A Police officer attached to the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) in Ogun State Command has allegedly caused the death of Remo Stars FC assistant captain Tiyamiyu Kazeem according to the club’s media officer Oladimeji Oshode.
The jarring incident was reported to have occurred on Saturday afternoon in Sagamu while the defender who is known to fans of the club as “Kaka” was driving with teammate Sanni Abubakar.
Citing unnamed eyewitness accounts, Oshode claimed the SARS officers flagged the car conveying the players and then labelled Tiyamiyu a “Yahoo Boy” – a term used locally term to describe an internet fraudster.
The cops then insisted on arresting the players and taking them to their station despite both men having shown their ID Cards which identified them as Remo Stars football players.
Both men reportedly acceded to the police officers request to follow them to their station.
However, on noticing that the alleged police officers were driving towards an unfamiliar destination, the players demanded to know where they were being transported to upon which the officers allegedly pushed Tiyamiyu out of the car and he was hit by an oncoming vehicle.
He was reportedly transported to Fakoya Hospital in Sagamu where he was declared dead on arrival.
“The SARS officer stopped Tiyamiyu Kazeem insisting that he was a Yahoo Boy, he brought out his identity (ID) card to identify himself as a player of Remo Stars FC but the officer insisted on taking him to the nearest police station in Sagamu,” Oshode wrote citing unnamed eyewitness reports.
“Tiyamiyu and Sanni obliged, followed the SARS officers, only for them to notice that they were driving towards Sagamu-Abeokuta Expressway, then the guys questioned to know were the SARS officers were taking them to, but this prompted them to stop the car and push him (Tiyamiyu) out of the car, whereby an unknown vehicle knocked him down.”
The club described Tiyamiyu “as a humble and reliable defender for Remo Stars FC in the ongoing 2019/2020 Nigeria National League (NNL)”.
A club statement said: “May his soul rest in perfect peace and may the Lord help the family to bear the irreparable loss, this is a great loss to Remo Stars Family and the entire football fraternity”.
A statement on their official Twitter handle said, “The Club is doing everything possible to investigate his [untimely death]”.
The shocking incident has already sparked outrage online as Nigerians once again confront the spectre of the untimely death of a young Nigerian at the hands of trigger happy SARS officers.
Reacting to the incident, popular hip-hop artiste turned police reform activist Ruggedman called on the Police to curb the rogue activities of their officers.
In an identical tweet addressed to the Police PRO Frank Mba, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwoolu and former senator Ben Murray-Bruce, the rapper said: “..Every week officers of the Nigerian police in Lagos murder innocent Nigerians and cause unrest. Please do not wait until they kill one of your relatives before you take action.”
Nigerians have long called on the authorities to rein in the excesses of SARS officers who have been linked to a multitude of extrajudicial killings.
Saturday’s incident marks the second publically reported encounter of a domestic footballer at the hands of SARS officers.
Last year, former Enyimba player Stephen Chukwude was accosted by officers of the unit on his way to Enugu and accused of being a “Yahoo Boy” on account of owning an iPhone and driving a Mercedes Benz.