Category: Anti-Torture Project

Residents lament military harassment as soldier, naval rating clash

Residents of Amusu and Matimum areas of Apapa, Lagos State, have lamented alleged harassment and intimidation of people in the area by some military men.

It was gathered that a soldier, Kabiru Yakub, and a naval rating, Ikenna Opute, live on Amusu Street, Badia Ijora, Apapa.

Yakubu was alleged to have mobilised his colleagues in the army to beat up Opute after the latter challenged him for assaulting some residents.

Not done, the soldier allegedly mobilised more men, who invaded the street and beat up residents in a show of power.

A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the community had been under military siege, adding that residents were living in fear.

He said, “On Saturday, the naval rating and his colleagues, came to the street and observed how Yakubu was beating up people whom he said were disrespectful to him. He threatened to take people to the barracks.

“When the naval men cautioned him, he got angry and told them never to advise him again. He said they were not in a position to correct him and Opute was not his senior.

“The naval men wanted to take him to their base, but people begged them and they left him.

“On Sunday, May 5, 2019, Yakub came with four soldiers who were in mufti, and started searching for Opute. They combed the area and chased residents, asking them to produce him.

“When the soldiers saw him, they attacked him with a dagger, claiming that he harassed a soldier on the street. Before other naval ratings could come to his rescue, the soldiers had escaped. The rating was rushed to the Naval Base Medical Hospital, Ajegunle, where he is receiving treatment.

“They have been coming every day since then and harassing us. I believe that Yakub must have lied to them; that was why his colleagues have been harassing us.”

Another resident, Iyabode Onimoto, said four people were taken away by the soldiers on Monday.

She said, “On Monday, the soldiers reinforced and brought a bus from the Signal Barracks, Mile 2. They beat up people, manhandled them and broke into houses. They arrested four people; one of them was released after he had been beaten to a pulp.

“On Tuesday, a resident went to the barracks and explained to the Regimental Sergeant Major, who ordered the immediate release of the three others. They came later in the day again, shooting continuously into the air and the manager of a hotel was arrested. When we called the RSM, he also instructed that they should release the manager.

“We cannot sleep with two eyes closed and some mosques cannot have their Solat at night despite the Ramadan.”

A resident, identified only as Kayode, said if the two military outfits had a problem with each other, they should resolve it without involving civilians.

He said, “We call on the military authorities to do the needful and call the officers to order. We have lost our peace. If the military outfits have misunderstandings, they should resolve them amicably, but not at the detriment of innocent residents.”

The Information Officer, Western Naval Command, Bridget Emiola, said she was not aware of the incident.

Efforts to reach the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 81 Division, Lagos, Lt. Col. Olaolu Daodu, were futile as calls to his telephone number rang out.


Mother sells baby for N600,000 to buy phone, wrapper

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Imo State Police Command has arrested a 27-year-old single mother, Nneka Donatus, who allegedly sold her baby girl a day after putting to bed.

Also arrested were a level 12 civil servant at the state Ministry of Women Affairs, Ujunwa Udechukwu, 40; and Nneoma Onwusereaka, 37; who allegedly conspired with the single mother to sell the baby to a couple.

The mother of the baby, who spoke to Southern City News at the command headquarters in Owerri on Thursday, confessed that she used part of the proceeds to buy a phone, wrapper and slippers for herself.

She told our correspondent that she was not ready to keep the baby girl having given birth to five children already.

She explained that while she bought a phone, wrapper and slippers for herself, she wanted to use what remained of the money to start a business.

The woman, who spoke in her native dialect, said, “I sold my baby girl for N600,000 and used N15,000 from the money to buy a phone, wrapper and slippers and transported myself back home.

“I asked Nneoma Onwusereaka and her husband, who had the balance to use it to start a business for me. I have five children already and I am separated from my former husband.”

A civil servant, who was arrested in connection with the crime, said she was rewarded with N10,000 for connecting the buyer with the seller.

The 40-year-old civil servant admitted that she made a mistake, adding that the N10,000 was paid into her account the following day.

A police source told our correspondent that while the single mother put to bed on March 28, the day old baby was sold for N600,000 on March 29 at Ezinachi in the Okigwe LGA of Imo State.

