On February 1, 2021, few days after she successfully underwent the removal of a fibroma lump from her stomach, Rukayat Temitope Adeyemi was arrested and violently harrassed by Police officers at Sagamu, Ogun State, for a strange offence: “insulting an older person”. The encounter left her with deep injuries and led to the reopening of her just-stitched stomach.
Rukayat Temitope Adeyemi was excited she could finally walk all by herself without the help of a friend or family member after she underwent the successful removal of a discomforting lump in her stomach that led to days of being bedridden. Her friend had advised they took a stroll to her mother’s shop at shagamu to “stretch her legs”. On their way to the shop, she was arrested and brutalized by the police on the orders of Soyelu Adeolu, a man whose love advances she had rejected.
Rukayat, an entrepreneur, met Adeolu through a close friend of hers. They began to talk, hung out once at a bar, and spoke quite frequently. After their first hangout, Adeolu made his love interest known to Rukayat. She rejected his offer as she felt he was out of her league.
Adeolu, known for making several posts on his Whatsapp status, uploaded a quote insinuating he had “several haters who stabbed him at his back after rendering help to them”.
Rukayat viewed the post and sent a message to him asking “why he made such a post at his age for the world to see”. She advised him to outgrow such attitude. Rukayat’s comment got Adeolu enraged. He cursed at her and called her defamatory names.
“I was shocked when he started insulting me. He called my friend’s mother to report me and swore to arrest me if he ever set eyes on me. I did not take the threats seriously because I thought he was joking since we were quite close. After this incident, we stopped talking.”
ARRESTED WITHOUT OFFENCE
Few months after the threats were made, and few days after her surgery, Adeolu saw her from afar in his car while she was on her way out, and immediately called the police on her. The police arrived in less than 30 minutes to arrest her. She was arrested without an explanation on the nature of her offence.
“I kept begging them to tell me my offence, but they kept saying when I get to the station I would know. It was after I saw Adeolu when I was about entering their van that I knew he must have been the one to call the police on me.”
BEATEN TO STUPOR
After she got to the police station, she was detained and beaten to stupor for about an hour with a gun. She told FIJ that she kept begging to know her offence and explained to the officers how she had just recovered from surgery.
Due to the beating, she sustained deep injuries; the post-surgery stitch on her stomach opened up, leaving her clothes blood-soaked.
“The police officers in Nigeria are wicked and heartless; Adeolu paid them to arrest and beat me up, and even after I explained my health situation to them, they did not stop. It was after they saw my clothes soaked and realized the stitch had opened that they stopped.”
When the police saw the severity of her injury, she was asked to go home and return the next day to write a statement.
The next day, however, she was rearrested from her home to give a statement. This was when she was told the reason for her arrest.
“One of the police officers told me while I was on my knees in pain and with a slap on my face that I was arrested because ‘I insulted a person older than me’ and it was against the law to disrespect my elders,” she said.
After she wrote her statement, she was asked to pay a sum of N50,000 for her bail and was told if she refused to pay, she would be left with no other choice than to lbe detained in the cell.
She was left in the police cell for hours because she had no money to pay. Her friend’s mother eventually showed up at the cell to donate N15,000, but the policemen refused to take a transfer of the money, insisting the payment had to be made in cash. After numerous pleas to the officers, she was allowed to leave on the condition that she would raise the money and bring it to them.
Rukayat was in immense pain throughout the night because of the injury she had sustained at the hands of the police. She was rushed to a hospital, where she was told the reopening of the stitch had led to an infection in her stomach.
While in pain on the hospital bed, she contacted a gossip blog known for calling out people. Infuriated about the whole situation, the owner of the blog published the picture and phone number of Adeolu. She asked her followers to call and tongue-lash him.
After seeing the post, Adeolu and his best friend Okikola Agubiade, who is the DPO of the police station where she was detained, visited Rukayat to beg her to convince the blog to unpublish the post. The DPO claimed if his superiors came across it, he would lose his job. Adeolu, meanwhile, claimed it was tarnishing his reputation as a businessman.
DEATH THREATS… CASE CLOSED FOREVER
The DPO advised Adeolu to compensate Rukayat for the damage and foot her hospital bills. She agreed.
When FIJ reached out to Adeolu, he said that as far as he was concerned, the matter was dead to him, so he had nothing to say. But shortly after, he and two hefty men accosted Rukayat’s brother, telling him to warn his sister not to reopen the case or put up anything about it in the media. He threatened to kill them both if they flouted his warning.
FIJ also contacted DPO Agubide. His claim was that a lawyer submitted a withdrawal letter signed by Rukayat and stating that she was willing to withdraw the case. For that reason, he said the case had been closed, never to be reopened. He added that inasmuch as Rukayat agreed to be paid, she had no right whatsoever to accuse Adeolu of anything.
“You can go on to publish anything you want; just know at the back of your mind that you would face the wrath of Armor and their punishment, and so you know Rukayat’s arrest is not on record so you have no facts and evidence against us,” he said.
SCAMMMED INTO SUBMISSION
While Rukayat was about to be discharged from the hospital, she realized Adeolu only paid half of the hospital bills, leaving her to source the rest.
“I got a lawyer who later asked me to close the case and settle the matter since they had begged me. He is also a close friend of the DPO’s. He wrote a statement and I think an agreement, which I signed and was not allowed to snap or read properly.”
She was asked to sign an affidavit stating that after Adeolu’s apology letter and payment of damages, she would never reopen the case again or put it on any social media platform. She claims she did not exactly understand the context of the agreement, but since her lawyer was by her side, she signed the affidavit.
“Up till today, I have not seen any apology letter or money for damages. My lawyer said he saw it but when I asked to see it, they said there was no need since my lawyer had seen it. The DPO then warned me to never speak of the case to anyone in my lifetime,” Rukayat told FIJ.
FIJ contacted Barrister Allwell David, Rukayat’s lawyer. He said FIJ has no right to reopen the case because it had been closed. He added that Rukayat agreed to be paid and signed an affidavit to it, so he would advise FIJ to leave the case and let the sleeping dog lie.
“The only reason I agreed to the payment was because I was persuaded to let go since he apologized, and my lawyer felt it was the right thing to do since they were all bigger than me in power”.
Shortly after Rukayat signed the statement and agreed to the payment, Adeolu declared he had no money to pay. Up to date, it is recorded that he hasn’t still made any payment as agreed upon”.
Rukayat is still suffering from the pains. She is unable to work or move properly.
“My Friends tell me they see him walking the streets of Sagamu happily without any stress or pain, but here I am enduring pain every day,” she told FIJ
“I was manipulated into signing the affidavit. I deserve justice. No place in the constitution says it’s an offense to insult someone older than you, and I did not do so. I deserve justice; both Adeolu and the police officers should pay for their crimes.”
Be the first to receive special investigative reports and features in your inbox.