By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor
The mysterious death of a Lagos housewife after she was allegedly whisked away from her home by two policemen, is generating tension in the state.
Mrs. Kemi Ojo (nee Ajetomobi) was on the fateful day of Monday, October 24, 2011, resting in her matrimonial home at Number 24, Oremerin Street, Ketu, with her four children when trouble started. Reports said around 11.15 pm, two policemen and one civilian called at her residence asking for her husband.
The deceased woman who was a non-teaching staff at St. Saviors Primary School, Obanikoro, Lagos reportedly told the Policemen who claimed to have come from Adeniji-Adele Police Station that her husband was out. The Policemen were said to have rang up the husband after which they invited him to their station.
Not done yet, they insisted that his wife must go with them to their station. The 48-year-old woman reportedly protested appealing that she can not leave her little children to go with them and more so, when she was not the person they were looking for. But the Policemen allegedly insisted that she must go with them and when all efforts to appeal to their conscience failed, she reluctantly obliged them.
After she was whisked away, neighbors said the husband did not come home until the next day when he proceeded to Adeniji-Adele Police Station. Police sources said the man was delayed for hours at the station until later in the evening, one of the policemen that earlier came to his house informed him that his wife was dead.
Crime Guard learnt that the confused husband sought for explanations from the policemen severally without success. They simply told him to go to Isolo General Hospital to collect her dead body. The helpless second hand car dealer reportedly started running helter -skelter, looking for help from friends and relatives who later besieged the Isolo General Hospital to find out if she was really dead.
To worsen their plight, they did not only see the prostrate dead body of the woman inside the morgue, but they were shocked to discover that her corpse was among other corpses slated for mass burial in the next three days. This development was so stunning that they wasted no time in getting the services of a lawyer who, together with other relatives, succeeded in retrieving her body from the mass of other unidentified corpses, just a day before the mass burial.
The lawyer to the family, Andrew Omaniyi Ajibade who wasted no time in sending a strongly -worded petition to the State Commissioner of Police, Alkali Yakubu alleged that the Policemen that arrested the woman maltreated her to death on the way to their station.
In the petition, Barrister Ajibade stated that , “some salient aspects of this incident call for urgent, honest attention. The two killer policemen were not officially sent by Adeniji-Adele Police Station. They were on private business of their own for a known complainant. They were not actually targeting the deceased woman for arrest but her husband”.
He continued, “They did not report their mission at Ketu Police Station. Why did they insist on taking an innocent woman away at that time of the night? If the lady developed some illness, as they claim, why did the Policemen not return to her house and allow her family to take care? What is more, the deceased was not even taken into the station for any interrogation.
“The Policemen got near the station and veered to an unknown destination until they finally handed her corpse to environmental sanitation men to deposit same at Isolo General Hospital. All the way from Ketu to Lagos Island and finally to Isolo in the night before day brake? Why did the Policemen treat her that way when, in fact, they knew her house and family members? That was a vicious display of inhumanity to an innocent lady.”
He appealed to the Police boss to wade into the matter with a view to ensuring that those that killed the woman were brought to book noting that he was aware that two of the policemen are presently being held at the State Criminal Investigations Department, SCID, Panti, Yaba for further interrogation.
Barrister Ajibade further told Crime Guard that the distraught husband whom he said is a car dealer, is still so confused that he behaves like a mad person. “He still finds it very difficult to comprehend that the mother of her children who was hale and hearty when he left their home was not just pronounced dead but her body was to be buried in a mass grave, like a common criminal, if not for the urgent intervention of their relatives.
The Police said they will carry out the post -mortem examination by this week and we are all waiting for the coroner. Already, we are aware that the Police are making some surreptitious moves to pacify the husband but the man is still helpless not saying yes or no.”
He also told Crime Guard that the civilian that accompanied the Policemen to the man’s house told them that he sold a second hand car to the woman’s husband but he failed to pay him and that was why he invited the Police. “Any way, he is still in the cell with the Policemen and we are waiting for coroner’s post-mortem. That’s all I can say for now,”he stated.
When Crime Guard contacted Lagos State Police spokesman, Samuel Jinadu over the case, he said he was aware of the matter but could not give details of the circumstances that led to the death of the housewife. “I will contact the Divisional Police Officer and get back to you”, he assured.