According to the police source, the mother of the woman who sold the baby reported the matter to SARS operatives after the lady returned home without the newborn baby.

The source noted that the suspects were arrested at different locations in the state after some SARS personnel, led by their Commander, Victor Godfrey, activated the operational strategies of the unit.

The source added that the suspects would be arraigned at the end of investigation.

He revealed that husband to one of the arrested suspects was in 2013 allegedly sentenced to a five-year jail term for offences relating to child trafficking.

The state Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Ladodo, explained that his command was fighting hard to ensure that child trafficking, which he considered as a serious crime against humanity, was curbed in the state.


FCT police arrest eight for stabbing lady to death

The police in Abuja have arrested eight persons for alleged involvement in the killing of a lady, Esther Okah, on May 5 in Karimo, a suburb of the city.

Okah was returning from a dinner date with one Gokhan Boyaci, a Turkish national, when they were assaulted by three suspected hoodlums who attempted to snatch her bag.

The assailants reportedly stabbed Okah in the neck twice and also attacked Boyaci as they struggled to steal the bag.

The acting Federal Capital Territory spokesman, ASP Gajere Danjuma, explained in a statement on Thursday, that Okah was taken to a clinic in Gwarimpa where she was given first aid and then referred to the National Hospital for further treatment.

Danjuma said, “On May 5, 2019, around 3am, one Esther Okah was stabbed at CBN junction, ungwan cement, Karimo, by an unknown assailant on her way home after a dinner outing with friends at Gwarimpa.

“One of her friends, Boyaci, of Dutse Alhaji, stated that after dinner, he gave her a ride to Life Camp, but she stated that her house was further down around Karimo, but on reaching the CBN junction, she asked him to stop so that she can ask the three men standing by the roadside of her location.

“In the process, one of the men sighted her bag in the vehicle and tried to remove it which led to a struggle and he stabbed her on the neck twice. Boyaci then tried to help but he was equally stabbed.

“Sustaining some injuries, he was able to drive off from the scene to a clinic in Gwarimpa where she was given first aid and advised to be taken to the National Hospital for further treatment. On arrival at the National Hospital, efforts were made to save her but Okah was confirmed dead.”

The police spokesman said that eight suspects arrested in connection with the crime were assisting the police in their investigation.

Danjuma added, “Investigation into the incident has since commenced. Eight suspects were arrested in connection with the crime and they are helping the Police to unravel the killers.”


Lagos cult members kill four, dump bodies in septic tank

Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested three suspected cult members for allegedly killing and depositing the bodies of two bureau de change operators and two rival cult members in a septic tank in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.

The suspects were identified as Oluwatosin Olanrewaju, Mayowa Olawunmi and Babatunde Idris.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, said the suspects had approached the two bureau de change operators, Yakubu Musa and Hassan Umaru, saying they had $10,000 to sell to the victims.

He explained that while requesting that the transaction be done in a bank, the suspects lured the men to an unknown destination and held them captive.

The police spokesman stated that the abductors refused to release the victims even after their relatives paid N1.6m as ransom, adding that detectives detailed to investigate the case rescued the victims and apprehended the suspects.

Elkana said, “On Thursday, March 14, 2019, around 5.30pm, the Lagos State Police Command received a complaint from the Ikorodu area that some unidentified persons approached one Alhaji Yakubu Musa and one Alhaji Hassan Umaru, both operators of bureau de change at the Benson area, Ikorodu, and informed them that they had a relation who returned from overseas and needed to sell $10,000.

“They initially requested that payment be made in a bank at Ikorodu. But on getting to the bank, the suspects moved the operators to an unknown destination and started demanding ransom from their friends and relatives.

“Despite the payment of N1.6m as ransom, the abductors refused to release the victims and nothing more was heard from them. The victims’ phones were also switched off.

“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Zubairu Mu’azu, detailed the Commander, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, to carry out investigation into the matter with a view to rescuing the victims and apprehending the suspects. The operatives, led by SP Godfrey Soriwei, arrested the three suspects, Oluwatosin Olanrewaju, Mayowa Olawuni and Babatunde Idris.”

The PPRO said the suspects, who confessed to the crime during interrogation, stated that after killing the bureau de change operators, they dumped their corpses in a septic tank.

Elkana said the suspects confessed that two other bodies in the septic tank were those of two rival cult members they had earlier killed.

