The victim Benjamin Wankaa Dede, was allegedly stopped at a checkpoint at Magangi Gari, Sabon Gari, Kaduna.
The NGO has said that the policemen from the Sabon Gari Police Division of the Kaduna State Police Command had stopped the victim on his way from a party with friends. Benjamin, aka MC Cedar, was the MC of the party.
It was reported that his cousin, who was an occupant of the car, had acted rudely to the policemen, and Benjamin came to her defense after the policemen tried harassing her.
The policemen carted away the occupants, including the cousin, to the police station, and asked Benjamin to remain at the checkpoint. It was there he was reportedly tortured to death, before they dumped his body in a bush by the roadside.
A relative of Benjamin who spoke to the Punch said, “He was with some classmates, including a lady. The lady, who is our cousin, spoke to the policemen anyhow and they started harassing her. My brother then interfered and that was how the problem started.
“Some of the policemen took our cousin and other people in the car away because they could speak Hausa; they left Benjamin behind with other cops. His corpse, which I saw, was mutilated. His head, hands and two legs were broken. He was tortured to death. The police have refused to disclose what happened to us.”
The JLAA has demanded for an investigation into the issue. Its Fisayo Okuboyejo said, “Benjamin, apart from schooling, was an MC of events, as this was what he does as a part-time job to sustain his educational carrier.”
“He alongside his cousins and some friends were coming from a night party where our Client anchored as an MC. On getting to a check point at Magangi Gari, Sabo Ngari, his vehicle was accosted by the Policemen for check. It was later reported that for reasons known only to the policemen, they called for reinforcement.
“The students in the vehicle who some happen to be Benjamin’s cousin and sisters identified themselves as a students of the Kaduna Polytechnic, by producing the school ID card, including Benjamin himself.
“The other patrol van which had been called earlier whisked the 4 other students away to the Police Station while Benjamin was left with the standby patrol team still on ground.
“Our client’s cousin with his other sister and friends were kept in the custody without Benjamin and later, the Police officers reported that Benjamin had escaped from them, only to break the news of the young man’s death at a later stage.
“The Nigeria Police Men claimed that Benjamin’s body was found along the highway dead with some parts of his body – legs, arms – broken which indicates that there might have been torture on the innocent young man. We later got information that the father of Benjamin’s cousins who came for the bail of the two cousins was forced to sign the closure of the case before the two cousins could be released.”
Benjamin was a student of Mineral Resources Department, who was, until his death in HND 1.
When contacted, the Kaduna State Acting Police spokesperson, ASP Mustapha Muhammed, told Punch that he could not react to the report as he was running an errand for the Police Commissioner.