By Yemi Sodeeq
Tiamiyu Kazeem a.k a. Kaka was thrown out of moving vehicle and crushed by a hit-and-run driver on the Sagamu-Abeokuta expressway while been dragged to the SARS headquarter on Saturday, 22nd February 2020.
His death like many other related SARS caused untimely demise stemmed out from his forceful arrest and his friend in a petrol station at a Junction in Sagamu, Ogun State.
The late Tiamiyu and his friend were said to have been accused of fraud (being a Yahoo boys) by the officials who unduly and unruly arrested them and even have their phone seized.
Tiamiyu friend, Abubakar while relieving the incidence to the newsmen said the late Tiamiyu was pushed out of his moving car onto the road where he was hit by an oncoming vehicle when the SARS were taking them to their headquarter.
He noted that Kaka was subsequently taking to hospital in his car been driven by one of the SARS men after his colleagues had take their duty car as they would not late showed up in the hospital where he was taken to.
Abubakar told newsmen that policemen arrested him and the deceased in Sagamu where they had parked their vehicle to buy engine oil.
He said, “We were going to his (Kazeem) father’s house, when he parked at Ita-Oba Roundabout, Sagamu, to buy engine oil for his car.
“After he left, the SARS guys parked in front of the car. They started interrogating me. They asked who I was, what I was doing there and who owned the car. I told them the car belonged to my friend, and they asked where he was. I told them that he went to buy something.
“They took my phone and my friend’s phone from me; they did not explain anything to me. The SARS guy handed the phones to another guy in the Toyota Sienna.
“Afterwards, my friend returned from where he went to buy the engine oil; they grabbed him and pushed him inside their Sienna and started driving. They said they were taking us to their headquarters”.
Abubakar explained that one of the officers drove Kazeem’s car and trailed the police operational vehicle, where his friend was held.
He noted that after the vehicles passed the area command’s office at Sagamu, he queried the cop, who insisted that they were going to the SARS headquarters.
The victim’s friend said after passing the Sagamu Interchange, the policemen parked at a junction and continued to interrogate them.
“I just saw the door of their Sienna opened; they pushed my friend out of the moving car onto the road.
“A car coming behind us hit him. After hitting him from the lane, Kaka jumped to the other lane. I came out of the car, shouting and crying for help.
“We put him inside his car because they did not want to put him in their vehicle. We took him to a nearby hospital, but he was rejected”.
“They asked us to take him to the General Hospital, Owode. When we got to the general hospital, we could not find the Sienna vehicle where the other SARS officers were; they had run away.
“I then saw the SARS guy that drove us making calls and asking his colleagues to come that he was in the hospital. I observed that he was moving towards the gate and I ran after him.
It is noteworthy to bring forth another narratives of the incidence as relayed by the Ogun State Police public relation officer,PPRO, Abimbola Oyeyemi.
The police claimed the deceased caused his own death by jumping out of the vehicle while being taken to a police station for interrogation.
Mr Abimbola in a statement said only one SARS operative from the Zonal Intervention Squad, Obada, Abeokuta, was involved in the incident.
According to him the operative went to arrest the victim after a complaint over his alleged harassment of some residents with army uniform.
He explained that Kazeem was arrested and was been taken from Sagamu to the ZIS office at Obada when the police operational vehicle developed a fault on the road.
While the vehicle was being fixed, the suspect, according to the PPRO, jumped out of the vehicle and fled and was crushed to death by an oncoming vehicle.
“He was not shot as being insinuated; his vehicle is at Owode Egba, intact,” Oyeyemi added.
In another and separate development in the middle of the incidence ,The state Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has promised to investigate the death.
The governor, in a condolence statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, on Sunday 24th of February, urged players, management and supporters of the club to be calm, adding that the killers would be brought to justice.
Abiodun said, “A proper, transparent and independent investigation would be launched to know what transpired with a view to bringing persons responsible to justice”.
The aftermath of his alleged murder would later triggered a protest in Sagamu town where lives were also reportedly lost upon the intervention of the Police.
And now, one wouldn’t hesitate to ask the question, where is the Justice for Tiamiyu Kazeem?
In Nigeria where it takes years before justice can be effected due to a relatively poor handling and conduct of investigation, Tiamiyu’s case seems to have fallen into the category of other long due cases hoping for a no in- sight justice.
This month of May will be the 3rd months after this ugly incident and of course Justice hasn’t been meted out to the alleged suspected murderers who were involved in the dastard act even as it was promised by the Ogun State Government.
This situation further proves that the process of getting Justice in Nigeria doesn’t commensurate with the existence of rule of law, or perhaps that it exists for just few who could afford its herculean, frustrating and mostly-frauded activeness.
When is Justice coming for Tiamiyu and other lives who have met their untimely death in the hands of SARS operatives who have in recent time been caught in the middle many unconstitutional and inhumane treatment of the citizens.