Innocent Osuji, the Chief Security Officer of Rite Foods, on Wednesday told an Ikeja District Coroner that Ademola Adedeji, a late distributor of the company who died after being arrested by men of the Ikeja Police Station, was taken to the police station healthy.
Osuji said he requested the police to arrest Adedeji on February 9 on the premises of the company when he visited for normal business transactions.
He said this while being cross-examined by Akinde Oluwaseun, the representative of the Office of the Public Defender – an interested party in the inquest.
He said he acted on the instructions of the Managing Director who asked him to question Adedeji for issuing four dud cheques meant for the payment of goods he bought on credit.
He said, “I knew him for over two years before the incident happened and he was our regular and stable customer who once won an award as best distributor of the company.
“On February 9, he arrived at the complex at around 10:30am as he usually did. But suddenly, the MD called me into the conference room where myself, our national sales manager and the deceased were holding a meeting.
“After Adedeji was arrested, I drove him and the two policemen in my car down to the Ikeja police station. All along, Adedeji was healthy and looked like a normal human being.”
Osuji said he learnt of Adedeji’s death on February 10 during his visit to the police station, adding that he was informed that he slumped at the police station and later died at a hospital where he was rushed to.
Asked if he knew the hospital where he gave up the ghost, he said he wasn’t informed by the police.
He said, “When I asked about his body, one of the investigating police officer in the case and the exhibit keeper, Inspector Labaran, told me it had been deposited at the mortuary.
“I couldn’t make any effort to trace the mortuary because I couldn’t make any effort without the help of the police.”
Osuji, while being re-examined by the police counsel, Cyril Ejiofor, said he reported Adedeji to the police because the offence he committed was a criminal one.
The Coroner, Magistrate Tajudeen Elias, has adjourned the inquest till September 26 for further hearing.