By Evelyn Usman, LAGOS
A 79-year-old man, Pa Eyi Anderson, has raised the alarm over the extra-judicial killing of his 43-year-old son, Charles, by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, at Canal Village, Lakeview Estate in the Amuwo area of Lagos.
The deceased, it was gathered, was into sales of marijuana and other hard drugs.
Vanguard learned that the NDLEA operatives stormed his abode on March 7, 2023, to effect his arrest, when the situation went awry.
Narrating how his son was allegedly killed, Pa Anderson said: “About 11 p.m., of March 7, 2023, my wife and I were outside receiving fresh air, when we saw a group of people marching towards my son’s apartment. Three of them stood at his doorpost while others were smoking Indian hemp.
“All of a sudden, I heard a noise from my son’s apartment. He ran out, and they pursued him and shot him at the jetty by the building. He slumped and fell into the river. That was when I knew they were NDLEA officials from their uniforms. I could not go to struggle with them even though I am a retired military man, who fought during the civil war.
“At that point, I took my wife inside. For two hours, the NDLEA officials searched my son’s apartment but found nothing incriminating. While they were leaving, they arrested Charles’ wife and my other son, Dallas. They took them to Raji Rasaki Estate, where they parked their vehicles.
“But Dallas was released when they did not find anything on him, while they went away with Charles’ wife. They detained her in their Gbagada office for two weeks and demanded N3 million for her release. But we ended up not paying a dime when they were told Charles was dead.”
The Bayelsa State-born septuagenarian said after the NDLEA officials left his place, he waited till the next day for his son to come out of the river but he did not, until the third day when his bloated body was recovered.
He said he knew his son was into illicit drug business and had cautioned him severally to stop.
He said: “He (Charles) sold Igbo (marijuana) and not cocaine. I was not happy with what he was doing and I told him severally to stop. Most times NDLEA officials would come, he would settle them. He used to give them between N150,000 and N2 million. Sometimes, they (operatives) would go away with his power-generating set. At other times, they would go with him and later release him.
“I demand justice for my son. He did not deserve to die that way. They should have arrested him, charged him to court and make him face the consequences of his sin, lawfully, instead of killing him.”
It was gathered that policemen from the Festac division, who were contacted when the body was found, came to evacuate it to the morgue.
Our men didn’t shoot, suspect drowned —NDLEA
However, when NDLEA’s Director, of Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, was contacted, he said the deceased was not shot by NDLEA operatives but that he drowned while trying to escape.
According to Babafemi, “the man has been arrested a number of times by the agency. The man had his house by the riverside. During this last visit to effect his arrest, he tried to escape by jumping into the river.
“So, there was no incident of anybody shooting him dead. They didn’t struggle much with him. They thought he had escaped. They arrested his wife, who was in the same business.
“Later, the family came up with the issue that they could not find the man. Obviously, the man drowned. The wife had to be granted administrative bail because of the incident. The man dived into the river to escape arrest and was not shot.”
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