The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Ondo State says 46-year-old Rasak Ahmed, who died in custody, "hanged himself to death".
Samuel Oladapo, the spokesman of NSCDC in the state, disclosed this in a press statement issued in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Wednesday.
5naira.com had reported how the mechanical engineer was tortured to death by men of the NSCDC over an allegation that he sexually abused his eight-year-old daughter.
Ahmed's death has generated a lot of controversy as the family of the deceased are asking for justice.
Family members had explained that the officers of the NSCDC killed Ahmed, their breadwinner, after NSCDC refused to free him from custody.
"It was the NSCDC officers that killed him. I saw about 10 of them using sticks to hit him to force him to confess what he knew nothing about. I am sure it was the result of that beating and maltreatment that led to his death in the custody of the NSCDC. So, this is why we are calling on the media and human rights groups to please help us with this case, because the powers that be are interested in sweeping the case under the carpet," a family member said.
However, a statement signed by Oladapo read: “The suspect was arrested by our men at our out-post station and brought to the state headquarters on Monday for proper investigations. And during our investigation, Ahmed confessed to the offence and attributed it to devil's work.
"Before he was detained in the cell, he was complaining and begging that he should be allowed to put on his 'buba' and 'sokoto' because he had cold, which we obliged. Meanwhile, he was brought to the headquarters around 6pm and surprisingly, when one of our men approached his cell to deliver food brought by one of his relatives, he was found dangling on iron door of the cell, being a short man, having torn his cloth to hang himself.
"It was unfortunate that he was the only inmate in the cell, which made it easy for him to carry out the dastardly act.”
Speaking to our correspondent on the phone on Thursday, Oladapo denied that the NSCDC tortured Mr. Ahmed to death.
He explained that the NSCDC officers were well trained and could not have tortured the man to death.
"The NSCDC officials are civil and does not torture suspects, let alone killing a suspect," he said.
5naira further learnt that Ahmed’s corpse had been deposited at the hospital's morgue.