The Nigerian Navy has apprehended four accomplices of a rating, Awosanya Olufemi, who were involved in the alleged torture and killing of a peacemaker, Collins Osagie. A spokesperson for the Western Navy Command, Thomas Otuji, said on Monday that the outcome of the investigation would be made public.

Olufemi had bought an electrical item worth N250 from a trader, Cletus Ben-Onyejimbe, in Ishashi, Okokomaiko area of Lagos, which he later returned. There was a disagreement when the trader refused to take the item back or return the money. The rating then called eight of his colleagues, who reportedly beat up Osagie after the trader disappeared from the scene.

The offence of the 35-year-old Edo State indigene was that he offered to pay the N250.

A video of the torture, captured by a resident and posted on Instagram, revealed the moments Olufemi’s colleagues punched and kicked the victim into a gutter. Photos of the deceased’s corpse, obtained by our correspondent, also showed torture marks on different parts of his body, as his head also appeared to have been fractured.

Olufemi was the first to be arrested by the police and transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba. The naval authorities, however, recalled him to face a court martial.

The navy spokesman, Otuji, said the investigation would be comprehensive and all those indicted would be brought to justice.

“It’s a full scale investigation. Everybody concerned with that issue is in custody. Once an action is taken, we will let you know. We don’t condone such things,” he stated.

A relative of the deceased, Sunday Ajose, confirmed the development, adding that four other naval ratings were being detained at the Navy Town, Alakija, over the matter.

He said, “We were invited to the office of the provost of the Nigerian Navy at Apapa, and he confirmed that four other ratings had been arrested. However, they told us that what happened had happened and the military would not take any responsibility, because Olufemi was not in uniform when the incident happened; that he was a civilian.

“When we asked about his colleagues, who were in uniform, they said they were not officially sent to the place and the navy would not be liable for whatever they did though they would be prosecuted.

“A day later, one Lt. Commander Alex called us for settlement and if the guy’s family wanted to do anything, we should take it.

“When the family truly came, we asked them what they wanted and they said they did not know how to say it. We then directed them to the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender, which has taken up the autopsy. We also asked them to see our lawyers, Femi Falana Chambers, who are seeking a corona inquest. We have never said money is our motivation, all we want is justice.”

 The result of the autopsy would be released this week.


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