A woman, Olasunbo Ogundele, who was robbed in the Abule Egba area of Lagos State, has accused the police of releasing the prime suspect without charges.
It was learnt that the Lagos State indigene was robbed by two armed men on Monday, April 8, 2019, after which she reported the incident at the Oko Oba Police Station.
One of the suspects, Segun Ajiboye, was caught two days later while allegedly attempting to rob another victim.
Ogundele alleged that while the suspect was in police custody, he was not interrogated, adding that he was released without any attempt to recover the items he stole from her.
She said the police claimed that the suspect was released on the pretext that he was in a critical medical condition.
Ogundele said, “On my way to work around 5.40pm, I was robbed of my handbag containing my ID cards, voter card, two phones, a huge sum of money that belonged to the company I work for and some other things. I was attacked by two men; one of them had a big knife and the other had a machete. So, I had to drop everything on me and ran. Before people could come out to help, they had already made away with my handbag.
“I went to the Oko Oba Police Station immediately to report the case. On Wednesday, the same robbers attacked another person, who was able to catch one of them. The suspect happened to be the main guy that attacked me.
“He was taken to the Oko Oba Police Station. Immediately it happened, I was notified by my landlord’s son, I was told to come to the police station to identify him.”
The 30-year-old said she observed that the suspect knew some of the policemen at the station, including the Investigating Police Officer in charge of her case, one Inspector James Dakwo.
She said, “The IPO identified the suspect as Segun and said that’s about the sixth time he was being arrested. The other policemen asked why he was beaten. They said they could not take him to court in the condition he was. I saw the weapon he used to rob me. I was told to come back the next day because the suspect could not talk.
“When I returned there, I was told that he was in a critical condition in a hospital. When I went there on Saturday, I met the Divisional Police Officer. He claimed that it was the community that took the suspect to the hospital. He made a call while I was there and ordered that they should bring him. He said he was going to call me once they brought him.
“I waited till Sunday afternoon and called the DPO, I did not hear from him. He said the community allowed the suspect to go because he had been severely injured. He said nobody knew his address despite the fact that they claimed that he was a regular face at the station.”
However, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, said the law permitted that injured suspects should be treated first.
He said, “She reported the matter on April 8, 2019, and on April 11, the community caught the suspect and subjected him to jungle justice. He was severely beaten with machetes before he was brought half dead to the police station. The community brought him alongside personnel of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps.
“There are arrest procedures and there are human rights positions. When you torture a suspect on your own and injure him, you must treat him; that is the provision of the law. There are no medical facilities in the police station to treat someone whose right has been violated because if he dies in police custody, people will say the police killed him. So, the community was saddled with the responsibility of treating him. If the community decides to release him, she should take it up with them. However, Investigation is not closed on the matter; it is ongoing.”
The PPRO later called back to say the suspect had been rearrested although he had yet to fully recover from his injuries.