Suspected to be shielding criminals, a 50-year-old female politician, Mrs. Ronke Adelugba, was at the weekend allegedly beaten to death in her house in Akure, the Ondo State capital, by policemen who had invaded the house in search of some suspects. The woman, who was until her death the Women Leader of the Accord Party (AP) in Ward 5, Akure South Local Government Area, was allegedly hit with the butt of a gun and beaten by two of the seven policemen who came to the house after an argument with her.
However, the Police Public Relations Officer for the Ondo State Command, Mr Wole Ogodo, in a reaction, said the woman was not killed by the policemen contrary to what the family was claiming. Ogodo said the woman only started panting and died after policemen left the house, adding that an autopsy would be carried out by the hospital to determine the cause of Adelugba’s death.
It was gathered that seven policemen, who came in a white police Hilux van with registration Number NPF 4236 B, stormed the woman’s house located at No. 1, Akinyemi Street, off Ijoka Road, Akure, after searching a nearby bush for some boys believed to be smoking marijuana in the area.
An argument was said to have ensued when the policemen entered the woman’s house after they did not see the suspects they were searching for. The woman was also said to have insisted that his own children that were living with her in the three-bedroom apartment could not be arrested without explanation or warrant.
For her insistence, Adelugba was said to have been beaten and hit with a gun butt and in the process slumped and died within two minutes. Eyewitnesses told journalists that the policemen were in the habit of raiding bars and ‘drinking joints’ in the area every weekend just to arrest young boys who would later be asked to be bailed with money ranging from N5,000 to N10,000 without being charged for any offence.
According to them, sensing that a similar thing was about to be done to her children, the woman had demanded an explanation of the offence committed by her children, only to be beaten to death by the policemen. The witnesses said the policemen allegedly fled the scene after the residents of the area gathered, adding that they later carried the lifeless body of the woman to the Ala Police Station where the policemen came from.
The remains of the woman was later deposited at the morgue in the State Specialist Hospital. The state command spokesman said investigations would be conducted to unravel the cause of death.