“The suspects led operatives to their den at Ikorodu where they dumped the corpses in a septic tank. Two locally-made single-barrelled guns with five live cartridges; one locally-made gun with three ammunition; one locally-made revolver pistol with three live ammunition; one cutlass, one axe and some charms, were recovered from them. Investigation revealed that the suspects had at various times used the abandoned company as their den, where all their targets were killed and dumped in the sceptic tank.

“As part of the investigation, four decomposed bodies were recovered from the septic tank for autopsy. The suspects confessed to have killed two rival cult members and dumped them in the septic tank before killing the two bureau de change operators. They are currently assisting the police with information for the arrest of other fleeing members of the gang.  Investigation is ongoing; the suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigation is completed,” he added.


Police probe assault on resident who abused Wizkid

The Lagos State Police Command said it had commenced investigation into the alleged assault of a music fan, identified only as Shoki, in Shitta community, in the Surulere Local Government Area of Lagos State.

The command spokesperson, Bala Elkana, noted that all those behind the assault would be arrested.

It was learnt that Shoki had made a video in which he asked some of his friends to stop listening to the music of hip pop artiste, Ayo Balogun, aka Wizkid, who grew up in the area.

He accused the singer of stinginess, adding that Wizkid only lavished money on some selected people.

The video, which trended on the Internet, showed Shoki, drumming support for a rival artiste, David Adeleke, aka Davido.

Wizkid, you don’t help; but Davido helps. Because your dad lives in Surulere, you are not a Shitta boy; you are a bad boy, you are a foolish man,” Shoki said in pidgin English.

While some music fans who watched the clip online wondered the motive behind the video, others said he was only expressing an opinion.

However, the video angered some followers of Wizkid, who attacked the victim. They also made a video of the assault.

The clip, also posted on the Internet, showed Shoki stripped to his shorts, as he called for help.

One Adewale Baruwa, aka Baruwa Eleniyan, taunted him and hit him with a stick.

Our correspondent gathered that Baruwa had been arrested by the police for being the leader of the gang that assaulted Shoki.

The arrest was also filmed by the cops.

A video of the arrest showed Baruwa, whose legs and hands were handcuffed, being interrogated.

A purported telephone chat between Baruwa and Wizkid, also surfaced online, alleging that the singer knew about the attack on Shoki.

“We have caught the boys; we are busy treating their fuck up; we will send video when we are done,” the chat read.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said while he could not confirm the arrest of Baruwa, he had seen some of the videos.

He said, “I have seen the videos and we have ordered an investigation into the matter.”


Suspected hemp smoker beats up policeman

A man, Jamiu Ibrahim, has been arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court for allegedly assaulting a policeman.

Ibrahim allegedly assaulted the policeman while resisting arrest after being found in possession of a substance suspected to be hemp.

The defendant was arraigned on three counts of manner likely to cause breach of peace and assault.

The police prosecutor, Inspector Koti Aondohemba, said the incident happened on April 30, 2019, in the Ojuwoye area of Mushin, Lagos.

Aondohemba said, “A policeman, Corporal Dotun Lijofi, who was on a patrol sighted Ibrahim with a substance suspected to be hemp and arrested him. In the process, the suspect started fighting with the policeman and inflicted injuries on his right hand.”

He said the offences contravened sections 168 (d), 173, 56 (a), of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.

The charge read in part, “That you, Jamiu Ibrahim, on April 30, 2019, around 1.40pm at Ojuwoye Junction, Mushin, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conduct yourself in a manner likely to cause breach of the peace by being in possession of a substance suspected to be hemp.

“That you, Jamiu Ibrahim, on the same date, time and place in the aforesaid magisterial district, did assault Corporal Dotun Lijofi, attached to Mushin division while performing his lawful duty, by inflicting injuries on his right fingers.”

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him before the presiding magistrate, Mrs O. A. Tanimola.

She granted the defendant bail in the sum of N100,000 with one surety in like sum.

Tanimola ruled that the surety must be gainfully employed with evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State Government.

The magistrate adjourned the matter till May 20, 2019.


