A 50-year-old female politician, Ronke Adelugba, died in Akure, Ondo State after policemen invaded her house and hit her in the head with a gun butt.
Ms. Adelugba, who was the woman leader of the Accord Party in Ward 5, Akure South Local Government Area, was assaulted by policemen who arrived at her house in search of some miscreants on Sunday, residents said.
The policemen numbering seven stormed her three bedroom residence located at No1, Akinyemi Street, Off Ijoka Road, Akure in a white police hilux van with registration umber NPF 4236 B, in search of hoodlums who were smoking Indian hemp at a nearby bush.
A witness told journalists that the policemen attempted to search Ms. Adelugba’s house, but an argument ensued as she insisted that only her children were in the house.
The woman had insisted that the police present a search warrant.
The policemen started a brawl, hitting her on the head. She was said to have slumped.
Residents said police frequently raided the area in the past and illegally arrested people and forced them to pay between N5000 and N10, 000 for their release.
The policemen immediately fled the scene as residents started gathering to ascertain the condition of the woman.
When residents discovered the woman was dead, they carried her body to the Ala Police Station to which the affected policemen are attached.
One of the sons of the deceased, who identified himself as Henry, said his mother was beaten because she asked the police men a question.
“She only asked one question … before she was beaten by two of the policemen. One of them hit her on the head with a stick and another hit her at the back with gun butt,” he said.
“They quickly left the house without making any arrest after she fell and died.
Henry said his mother had no history of illness and had never been to any hospital for treatment before the incident. He said she was strong and was popularly called “Iron Lady”.
Henry said the policemen later took the lifeless body to the hospital where it was deposited at about 9pm on Sunday. He said the family would seek justice for the wrongful killing of his mother by law enforcement agents.
The Ondo State Police Public Relations Officer, Wale Ogodo, confirmed the incident, but said the woman started panting and died after policemen left the house.
He denied that her death was as a result of the police beating her.
Mr. Ogodo said that an autopsy would be carried out, adding that “the police has commenced an investigation into the incident to unravel the mystery of the woman’s death”.
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