Mrs. Jumoke Saheed, a tailor, says she has been thrown into confusion since her son was arrested 2 years ago by operatives of Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Lagos Police Command, Ikeja.
The woman said the Investigating Police Officer, Sergeant Ogedengbe, had serially turned down her pleas to see her son, Shakoor Saheed, without any reason.
The mother cried out that the police had shrouded the whereabouts of her 33yrs old son in mystery and called on the Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, to prevail on the IPO and SARS to produce Shakoor.
Seven others were said to have been arrested in connection with the fight and the suspects, except Shakoor, were charged to an Ikeja Magistrate’s Court on June 26, 2015, with robbery.
The woman told Punch that each time she went to SARS office to see Shakoor, she would be asked to pay N2,000 for his feeding without seeing him, adding that she could not count the number of times she had been to the command.
Jumoke told Punch on Friday that after several failed attempts to convince the IPO that her son was not a robber, she requested that he should be charged to court.
She said, “Shakoor was arrested inside his apartment on April 17, 2015. His uncle, Mr. Rilwan Saheed, who he lived with in the same compound, told me on the telephone that he was arrested for street fighting.
“Shakoor’s brother and I went to SARS office in Ikeja. We met one policeman, Ade, aka Bullet. He said Ogedengbe was investigating the case and that guns and cutlasses were recovered from the scene of the fight. Bullet said somebody told them to waste Shakoor.
“I went there several times, they didn’t allow me to see him while relatives of other suspects arrested for the same offence were allowed to see them. Each time I went there, I paid N2,000 for his feeding. At a point, they stopped collecting money from me.
“On June 26, 2015, the six other persons were arraigned in court. I asked Ogedengbe why my son was not arraigned, but he did not give me any answer. At a point, he started avoiding me. He told me to go and meet his uncle if I wanted my son to be freed.”
She added that her entreaties to the uncle to meet with SARS men fell on deaf ears.
The woman explained that she went to the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) sometime in 2016 to report the case, but a lawyer assigned to attend to her was [also] evasive.
She said, “The OPD assured me that he would be released. But the lawyer that was asked to attend to me kept giving me appointments. Any time I wanted to meet with her, she would say she was busy. I have been going to the OPD, but up till now, nothing has happened. I want to see my child wherever he is.”
Shakoor’s brother, Mubarak Saheed, said Ogedengbe directed the family to look for Shakoor at Kirikiri prisons when a chief on Lagos Island, Sulyman Ajadi, called him on phone.
“We went to the prison and the warders helped us to check their registers and the cells, but they could not find him. The chief, who is now late, called Ogedengbe again, but he didn’t pick his calls. I suspect there is connivance between our uncle and Ogedengbe,” he said.
However, the uncle, Rilwan, denied instigating Shakoor’s arrest.
He said, “Shakoor did not offend me. Although he is troublesome, he never had an issue with me and he is not a robber. I have warned him to stop keeping bad gangs. His mother has an impression that I instigated his arrest and detention because I decided not to intervene.”
A rights activist, Mr. Apata Akinsemoyin, urged Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, and the National Human Rights Commission to address the petition submitted on the case.