…declare 4 others wanted
BY IFEANYI OKOLIE & Esther ONYEGBULA
LAGOS — Police authorities yesterday paraded 12 persons and declared four others wanted following their involvement in the torture of three women at Oba Morufu International Market, Ejigbo, Lagos.
Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Frank Mba, who paraded the suspects before newsmen, yesterday, said some of the suspects were members of the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, providing security at the market and officials of the market association who he said also extorted N50,000 from the victims’ father.
Mba gave the identities of the suspects as Isiaka Waidi, the Baba‑Oja of the market, who masterminded the dastardly act that culminated in the arrest, debasement, torture and extortion of the victims; Haruna Abdullahi and Buhari Yusuf, who mixed the concoction of pepper and alcohol that was applied on the bodies and private parts of the victims.
Others include Saheed Adisa, Lateef Tijani Ahmed Adisa, the Iyaloja Oloruntoyin Dauda, Adekunle Adenuga, Jimoh Busari and Azeez Akinosun.
According to him, operatives of the Federal Special Anti‑Robbery Squad, FEDSARS, led by Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP Chris Ezike, who coordinated the arrests, are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of one of the victims, Juliana Agoma, a Republic of Benin national, who was moved to Cotonou by her father where she subsequently died.
He said: “It would be recalled that earlier this year, the Inspector General of Police, M.D. Abubakar, in a move to ensure speedy delivery of justice in this case, ordered the immediate take-over of its investigation by the Force Criminal Investigation, Lagos Annex, from the Lagos State Police Command.
“Consequently, a team of crack detectives, led by DCP Chris Ezike, swung into action and conducted discreet investigation in line with standard best practices, during which the suspects, in connection with the matter, were arrested.
“The Police have also declared wanted the following suspects: Tiri, an alleged member of OPC who was captured in video footage and alleged to have stripped naked one of the victims, Ajoke Agoma, mother of the two other female victims in the presence of her husband; Otepa Oluranti, Akeem and Michael Abolore, whose whereabouts are yet unknown but who have been implicated in the heinous crime.
“The IGP has commended the human rights, civil society and Women Support Group as well as Office of the Public Defender, Lagos State Justice Ministry and all other stakeholders who assisted the police in this and other matters relating to human dignity, safety and security.
“He, however, called on general public to assist the Police with information that will lead to the arrest of the fleeing suspects.”
According to Nike, 12, “That day, I accompanied my sister, late Juliana, to the market and we took N50 pepper, but the OPC men said we stole baby clothes. They stripped my sister, me and my mother of our clothes, robbed liquid pepper on our bodies.
“They mixed grounded pepper with dry gin in a bottle and poured it into our private parts. They also inserted sticks into our private parts while beating us.
“They kept beating and hitting my sister on the head until blood started oozing from her eyes and other parts of her body.
“My sister, Juliana, became very sick and was then taken to Tokpa, near Badagry border where a nurse attended to her at home, in addition to traditional treatment, but she later died.”
Account of victim’s dad
“It was the Baba Oja that insisted that we must pay a fine of N150,000 and after pleading they accepted N50,000 of which N20,000 was paid that day.
“It was after the payment that they now tortured them until they became unconscious Later, my son, Kehinde, was harassed by the OPC men into paying the balance of N30,000. The torture lasted from about noon to evening of same day.
“After that, my landlord was asked to evict us. Our uncompleted house was demolished and we were chased out of the community same day.”