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#JusticeForSeyiAkinade: How Nigerian Student committed suicide after SARS brutality

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Seyi Akinade, a young man studying at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Ogun State, has committed suicide, POLITICS NIGERIA confirmed.

This paper learned that late Akinade was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following his encounter with some officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the police force sometimes in February.

Akinade, alongside 17 students, was allegedly extorted, brutalized and unjustly arrested by the police unit on February 2, 2020.

Findings revealed that the deceased had posted his predicament on Twitter a few days before his demise, announcing that he might take his life.

In a thread posted on the midnight of April 17, he complained of scary nightmares resulting from his encounter with the police.

“It happened again tonight, I had the same nightmare that’s been reoccurring for months now since the incident happened, same faces. SARS officials in their black uniform carrying us away in the dead of the night and I wake up with serious chest pain from fear of what I was about to experience,” he wrote.

Narrating the unfortunate incident, he said:

“It happened on the 2nd of February 2020 I was in my hostel working on my post data slides because I had to present the next day, when all of a sudden these SARS officials entered my room. It was around 10 pm at night and I still had my generator on maybe that was why they came to my room first, they just collected my laptop and phones, my friends were also in my room, we were all told to dress up and come outside one of my friends was given a dirty slap for practically not dressing up fast enough “what did we do?” I kept asking.”

He explained how they were whisked from Camp, a junction close to the school campus, to Ibara Police station in Abeokuta at about 12 midnight.

He said: “They didn’t say anything and they threatened to waste me if I didn’t stop asking silly questions. We were handcuffed like armed robbers all 17 of us, we were squeezed into small cars like goats to the slaughter, and from camp Abeokuta we were taken down to Ibara police station.

“Immediately we got there I decided to plead with who was in charge that I had a presentation in school the next day, that they should please let me go early because at that time it was 12 in the midnight already, he said I will pay 200k! Ha! For what? I told him to go through my phone that I am not a fraudster, that I am a forex trader he went through my phone and my friend’s phone there was nothing implicating there, except for the bank alerts and that money were not even mine, I told him they were investors money.”

Also, Akinade mentioned that he was a Forex trader and that he lost almost twenty thousand dollars as a result of the incident.

“I forgot to mention I opened a trade on my trading platform before they came to arrest us, I also pleaded with them to give me access to my phone so I can close the trade or something they thought I wanted to call someone and they slapped me for requesting for my phone, the trade kept running till the next day.

“I slept in a cell that night for doing nothing, police will slap you and beat you, prisoners will beat you when you enter the cell too! I cried till the next morning not because I was sleeping in a cell for doing nothing but because I was on a losing trade with thousands of $ on the line and also because I was going to miss my project presentation which cannot be repeated.”

“I was paraded like a thief in the morning and they were asking us what we did, with tears in my eyes I said “nothing” they still slapped me and told me to admit I’m a fraudster without having anything incriminating on my phone! That day I lost almost 20k$ trading and I missed my presentation in school. They still wanted to collect bail after beating and harassing us for nothing. Since then I’ve been in massive debt, I couldn’t complete my education,” he lamented.

He, however, decried how he has been in shambles after the February incident. ” I have receipts for everything I said on here in case anyone thinks I’m lying. Suicide has been the only thought on my mind every day. So in case, I hurt myself and anyone is curious as to why I did it.”

Meanwhile, at about 10:24 pm on Tuesday, he left a suicide note on Twitter, biding the world a ‘goodbye’.

“I guess its goodbye now…no one heard my cry for justice and this had to happen haha…bye world.”

Speaking with POLITICS NIGERIA on Wednesday afternoon, Akinade’s stepbrother, Toye Salahudeen, confirmed his death.

Mr Salahudeen said he was informed by his mum earlier on Wednesday that his stepbrother killed himself.

“His dad is on his way to bury him as I’m speaking with you. I learned that he was vomiting before he finally gave up the ghost.”

The relative lamented saying “if he had seen his tweets before yesterday, he would have come to his aide.”

“I was planning to move close to him of recent. I teach him how to draw. We conversations are most times online.”

He told our reporter that his friends spoke of how he threatened to commit suicide but no one knew he was serious about it.

When asked if he knew about the February incident, Mr Salahudeen said he got to know after he shared his experience on social media adding that his narrative was confirmed by his friends.

The FUNAAB Dean of Student Affairs, Babatunde Idowu, said he is not aware of the unfortunate occurrence. He, however, promised to get back to this paper after conducting an investigation into the matter.

Efforts to get Tijani Mohammed, the Officer-in-Charge of SARS operatives in Ogun state, proved abortive as he refused to respond to calls and text messages sent by our reporter.

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