AN uncle of Pelumi Onifade, a journalist working with GBOAH TV, who was allegedly killed by men of the Lagos State Task Force, said the deceased was discovered dead in the hands of the police after several days of fruitless search.
The family is currently seeking justice over the death of the 20-year-old journalist, asking the Lagos police to fish out his killers and bring them to book.
According to reports, Onifade was arrested by policemen at Abattoir, Oko Oba area of Agege, on October 24, 2020, while on official duty, with the uniform of his workplace, and was allegedly shot dead days later.
Explaining how the deceased was allegedly found dead in the hands of the police, another uncle of the deceased, Onifade Tunde, said, “On 24th of October 2020, there was a crowd in a compound at Oko-Oba, Agege.
“Pelumi and his colleague were sent as media personnel to know what exactly was going on in that area. While in an interview with the residents, task force officers came with cutlasses, throwing bottles and shooting live bullets as they attacked the crowd.
“Out of fear, the crowd, including Onifade Pelumi, ran for their lives. In a short while, his colleague saw that Pelumi had already been injured and was being carried by four task force officers into their van (Black Maria). His colleague tried to defend him, showing his ID card, and making them understand that he was putting on a GBOAH TV jacket. They threatened him with a cutlass and cocked their gun at him.”
He said a thorough search was conducted from police stations to prisons all over Lagos State for four days (Saturday 24th to Tuesday 27th) after which a ‘missing person’ “graphic was shared across all social media platforms to aid the search of Onifade Pelumi which went viral.”
The older Onifade said, “That same evening of Tuesday 27th of October, the Head of Task Force, Lagos State, called, saying he saw the post, and they agreed to meet us on Wednesday 28th of October at the State Headquarters, Ikeja.
“After the meeting with the task force, the officer that led the squad said they arrested five people at the Ministry of Agriculture, Abattoir, Oko-Oba, Agege, but one person died and they had dumped his corpse at Ikorodu mortuary.
“They scheduled a meeting for Thursday to confirm if his name was in the list of those arrested, if not, they said they would go to the mortuary at Ikorodu to confirm. Due to the public holiday on Thursday, the appointment was rescheduled for Friday.
“On Friday morning, we got to Ikorodu and behold it was Pelumi Onifade’s corpse. At age 20, he was the breadwinner of the family that consisted of his father, mother and two younger sisters.
“We are asking that whoever pulled the trigger must be identified and prosecuted accordingly. In the absence of the culprit, the person who led the squad must be held responsible and prosecuted.
“The family should be compensated and we demand a public apology from the Lagos State Government and Lagos State Police Command.”