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‘My hand has been paralyzed for a crime I knew nothing about’

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  • How Nigerian envoy accused hotel staff of N12million theft

By Esther Onyegbula

thevicFOR Mr. Edward Abele, life has not been the same since he was severely beaten by a witch doctor around Agege area on the orders of a Nigerian Ambassador to one of the African countries (names withed).

Trouble started for Edward, a hotel staff based in Lagos when a guest to the hotel where he works raised alarm over the theft of a whooping 75,000 US Dollars.

The ambassador did not point any accusing finger at anyone else but Edward whom he had accused of opening his luggage and stealing the sum, which amounts to N12million if converted to Nigerian currency.

The suspect was allegedly taken to a witch doctor where he was beaten up and his hand allegedly paralyzed. He was later taken to a Police station where officers from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, detained him.

He was detained inside their cell for over two weeks while the officers expected the Ambassador to show up and make statement. When the ambassador failed to show up, they freed him.

However, after his release, his two hands were paralyzed based on his encounter with the native doctor. And the experiences he  had inside the police cell.  The distraught man is urging Nigerians to help him get justice for being humiliated and rendered useless for a crime he said he knew nothing about.

Hear his story;  “I work in a Hotel along Airport Road in Lagos as a Porter. An Ambassador accused me of stealing his N12million in the hotel. I told him I did not even sight any money. He took me to a Native Doctor’s place where I was severely tortured.

I can’t make use of my hands anymore due to the torture. I was hospitalized after the beating; it was at the hospital that men from the state Special Anti-Robbery Squad ,SARS, came to arrest me.

“I did not commit any crime that would warrant my hand being paralyzed. What happened was that on that day,  I saw three of our customers coming in; I assisted them to the receptionist where they booked a room.

The receptionist gave me a key to show them up to their room. They rejected the room I gave them, I had to go back to pick the key for another room. I left their bags with them, they told me they liked the second room I gave to them. One of them, a driver to the Ambassador told me that his boss would like that particular room.

“I switched on the lights and the television for them and ensured they were comfortable before I left to my duty post with my supervisor. I was shocked when the Ambassador came down after about 10 minutes to say I should give him that 75,000 US Dollars.

I told him we were not trained to
steal. I asked him, ‘Where can I see such money, I have never set my eyes on such sum of money’. I cannot hide such money in our hotel because there is camera everywhere. He said he checked his bag when he left the airport and it was still there. As at the time he was querying me, the three people who came with him had driven away.

He told my colleagues that those people couldn’t take his money because he has been working with them.

Native doctor’s place

“As much as I continued to tell them the truth, that I didn’t know anything about the said money, they refused to believe. So, he took me to a native doctor’s place at Agege where I was severely tortured.

As a result of the torture, I can’t make use of my hands anymore due to the injuries inflicted on me. I felt seriously sick and was  hospitalized. I was still at the hospital when men from the State Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, came to arrest me.  I had a very traumatic experience inside the cell. I was in excruciating pains through out the days I spent there.

“Luckily, they later released me and asked me to come back and meet with the Ambassador.  I went back there only to be told that the ambassador never showed up in spite of efforts made by the Police for him to come and substantiate his allegations, he never came back.

That is why I want to tell the world to help me ask the Ambassador to show his face and prove to the world that I actually stole his N12million. Nigerians should help me get justice over this matter,” he lamented.

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