Emmanuel Oshiyoye, a cleric based in the United States, has accused police officers from Ayedaade Police Station in Ikire, Osun State, of assaulting him and his family.
Oshiyoye, a Cherubim and Seraphim cleric who visited Nigeria to minister in a church programme, said he was two steps away from death as the officers beat him severely.
On November 4, he was on his way home in the morning after a vigil when some police officers ordered his son to pull over.
“As my son was about to park the car, the officers were already harassing him. They even checked his phone without saying what his crime was. I was asleep at the time, and I only learnt about this when I woke up,” he told FIJ.
“When I woke up, I stepped out of the car, greeted the police officers, and told my son that he should not consent to an impromptu search of his personal property subsequently. This was how his younger brother got into a debt of N18 million because of police brutality and abuse of power.”
One of the three officers approached Oshiyoye, who had lost his composure at the time, and asked where he worked.
I don’t think that is your business because it’s not in this country,” Oshiyoye said. “Then he said I was very stupid. In annoyance, I said he was stupid as well. Then he began to threaten that he’d deal with me and that he could kill me and nothing would happen. With that statement, my sister became scared and began to record live on Facebook.”
When the officers had a glimpse of what Oshiyoye’s sister was doing, they charged forward and began to beat her.
“They beat her, sprained her elbow and bit her on her back. They also broke her phone. She bit the person that beat her as well. While all this went on, I was too shocked to move or speak as I saw how a woman was being beaten by three police officers,” he said.
When the officers had beaten Oshiyoya’s sister to their satisfaction, they pounced on him and beat him until he became dizzy.
“He punched my jaws five times, and I felt my jaws dislocate. My right arm began to shake due to the shock. I was dizzy and thought I would die. My sister began to cry for help as her elbow had been sprained. I then saw a police officer telling me to sit beside my son who could not stand after being beaten by the police,” he said.
But Oshiyoya would not sit as an officer pointed a gun at him and showed him two wraps of marijuana, saying they belonged to him. The officer then asked his son to drive them to their station.
As they drove to the police station, Oshiyoya began to mumble a spiritual mantra. Although the men insisted he kept quiet, he did not listen.
“We got to a building opposite the main station, and they put me in a dirty room. Then their Divisional Police Officer (DPO) came and began to apologise to me and my sister. He disclosed that they would let me go if I reversed a curse I had earlier placed on them,” he said.
“Knowing I’m a man of God, they made me sign a statement out of duress that I would let go of the case. My statement was: I was assaulted and arrested unfairly, but I let go. I will head to the hospital.
“I had to do what they wanted, so my enemies wouldn’t laugh at me that I died in Nigeria a day before my flight back to the states.”
Oshiyoya told FIJ that apart from being in severe pain, he could not chew food well and had blurry vision following the incident.
When FIJ contacted Yemisi Opalola, the Osun State Police spokesperson, she asked why Oshiyoya did not file a complaint about his ordeal earlier.
“Why did he not say anything before now? I did not hear of such,” she said.