I slept in the bathroom for weeks to avoid being raped by my boss –Human trafficking victim

A human trafficking victim, Oyinlola Solanke, who was rescued by the Erelu Eyinade Foundation, has narrated how she frustrated the plans by her employer to sexually assault her while working as a maid in Oman.

The graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University explained that she slept in a bathroom for weeks to avoid being raped by her Omani boss who she said was always demanding sex from her.

The 25-year-old stated that her employer forbade her from locking her room, adding that she could only lock the bathroom door, hence her decision to sleep there because she felt safer after bolting the door.

The victim narrated her experience in Oman where she worked as a maid for a family for 10 months during a walk against girl trafficking and child labour organised by Erelu Eyinade Foundation in Abuja on Thursday.

Solanke said she was lured to the Arab nation by her in-law who convinced her that she could earn N150,000 as a maid.

She said, “While working as a maid, I was prohibited from locking my door when in the room. Few weeks before I came to Nigeria, I was sleeping in the bathroom because I felt that was the only place I was safe; that was the only place I could lock the door behind me. It was hell.

“As I speak, there are still some girls at the airport waiting to board a flight to Oman. There is no greener pasture there. The ladies who are claiming to have houses over there are agents who are making money.

“Before I left Nigeria, I was having some personal issues and I just wanted to be away from everybody. I didn’t have a job, and I felt I could work as a maid since there was someone I trusted over there who was giving me the impression that everything was fine. So I went there.”

The graduate explained that she had to lie that her father was dead in order to leave the country, adding that she got her friends to condole with her on WhatsApp about the purported demise of her parent.

She narrated, “The experience I had in Oman wasn’t a good one. I was told that I would earn about N150,000 which, compared to what I was earning here, was better. There were a lot of things they didn’t tell me would happen.

“When I got there, my passport was taken from me and I was not allowed to go out on my own. I spent 10 months there and it was just modern day slavery. I had to put on an act before they permitted me to return to Nigeria; I had to lie that my dad was dead.

“I asked some of my friends to chat with me on WhatsApp that my dad was dead. So, I had to lie that I would return to Oman in two weeks. I didn’t come back with most of my things. I still remember when I got there, I told my employer to get a resident card for me; but it wasn’t done,” she explained.

Solanke cautioned young Nigerians against falling for the promise of a better life in foreign countries by traffickers, adding that foreigners were treated shabbily and only allowed to do menial jobs.

She said, “As a Nigerian, as a black person, you can’t get a good job there. When I was leaving Oman, I saw a lady who spent just six days and wanted to leave because she couldn’t bear the treatment. She wasn’t sexually abused, but she was over-worked, having to wake up at 4 or 5 am and working till 1am of the next day.

“Sometimes when my boss came to my room, he was always trying to forcefully have sex with me, but I refused physically fit. I trained in Taekwando when I was in school and that was one thing that helped me. My boss was a short and fat man, so I used to tell him, ‘If you really want to have sex with me by force, you need to go back to the gym.’”

The founder of the foundation, Ms. Toyin Mark, in her remarks emphasised that the walk was meant to sensitise Nigerians to the evils of human trafficking, adding that her foundation was collaborating with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons to enlighten the public about the menace of woman trafficking and child labour.


How Katsina student killed colleague over girlfriend

An 18-year-old student, Ahmed Abubakar, of Government Day Secondary School in Katsina State has allegedly killed his colleague, Mikailu Mustapha, following a misunderstanding between them over a girl.

The police said Abubakar, a.k.a Sha’aban, stabbed Mustapha to death during a misunderstanding, adding that he had confessed to the crime.

Consequently, he was arraigned before a Katsina Magistrates’ Court for culpable homicide under Section 221 of the Penal Code.

The police prosecutor, ASP Sani Ado, told the court on Thursday that investigation was still in progress.

The presiding magistrate, Hajiya Fadile Dikko, adjourned the matter till June 11 and remanded the accused in prison custody.

In a related development, a 20-year-old student of the Department of Sociology at the Federal University, Dutsin-ma, Sani Anas, is also facing prosecution for allegedly being in unlawful possession of a locally-made revolver pistol and six rounds of live ammunition suspected to have been stolen.

He was charged under Section 3(1) of the Robbery and Firearms Special Provision Act, Cap. R11, LFN, 2004 and 319A of the Penal Code.

Anas was remanded in prison custody till June 13.