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Soldiers, not policemen tortured me, says suspected diesel thief

Ejeh Smith Ogede, the 27-year-old man allegedly tortured alongside his wife by policemen in Ikoyi area of Lagos last year, is in the news again.

This time, he was arrested for allegedly buying 100 litres of stolen diesel from a private guard in Park View Estate, Ikoyi Lagos.

His arrest followed indictment by the private guard, identified as Mathias Manga.

The bubble burst after owner of the building located at Layi Ajayi Road, one Mrs Aretha Njoku, said to have been complaining about missing kegs of diesel in her compound, reportedly sighted her private guard, Mathias, handing over some 25 litres jerry cans to someone, from her Closed Circuit Television,CCTV camera, last Sunday.

Also arrested was one Adamu Illyasu,whom the main suspect alleged that he had been selling the stolen diesel to since last year.

However, when Vanguard met the suspects, it was discovered that Ejeh Smith identified himself as Smith Ogede at the Ikoyi Police Division.

It was gathered that the guard and the duo of Smith Ogede and Adamu Illyasu were handed over to some military men by the owner of the building, who thereafter, brought them to policemen at Ikoyi Division, Monday.

During an encounter with the suspects, they admitted culpability. But Ogede (Ijeh) alleged that he was brutalized by the Military men before he was brought to Ikoyi Division.

He said: “On my way to church last Sunday, Manga, the guard, stopped me and said he was hungry. I told him I had no money on me.

“But he said that was not what he wanted, that he had some diesel to sell.

“I told him I do not buy ordinary diesel. He said it was not the ordinary one, but the condemned one.

“I went back to the house where I work as Personnel Assistant to its owner, brought two jerry cans of 50 litres each and gave to Manga.

“I waited for him at the designated place until he brought the diesel in two jerry cans. I paid him N8,000 for both.

“I was not aware it was stolen. I usually buy diesel and resell to truck drivers. But I ended up paying N23,000 for the 100 litres.”

Asked how, he said: “I paid extra N15,000 to Manga’s boss. I paid the money out of torture.

“This was because her husband invited some soldiers, who arrested me and tortured me before bringing me to the police station.”


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