How will I be in favour of saving another person’s life next time? Now, I know that the radio jingle, ‘say no to jungle justice’ is all a scam — Ridewu Nojeem Adebiyi.
Ridewu Nojeem Adebiyi, a Lagos State resident, has narrated how he was detained and extorted by the Officers of the Adeniji Central Police Station, Lagos, after saving a man from being lynched by an angry mob in Ojo.
Adebiyi told FIJ how he became embroiled in the issue when he was resting in his house on a fine Sunday evening.
“It all happened on September 11, 2022. I was at a house in Muniru street, Ilegbo Elegba Town, Ajangbadi, when I heard a noise outside,” Adebiyi said.
“An elderly man, who I later knew as Benjamin Adaniken, was caught with used baby diapers after he rummaged through a refuse dump there. The alarm was raised by an old lady, Kaosarat Abiodun, who saw him while she was sitting outside her house.
“On raising the alarm, random people and passersby on the busy road gathered and started beating him. They started making some claims that he deserved to be killed.”
THE GOOD SAMARITAN
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Adebiyi decided to come out of his house to find out what was causing an uproar.
“When I came out, I saw that random people who we couldn’t identify in our community were already making attempts to lynch him. I intervened and said ‘no, I wouldn’t allow jungle justice’. Given that I was a little known in the community as the general secretary of the community LCDA, I successfully intervened,” Adebiyi said.
“I rescued the elderly Adaniken and so as not to be overpowered by the angry mob, I took the man to our community security post which was headed by Oriafor Douglas, the community security officer.
“We waited there for a while together till few minutes before midnight when a Police Patrol van from Ajangbadi Police Station came to pick him up. Christopher Adaniken, who happens to be the son of the elderly man, also came with the patrol vehicle.”
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Adebiyi and the security officer explained the incident to the police officers.
“We even called the old woman that raised the alarm to explain her side of things and she did. After the whole explanation, they thanked us for saving the man’s life,” Adebiyi said.
“We released the elderly Adaniken to the officers and his son. That was all. We thought we had saved lives and there was no casualty to the glory of God.”
PLOT TWIST: ONE GOOD DEED = ILLEGAL DETENTION
Adebiyi told FIJ how he went about his work as usual, only for him to get the information from some members of the community two weeks later that Oriafor, the security officer, had been picked up by officers of the Adeniji Adenle Central Police Station, Lagos Island.
“I was surprised that he was arrested and detained because of the pampers issue. I decided to go there myself on Thursday, September 29, to know what the issue was and clarify our names,” Adebiyi said.
“I met the station officer, Rasheed Ganiu, and I explained my side of the story to him. While I was still there, I never knew they had gone out to arrest the old woman who raised the alarm.
“Before I knew what was going on, I was harassed by the officers and wasn’t allowed to leave.
“I was still at the station till around 8 pm when the old woman was brought into the station and the whole story changed. They started taking our statements all over again.
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“At a point, Peter Okonji, the investigative police officer in charge, slapped me. They started claiming that someone wrote a petition against me, Oriafor and Mrs Abiodun, the old woman.
“They never showed me any petition. I had to write a statement under duress. They were just questioning me by asking some specific questions and I was writing whatever they asked.
“After our statements, they moved the three of us to DCP Bunmi Ogedengbe. This was around 9:39 pm.”
Adebiyi narrated how he was detained at the station after just going there to clarify an incident.
“All the DCP said was ‘bring them to me tomorrow’. I never knew that was detention. We were all detained at the station that night,” Adebiyi said.
“The day after, a lawyer came from our community to help us. That was when we discovered that Hammed Muritala, a young security guard from our community, was also in detention.
“We had just been wondering about the poor boy’s whereabouts in the neighbourhood. We never knew Muritala had been in the police custody. They just picked up the innocent boy on duty. All the while we had been talking, Muritala was never brought up.”
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‘BAIL IS (NOT) FREE’ — NIGERIAN POLICE FORCE
Adebiyi said despite the elderly Adaniken identifying him and Oriafor, the security guard, as his helpers, they were all still made to pay to regain their freedom.
“Regardless, I had to pay N50,000 cash to the police to be released that Friday. Mrs Abiodun, the elderly woman, also had to pay N50,000 to be released,” Adebiyi said.
“We couldn’t bail out Oriafor and Muritala that Friday, so we went back on Monday with some community leaders. We paid N50,000 and N20,000 for Oriafor and Muritala respectively.
“Before they were released, we were forced to write an apology note to Benjamin Adaniken. They also forced us to write an undertaking to pay N300,000. The three of us were asked to contribute N100,000 each.”
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THE PRICE OF GOOD DEEDS
Adebiyi expressed how stressed he had been since the incident happened.
“We’ve been asked to report at the station every Monday, Wednesday and Friday since then. We paid N100,000 out of the N300,000 requested for,” Adebiyi said.
“I am an entrepreneur, and I’m just trying to make a living for myself legitimately. I don’t have a job. I’m just helping myself.
“The little money I’ve been trying to save for my small business has been squandered on this matter.
“Even, the N50,000 for bail the ederly woman paid was not her money. She couldn’t even afford her house rent and they are expecting each of us to pay another N100,000. She has an eviction notice from her landlord.”
Continuing, he said: “They’ve drained me. I’ve been getting their calls and continually being harassed by them.
“The police and Christopher keep calling me. It’s as if I’m paying for doing good. I can’t continue like this. How can I save someone’s life and I’m asked to pay for it?
“The stress I’m currently facing in the hands of the police is just too much. Random people could have killed him in the community and I could have just been minding my business.
“They never arrested me; I walked in myself and I was detained for two days, just like that.”
FIJ called Muyiwa Adejobi, spokesman for the Nigeria Police Force, for comments, but the calls were not picked. An SMS also sent had not been responded to at press time.
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