The whereabouts of a 26-year-old youth, Waidi Kabiru, had been a mystery since Sunday, November 23, after he was reportedly whisked away from the custody of the Igbogbo Police Station, Lagos State, by a three-man gang.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the three gang members, who put on masks, had sneaked into the station around 1am on Sunday and bundled him out of the cell to an unknown place.
It was learnt that Waidi, a musician, was arrested by a team of policemen who raided Shelewu Road, in the Ikorodu area of the state on Friday, November 21.
The state police command confirmed Waidi’s arrest, but said he had been released on bail. The command, however, did not disclose the surety to whom the youth was released.
Waidi’s father, Mr. Bisiriyu Kabiru, said he had been visiting his son since Friday when he was arrested, adding that he had gone to the station to give him food on Sunday only to be told that he was no longer inside the cell.
He said, “He called me on the phone around 9am on Friday that he was arrested during a raid and I went to the station to see him. One of the policemen I met asked me how much I had to bail him out and I said N4,000. But he told me it wasn’t enough and I left. I later came back with N5,000, but I was told that the DPO had taken over the case.
“On Saturday, I brought food for him (Waidi) at the station and was there till the evening, trying to secure his bail. When I got there on Sunday to give him food, the policemen at the counter said he had gone out with the DPO. But I was not allowed to see the DPO. I later learnt that he was whisked out of the cell early Sunday morning by three men who were masked. It was on Monday that I decided to inform his mother.”
Waidi’s mother, Karimat Adebanbi, said she went to the station on Monday and was shown a register containing details of suspects.
According to her, the record reads that Waidi was nabbed during a raid, but had been released.
The mother said the policemen directed her to the DPO when she demanded to know the person that stood as a surety for him. She added that her efforts to meet with the DPO were frustrated by his men.
She said, “The policemen I met at the station called my son from the cell, but nobody answered. They checked the register and saw his name there, indicating that he had been released on bail. I asked them who stood as a surety for him, but they refused to tell me. They told me to look for him at his friends’ houses. We don’t know his whereabouts and his number is switched off.“I went to the station again on Thursday and Saturday to see the DPO; they said he was not around. I called him several times before he picked his call. He said he was somewhere and told me to wait. I waited for hours but he did not come back.”
Our correspondent gathered that the family had also petitioned the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, through an activist, Prince Akinsemoyin, to investigate Waidi’s disappearance from the cell.
The petition also requested the CP to quiz the DPO and policemen involved in the case to unravel the circumstances surrounding the youth’s disappearance.
It read in part, “I wish to bring to your attention that up till now, the whereabouts of Waidi Kabiru is still unknown. We strongly suspect a foul play in this matter. The time has come to critically investigate the DPO and the role the DPO played in this case. If he has been released, to whom? On what grounds was he released to the surety and what offence was he arrested for?
“We would like the police to produce the surety or else the policemen involved in this matter need to explain his sudden disappearance from Igbogbo police’s custody. This incident is capable of bringing the image of the police to disrepute. We hereby request a full scale investigation into this matter.”
The Lagos State police spokesperson, DSP Joe Offor, said Waidi was not abducted from the cell, insisting that he had been released on bail. He, however, said he did not have the knowledge of the name of the surety.
He said, “It was not true that he was abducted. The suspect was released on bail to an identifiable person. The DPO said he had the name of the surety, but he did not disclose the name of the person to me.”