A Lagos-based businessman and politician of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Honourable Oluwatosin Onamade, has recounted how some Nigerian police officers he claimed unlawfully arrested, detained, and forced him to write statements against his will.
Onamade was in the news in April this year when some suspected thugs / cultists reportedly invaded his office – Western Funeral Home Limited, in Ijede, Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
Recall that StarMedia Renaissance reported how a group of hoodlums numbering about 15 were alleged to have, on 16 of April 2021, attacked the office of the politician in Ikorodu, killing one Mr. Ifeanyi Etunmuse Godfrey and inflicting severe machete cut wound on his brother Oluwafemi Onamade.
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Four out of the suspects of the attack namely Atunrase Sodiq Omolabi ‘M’ 28 years, Shittu Michael Olawale ‘M’ 28 years, Olaide Opeifa ‘M’ 40′ years, and Olanrewaju Adebiyi aka Maja ‘M’ 35 years, are currently are currently on remand for conspiracy and murder case pending the outcome of the legal case from the DPP.
According to Onamade, although the case is still pending at the DPP, a recent unlawful arrest by the Police shows that his life is no longer safe as his oppressors are doing everything possible to thwart the court process by instigating the men of the force against him.
Recounting his recent ordeal, Onamade explained that it happened when he went to the office of the Deputy Inspector General of Police, in Lagos, over an application he earlier submitted about investigations on the murder case.
He spoke, “It happened on September 20, 2021, while I was at the AIG’s office in Lagos, I saw a man pointing at me from another direction saying “this is the man”. Next thing I realized was that four police officers came to me saying “you are under arrest”.” I asked them for what reason, and they said it was on the order of the Inspector General of Police through AIG Interpol”. I asked what business I had with Interpol, They showed me a paper with my name on it saying that is the warrant of arrest, but I was not allowed to read its content.
“I told them this is an illegal arrest that I would not follow them, then they dragged me and took me straight to the presence of the DC Interpol at Alagbon. The DC however said there was nothing he could do since they came from Abuja. Then they dragged me straight into their vehicle, seized my phones maltreated me, and took me straight to the airport to Abuja.”
“When we got to Abuja, I was taken to one Newton Hotel in Abuja, they kept me for over One Hour there. I started seeing the faces of the Polices men that have been molesting me all along. Then one SP Lawal and Inspector Popoola Wakeel took me to Area 10 Command where they detained that same Thursday without any explanation.”
“I did not see any of them again till the following day at about 3:35 in the afternoon. At that time, they brought me out of the cell and took me to the Interpol Office Headquarters. They informed me I was arrested based on a petition from one Aregbesola. I didn’t realize they were referring to the Minister of Interior, later again, they said it was one Honourable Fatiu that initiated the petition. So I challenged them to go straight to the point and tell me on whose authority they were doing all these.”
“So they brought out an alleged petition raised against me by one Fatiu Jimoh Salisu with the subject “Defamation of Character”.” I told them this is a blatant lie against my personality and questioned why I should be brought here in the first place”
“The officers brought out a document asking me to append my signature on it before I would be allowed to go, but I insisted on seeing my lawyer before doing that. They initially objected, but later allowed me to call my lawyer at 5 pm.”
“When my lawyer came, they denied him access to me but told him the only condition for which I would be released was if I could produce surety who would stand for me to a tune of five million Naira, and a level 17 public servant. After much argument, my lawyer asked me to sign it which I later did, hoping they would release me, but 1 was ordered back to the cell and locked up till on Sunday.
“They brought me out from the cell again on Sunday afternoon, brought out a paper, and told me to write a statement explaining what I knew about the alleged Fatiu petition on Defamation of Character. I wrote in the statement that I was wrongly accused and unlawfully arrested. One CSP Omaka Udodinwa, after going through the petition, objected to the actions of the officers and advised that they released me on bail immediately. At that time, my lawyer was mounting pressure on them to release me too, but I noticed observed an officer speaking to someone on phone, a few minutes later, another set of police officers came and said I was under arrest again based on a petition from the Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola.”
They took me to the cyber-crime unit in FIB CCB in Area 10. They kept me there till about 8 pm, then brought out and handed me a petition written with a letterhead paper of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. The petitioner instructed that the officers investigate me thoroughly over the allegation of Defamation of the Character of the same Fatiu Salisu. I told them this is the same petition for which I was arrested, detained, and tortured at Interpol for over 5 days now, how can two different units within the same command be investigating the same allegation?
They gave me a paper to write another statement, and I narrated my unlawful detention and allegation in the statement. I was ordered to be detained again till Tuesday amidst serious inhuman treatment.
“I was harassed, tortured during my detention to the point that I started vomiting blood. I was taken to a doctor within the premises who advised they took me to General hospital before I was already in a critical condition.
Rather than heed the doctor’s advice, they deliberated over two hours amongst themselves then took me back to Interpol to quickly grant me bail thinking I was about to give up the ghost. They gave me the same condition that I find a surety to a sum of 5 Million Naira and a level 17 public servant. As God would have it, I was able to meet the conditions. They instructed me to report back the next day despite my failing health. They seized two phones before releasing me at 8pm. That same evening while I was being taken to the hospital, I sighted the same Fatiu Jimoh Salisu walking towards the police command. That was when I realized Fatiu had been the one sponsoring the illegal activities of the officers.
I went back to Interpol the following day hoping to retrieve my phones. They told me to wait that the AIG wanted to see me unknown to me that it was another hatched plot. I was taken to the office of the DC where I was faced with series of questions. They forced me to write statements admitting that I truly was guilty of the allegations by Fatiu about Defamation of Character. They forced me to counter all the statements I had sworn an affidavit for and written concern the ongoing murder case which is still pending at the DPP.
It was a hell of an experience for me especially with my failing health that I had no other choice than to be obeying the order of the officers and wrote the statements according to their dictates.
I came back to Lagos the following day and quickly sought the attention of a doctor at the Lagos State Teaching Hospital. My phones are still with the officers till we speak.