After being detained for the theft of his employer’s bike, Chidera (Ezekiel) Uzoma, a 19-year-old delivery guy for Errand360NG, died at the Ikoyi Custodial Centre.
Chidera was detained and charged after reporting the loss to the employer, according to PUNCH Metro.
@General Oluchi Oluchi, a Twitter user, claimed in a series of posts on Monday that the victim had been held in solitary confinement since March 2022 and that his elder brother, Samuel, had been lobbying for his release.
“Can we discuss about this case?” she tweeted. Chidera Uzoma, 20, started working as a delivery driver for @errand360HQ and realized that his work bike, which he had placed in front of his apartment, was missing one morning. When he informed the firm, he was detained and charged in court, but the case was dropped provided he replaced the bike. Chidera replaced the bike, but @errand360HQ insisted on continuing the investigation. He was imprisoned at Ikoyi prison in March and discovered dead on April 24. His brother, @justice4ezekiel, has been tweeting about it since then.
“Chidera was unwell for a time before he died, according to Ikoyi Prison. Because the circumstances surrounding his death are mysterious, his family deserves closure.”
Samuel, the victim’s brother, claimed he went to the mortuary on May 23 to fetch his remains.
“I was at the mortuary for the second time yesterday,” he tweeted. ‘Bro bushman don come Lag o, come teach me how to drag bus,’ I was telling my brother. He was unable to even look at me. He was laying there like a log. Nigerians assist me in contacting @errand360HQ. #justiceforchidera, what happened to Chidera?
“He will be 20 by 12th October 2022. A dispatch company called @errand360HQ arrested him over a missing bicycle. Sue him without informing any of his family members. He died in custody (ikoyi prison) the bicycle was even replaced, yet the complainant didn’t withdraw the case.”
According to a statement issued by the company on Wednesday, Chidera was treated with respect and fairness while working for them.
“He was also subject to the same contract terms, which included that he presented a surety before engagement. This surety was a certain Mr Kenneth, who he introduced as his relative.
“On February 14, 2022, against company policy, Mr Ezekiel (Chidera) took the company’s bicycle home and failed to return it the next day. He claimed that the bicycle had been stolen. Upon internal investigations and speaking to Ezekiel, the company did not find the story credible and so he was requested to return the missing bicycle.
“Some days later, specifically on February 19, some persons broke into the company’s maintenance building. The security personnel at the facility on the day identified Ezekiel as one of those who broke in. While investigating, we were informed that the police visited Ezekiel’s residence where some of the company’s bicycle parts were found.
“Based on this, the police arrested him and took him into custody for investigation and arraignment.”
It was stated that he was arraigned before a magistrate’s court and from then on, every due process was followed.
“On April 4, a replacement for the missing bicycle was provided. The company went to court and attempted an early withdrawal of the case, despite the next date of hearing being June 8. However, Ezekiel’s presence was required in court but authorities could not provide him before the court.
“We value the well-being of all our riders and employees and are deeply saddened by Mr Ezekiel’s passing. The company followed due process by escalating the matter to the police for appropriate investigation and arraignment.”
The spokesperson for the Ikoyi Custodial Centre, Rotimi Oladokun, said records of the matter were not readily available.
“I am not in a position to deny or confirm this incident now, but I will go through the records and if there is any information regarding this matter, it will be made available to you.