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#EndSARS: Police have refused to let me call my family six days since my arrest – mother of four laments

... As women suspects in Lagos narrate how soldiers, police framed them for murder, arson

Joy Anyim

At least, 30 women arrested by soldiers and policemen, for alleged looting, robbery and murder, a day after the shooting of unarmed #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate, have accused security agencies in Lagos of roping them into a crime they know nothing about.

The women arrested from Jakande, Ajah, Marina and Ikotun areas of Lagos during the curfew, are currently being held at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters in Ikeja.

Paraded recently, the suspects, who kept wailing, called  for urgent help in contacting their loved ones as well as to regain freedom.

They maintained they were innocent of the many allegations leveled against them by the security operatives.

According to one of the suspects, Aishatu Mohammed, a mother of four, who was arrested on her way to buy food stuffs at Jakande last Wednesday, the soldiers, arrestedand labelled her a killer, alleging that she was involved in the killing of policemen.

Mohammed told The Nigerian Xpress that since her arrest and transfer to the police headquarters, the operatives had refused to give her the opportunity of calling her family to intimate them about her whereabouts.

READ ALSO: https://www.thexpressng.com/2020/10/28/endsars-ex-alpha-beta-md-suits-documents-against-tinubu-burnt-says-lawyer/

The suspect stated that she had spent six days in detention, and had also been denied the services of a lawyer.

Decrying the unfair treatment meted on her by both security agencies, the Kogi-born said she is innocent and neither participated in the looting of shops nor killing of policemen.

She said: ” I live at No. 32, Dorcas Street, close to Jakande. On the day I was arrested, I went to Jakande to buy food stuffs. It was on my way that I saw military personnel, who ordered me and a few others to come to them.

“We went and they asked if we were not aware there was curfew. I explained that I only came out to buy foodstuff for my children. They ordered us to go into the waiting military van.

“It is six days since I was arrested and I have a baby that is 14 months old at home. I also have three other children. No member of my family knows my whereabout and they did not allow me to call. My husband and family members don’t know where I am.

“I am very sure that my family will be in disarray due to my sudden disappearance. Let them just let me contact my family. Even the crime they said I committed, I am innocent. Please, I need help.”

Similarly, Ogechi Ogbonna in her narration said policemen from Isheri-Oshun stormed her house at No. 45, Oluwaseun Street, Ijegun Road, Ikotun about 12p.m. to arrest her.

The 45-year-old mother of four said she was alone with her children when the policemen came looking for her landlord and his children, but arrested her in their stead.

She said she was informed that the occupants of the building were involved in looting, and setting the Igando Police Division ablaze.

She said: “The policemen came looking for the landlord and his children. I told them my landlord and his family don’t live in the building, as my family and my neighbour, who had travelled were the only ones living there. They left and said I should tell my landlord they want to see what is in the compound.

“They went and arrested a boy from the next compound. They came back and said they had to search my flat. They did but did not see anything. They carried my clothes and that of my children, packed them in a bag, arrested me and said I was a suspect, and the clothes were exhibits. No one knows where I am now. My husband went to work at the time of my arrest.”

Aminu, who was too shocked to tell her story said she was yet to understand why security operatives stormed a church where she was taking refuge to arrest her.

The 25-year-old bread seller said she was only told after her arrest at Ajah that she was involved in the violence that erupted, following the hijack of the #EndSARS protest.

READ ALSO: https://www.thexpressng.com/2020/10/28/endsars-amnesty-intl-releases-timeline-of-lekki-shooting-says-nigerian-government-covering-up/

It was not a different story for Bose, a 22-year-old girl, who was arrested at Marina area of Lagos.

Bose, who lives with her mother, was running an errand for her when soldiers accosted her and whisked her away to the police station.

She said she was told after her arrest that she was involved in the killing of a policeman, an allegation Bose said she knew nothing about.

Narrating her ordeal, the young lady said though now in police custody, she was neither being fed nor allowed to see family members.

“I was arrested around marina; my mother sent me to buy a few things for her about 3:30p.m. last Wednesday. I was running when I discovered some guys were unleashing mayhem around Marina.

“I saw military men on my way; they just stopped me searched me and arrested me. They whisked me away in their waiting van. My mother has been here but they have refused to let her see me. They are not giving us food; they said we were the ones that killed policemen. I am innocent and was probably unfortunate to be at the wrong place at the wrong time,” she said.

A woman, who simply identified herself as Iyabo, said that she was arrested by soldiers, while on her way to use the ATM.

“I was going to use the ATM to withdraw some money so that my siblings and I could buy some food stuff for the house at Ajah; that was how I was arrested,” she said amidst tears.

However, the Commissioner of Police (CP), Lagos State Police Command, Hakeem Odumosu, had revealed that six policemen were killed by hoodlums, who attacked 42 different police divisions, posts and units in the state.

Odumosu, who paraded the suspects before journalists said four civilians also lost their lives in the unres while 38 policemen sustained various degrees of injuries.

According to Odumosu, 71 police vehicles were burnt and vandalised, as well as 62 vehicles, belonging to individuals and those connected with some pending cases (exhibits) were burnt and nine vehicles were vandalised by the hoodlums.

The CP said several private and public facilities and investments were also vandalised and looted.

He said it was based on the violent occurrences that the Command arrested 520 suspects for arson, robberies, murder, rioting, malicious damage and unlawful possession of fire arms

“Based on these incidences, the command was able to arrest a total of 520 suspects for various offences ranging from arson, robbery, murder, rioting, malicious damage, and unlawful possession of fire arms. More importantly, one Olamilekan Ibrahim,19, one of those who broke into a new generation bank and carted away cash and other valuables in Lekki, was arrested with N250,000, which is his own share of the loot from the bank, and a locally-made pistol.

“Also, two suspects Ebere Ruben, 29, and Samuel Oyediran, 16, were arrested by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), for their involvement in burning of the BRT terminal at Berger and Television Continental (TVC) Station in Lagos State, respectively.

“In the light of the above, it is a known fact that the protest was hijacked by armed hoodlums, who have been responsible for series of killings, arson and looting of many shopping outlets in the state. Thorough investigation into the cases has commenced. Members of the public should be rest assured that they will be updated as investigation progresses.”