He was in a coma for days; now he has memory loss. Today, Ganiyu Lawal, 59, who was allegedly hit on the head with gun butt by the police, neither knows where he is, nor recognises members of his family.
Lawal was said to have been assaulted by policemen who invaded his 15, Odekeye Street, Puposhola, New Oko-Oba, Agege, Lagos home on April 25.
He was arrested by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) over an alleged N4 million fraud.
It was learnt at the weekend that Lawal regained consciousness after the surgery to remove the clot in his brain. But following the surgery, he was found to have suffered memory loss.
Saheed, Lawal’s eldest son, told newsmen that doctors were working round the clock to restore his father’s memory.
He said: “We are praying that he gets well. He does not recognise anybody, even his wife and his sister whom he is fond of. He is not saying anything sensible and he does not even know what happened to him or where he is, now. We just hope that his memory would be restored as the doctors have assured us. We cannot wait for that to happen”.
Lawal was allegedly tortured over an alleged N4 million property fraud which the police said, was reported by a woman. But Lawal said the money was N2.5million.
He was said to have passed out during a torture and was in a coma from April 25 to May 3 when he regained consciousness.
Saheed said his father was rushed to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) around 4am on April 25.
The police, he said, thought his father could be revived to be taken back to SARS for further questioning, but when by 3:30pm that did not happen, they called his wife to inform her about her husband’s condition.
Saheed said: “My mother got a call from a policeman that her husband was in LUTH. She called and informed me and I rushed there. When I got there, I saw my father lying lifeless. I also saw four policemen from SARS. He was brought in around 4:30am on Friday morning.
“One of them who said he is the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) said that a woman reported that she was duped of N4million over a property. He said while they were questioning my father, he told them that the money was N2.5million and not N4million.
“The IPO said after he had reported back to his superior officers on how far he had gone with the interrogation, he was asked to go and bring my father from the cell, stating that when he got there, he discovered that my father had passed out. That was when his journey to the hospital began according to him.”
Saheed explained that his father is a property agent, who has been in business for over three years without a stain.
“Since he started, he has not had any business problem with anybody to my knowledge. He is a gentleman; he runs away from trouble,” he said.
The Nation learnt that the police are doing everything to ensure that Lawal survives.
It was gathered that before Lawal was admitted, police were made to sign an undertaking to take responsibility for his medical expenses.
As at April 28, the police had spent over N300,000 on him and also made arrangement to spend more if the need arose, to ensure his survival.