemen raiding okada at Lawanson.”

When contacted on the arrest of commercial motorcycle riders in Surulere, the Commissioner of Police said that commercial motorcycle riders, popularly referred to as Okada, are banned from restricted streets and roads.

“The law banning okada riders from some routes is there and the policemen are just enforcing it. We will continue to raid and arrest them as long as they refuse to adhere to the law,” Mr. Manko said.

It is feared that the Lagos State government may “deport” persons raided in the state to other parts of the country as they did with the recent “deportation” of Igbos to Anambra state.

The said deportation has produced mixed reactions among Nigerians as the Igbo and human rights groups have condemned the action, describing the move as discriminatory and an abuse of fundamental human rights of Nigerians to live in any part of the country. Others, however, see the move as a welcome development in achieving the state’s mega city status.
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