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Families Recount Ordeal As Authorities Fail To Act 10 Months After SSS Killed Policeman

The SSS have refused to produce officials involved in the death of a police officer as family members continue to live in pain.

Ten months after three officials of the State Security Service (SSS) in Osun State, Southwest Nigeria, attacked a police corporal at a party, both security agencies are yet to act on the incident.

Rauf Fawale, a 35-year-old police officer, was at a birthday party hosted by his colleague, identified as Inspector Modinat, on Jan. 21, 2021, when a fight broke out between three SSS officials, who were also attending the party, and some guests.

The party was held at Riverside, a popular club in Osogbo, Osun State capital. Rauf, being a policeman, intervened in the fight but was attacked by SSS officials who brutalised him in the process. 

HumAngle learnt that some guests at the party later rushed him to Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, where he was admitted into the intensive care unit. He was in a coma for three days until he eventually died on Jan. 24, 2021. 

Fawale’s journey to the Police force 

After years doing petty business and farming alongside his parents, Rauf, who was the first child in his family, joined the police force three years ago and was attached to the Dada Estate Police Division in Osogbo. 

Within three years of active service, he helped his father complete his house at Ilobu in Irepodun Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

The house where Rauf Fawale’s parents live at Ilobu, Osun State. Photo: Adejumo Kabir/Premium Times.

His family members also recalled that he helped his six other siblings financially within a short period and was also able to take care of his wife and children.

Narrating the tale, the deceased’s father, Rabiu Fawale, told HumAngle that ten months after the death of his son, no proactive measures had been taken by SSS and police authorities.  

He wept as he recounted the incident to this reporter, saying he borrowed money to ensure the survival of his son.  

“He was the star boy of our family. It was sad that all efforts I put in to rescue him from dying did not yield. I borrowed money to fight for his life which we eventually lost. Till now, the SSS and the Police are yet to reveal the operatives that killed my son. ” 

The deceased’s father, Rabiu Fawale. Photo: Adejumo Kabir/HumAngle.

Family accuses Police of neglect 

After the incident occurred, the deceased’s father briefed the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) at Rauf’s station, Folashade Odoro, who commiserated with them, promising that she would work with the state director of SSS to fish out the three culprits.

This reporter contacted the Police chief on why the culprits are yet to be arrested ten months after the incident but she cut the call. HumAngle also visited her office twice this week but was unable to see her. 

After much pressure, she told HumAngle by telephone earlier this week that she is not authorised to speak on the incident.  

Folashade Odoro and late Rauf Fawale. Photo: Family.

HumAngle also reached out to Inspector Modinat who was celebrating her birthday on the day of the ugly incident. The officer, who did not deny that the deceased was attacked at her birthday party, said that she cannot speak with the press.  

Rauf’s mother, Simbiat Fawale, said the police have continued to give excuses and sometimes deny the family from reaching them to make enquiries on the progress of their investigation.

The deceased’s mother, Simbiat Fawale. Photo: Adejumo Kabir/HumAngle.

“The police have long neglected us. But we are insisting on seeing those who killed my son. Inspector Modinat was the one celebrating birthday and she would know those she invited. I don’t want money, I simply want the government to kill them because I have been in pain since January,” she wept.  

Helpless widow and children 

The widow of the late Policeman, Balikis Fawale, is currently nursing a newborn. Her husband died three weeks after she gave birth.

“I have three children and the oldest among them is an eight-year-old girl while my second born is a six-year-old boy. I gave birth to the last born the same month my husband was killed,”  she told HumAngle.  

She said the children have been seeing everyone crying but are yet to understand that it is because their father is no more.  

Widow of the late policeman, Balikis Fawale. Photo: Adejumo Kabir/HumAngle.

The Human Rights Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Osun petitioned the Director General of the SSS, the Director of the SSS in Osun State, the Commissioner of Police in the State, and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission but there is still no sign of justice.  

“The refusal of authorities to make adequate investigation into the matter shows how notorious Nigeria’s secret police are when it comes to the abuse of fundamental human rights,” Dunsi Olowolafe, a human rights activist said.  

Police point fingers at SSS

Meanwhile, the state police spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola, confirmed to HumAngle that SSS are frustrating the process of getting the culprits arrested.  

“The SSS have failed to release the suspects to the police despite several letters written by the Commissioner of Police to their Director.  They said they can only release them when there is a signal to do so at their headquarters in Abuja.”

The spokesperson of SSS, Peter Afunanya, did not respond to HumAngle’s enquiries on the allegations levelled against them by the police.

Top sources in the secret police, however, told this reporter that “the officials in the case may be protected from arrest and that’s the reason for the long delay in producing them.”

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Adejumo Kabir

Kabir works at HumAngle as the Editor of Southern Operations. He is interested in community development reporting, human rights, social justice, and press freedom. He was a finalist in the student category of the African Fact-checking Award in 2018, a 2019 recipient of the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence, and a 2020 recipient of the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award. He was also nominated in the journalism category of The Future Awards Africa in 2020. He has been selected for various fellowships, including the 2020 Civic Media Lab Criminal Justice Reporting Fellowship and 2022 International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ) 'In The Name of Religion' Fellowship.

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