There was tension at Lemode in the Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State on Tuesday after a guest at a burial service held in the community, Stanley Ekpenisi, ran to his death while trying to evade arrest.
It was learnt that some policemen at a police outpost in the neighbourhood had raided a spot where Ekpenisi and other guests gathered around 9am that day.
On sighting the cops, the 38-year-old reportedly took to his heels and they ran after him.
He reportedly wanted to scale a fence when his hands slipped and became unconscious.
He was said to have been taken to a private hospital in the neighbourhood where he gave up the ghost shortly after.
Our correspondent gathered that angry youths staged a protest as the news of Ekpenisi’s death fittered in.
They blamed the police for the incident and attempted to set the police outpost ablaze but for the intervention of the community’s traditional ruler, Oba Solomon Adisa and senior police officers.
It was learnt that the Divisional Police Officer, Agbado Division which oversees the outpost, SP Kehinde Yero and the Area Commander, Sango Ota, ACP Monday Agbonike, prevailed on the youths.
A resident of the area, Wasiu Fatile, told our correspondent on Friday that Ekpenisi had attended the burial service of a resident who died few days earlier at Abbatoir Market in Lagos.
He said, “A fence collapsed at the market and it fell on the man who was a trader there. A burial service was organised for the man at Lemode on Tuesday and many people, including Stanley (Ekpenisi) attended the programme. While the programme was on, some policemen raided a spot where some of the guests gathered and people started running away.
“The policemen chased Ekpenisi and he wanted to jump over a fence when he fell. He was unconscious and they took him to a hospital where he died. People claimed they found some wraps of Indian hemps in his pockets but his friends said it’s not true.
“The youth wanted to burn the police outpost where the policemen came from but they were later prevailed upon. Till now, policemen are still at some junctions in Lemode to prevent any violent protest.”
Another resident who identified himself simply as Stephen, said Ekpenisi would have been buried on Friday but his brother who lives in Abuja insisted that he wanted to see his corpse.
“The man fled on sighting some policemen on a routine patrol at Lemode. He wanted to scale the fence and he fell. The youth claimed the police shot him but some community elders followed policemen to the hospital and they confirmed he did not suffer gunshot wounds.
“Yet, many people are not satisfied with the account of those elders who testified to the police’s claim. Everywhere was tense that day but peace has returned now.”
The medical director at the hospital, Dr Sunday Amoo, told City Round that Ekpenisi died about 20 minutes after he was brought to the hospital.
The doctor stated that a test run on him revealed that he was suffering from anaemia (lack of red blood cells), adding that he died before the commencement of blood transfusion.
Amoo, who did not want his hospital’s name in print said, “He was brought in highly unconscious. He was diagnosed for anaemia. His blood pressure was very low at 90/30. He died in less than 20 minutes he was brought in. He didn’t sustain any gunshot wound.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in Ogun State, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, while commenting on the incident, said police had raided a black spot around the venue of the burial service that day.
He said, “Police went to raid the black spot in that area. He ran away when he sighted policemen. He fell while he was running away and he became unconscious. They rushed him to the hospital where he died. Some wraps of Indian hemps were recovered from him.”