journalist with The Oracle Today newspaper, Mr. Ireto Temofeh, is very
angry. He said operatives of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) abducted him and, thereafter,
abandoned him to die in a cell. He is calling on the authorities to
investigate the matter.
journalist, he had advertised the sale of his mother’s block of flats at
the Jakande Estate, Iba, in The Oracle Today newspaper and on social
media as instructed by his mother. He said he left his phone numbers and
that of his lawyer, Mr. Ken Akpom, on the advert for prospective buyers
to contact him.
2017, when, at about 1pm, he received a call from his lawyer informing
him that a certain man had indicated interest to buy the property.
07053523386 as that of the supposed interested buyer and asked me to
call him. When I called him, he confirmed that he was interested in the
property and told me to wait for him at Igando. When he arrived about 30
minutes later in a small car, he was with another man and both of them
were in mufti. They asked me who owned the flat and I confirmed that it
was my mother,” he said.
house, they demanded to see his mother so that they could see
documentary proof of her ownership of the property so as to be sure of
what they wanted to buy.
bearing long rifles, and forcefully dragged me into the Toyota
Highlander with plate number FST 277 AX,” he said.
as he could not understand what was happening. He became more confused
when one of the two men who went with him to inspect the house at Iba
joined his new captors in the jeep.
or armed robbers. He said after they had collected his phone, he
summoned the courage to ask them who they were and what his offence was.
It was then, according to him, that they told him they were policemen.
They also told him he was an armed robber and that one of his gang
members in prison had identified him. He also alleged that they
threatened to kill him if he tried to shout.
to report his arrest at Iba Police Station so that his people would
know his whereabouts moved his captors, as they plainly told him that
they were not answerable to the Lagos State Police Command.
detention centre of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and the IGP’s
IRT within the premises of Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, and
dumped me in a cell.
family or my editor, Mr. Felix Abugu of The Oracle Today newspaper, but
they refused. When I told Inspector Osha to allow me contact my lawyer,
he said my lawyer was also an armed robber and a criminal and that he
would also deal with him.
prisoner somewhere had identified me as an armed robber. He said the
prisoner identified me as a member of his robbery gang that robbed at
the Lagos Airport and some banks in Ondo State between 2012 and 2015 and
that the CCTV camera in one of the banks captured my face while I was
naked, slapped several times and mocked by Inspector Osha and his team
who wanted to see bullet wounds on his body as a proof of their
allegations against him.
journalist with The Sun newspaper in 2003 with Mr. Femi Adesina, now
Special Adviser on Media to President Muhammadu Buhari, as then editor. I
also told them that I had worked for Daily Independent, The Guardian as
well as the New Telegraph newspaper before joining The Oracle Today,
where I currently work. But all I said fell on deaf ears,” he said.
cell and abandoned to die because, for three days, from Friday, June 16,
to Monday, June 19, 2017, nobody gave him food, neither was he allowed
to contact his family. He was also not allowed to write any statement
because he was not given an investigating police officer until Monday,
June 19, 2017.
phones they found in my house, as well as my laptop and a cutlass, which
I use to clear grasses in my compound. They also took away my Civil
Defence volunteer uniform and identity card and some vital documents
relating to my late father’s properties,” he said.
several times on the head and back with the cutlass he collected from
his house so as to make him say that he was not a Civil Defence
volunteer but an impersonator, accusing him of using the uniform to rob.
would kill him if he didn’t disclose the whereabouts of the original
probate letters and documents, his mother’s original statutory marriage
certificate and every necessary document that will make them deny their
other relatives access to those properties.
myself, my lawyer, Mr. Ken Akpom, and my mother were robbers who denied
other members of my family access to my late father’s wealth,” he said
and back to the cell, his family was still in the dark as to his
whereabouts. He said it was on Tuesday, June 20m 2017, that Sergeant
Omotemi Sunday informed him that his people had somehow discovered that
he was there and that he would be allowed to see them briefly.
Tuesday, June 20, Supol Phillip told Inspector Osha in the presence of
the lawyer to speed up his investigation and allow my family to bail me
if he had no evidence against me. But, he told Supol Phillip that he
would personally bring the prisoner to the IRT office, to physically
identify me as an armed robber. He asked Supol Phillip to give him two
or three days to bring the prisoner down to the IRT office,” he said.
to provide the prisoner who could have identified him as an armed
robber, Supol Phillip finally gave the nod for his bail.
Osha vowed that he would implicate and kill me or hang me. He made the
threat in the presence of my surety and the lawyer and refused to allow
my surety to take me away if my family did not give him a bribe of
the sum of N71,000 and together with my lawyer, negotiated with
Inspector Osha, who accepted it before I was released.”
Osha to report at the Ikeja office of the IRT on Wednesday, June 28,
2017. He alleged that Inspector Osha refused to return his drivers’
license and ATM card even as Sergeant Omotemi Sunday searched the SUV
for a long time before he found some of his phones, which were seized
police officer had confided in Chief Okpako that his ordeal in the hands
of Inspector Osha and his team was really because of a land matter.
behind his travails Temofeh said some of his father’s relatives in the
village and in Delta State were his prime suspects, even though he does
not have evidence against them.
trying to deprive us of his property are presently occupying his house
at Dolphin Estate in Ikoyi,” he said.
children out of wedlock, he also said: “My mother is his only legal
wife. After he died, some of his relations brought somebody whom they
claimed lives in London and tried to impose him on us as the first son
of my father, but my father never mentioned such a man to any of us. My
father had three sons, myself, my elder brother and my younger brother.
We are the children of Mr. Henry Temofeh.”
police, he said: “He has no relationship with the police. I believe they
got his phone numbers from the sale of property advert I placed in the
newspaper because I also put his number there.”
robbery charge against him, he said: “The last time I went there with
my lawyer, the IPO asked me to go and that if they needed me, they would
send for me and that is the position now.”
officers narrated how his family members were able to locate him after
they had searched through hospitals, police stations and even mortuaries
contacted me for the property to one of Temofeh’s friends, who worked in
a telecoms company. He was the one who discovered that the officers
never called from Ogun State but somewhere on Igando Road and we were
happy that the kidnappers were at Igando. We never knew it was the
police that took him away.
Response Squad (RRS) of the police but they told her that they lacked
the facilities to trace kidnappers. They referred her to the IRT, which
has the facility. When she went to the IRT office to report, she was
asked to come back the next day. It was the next day that they told her
that Temofeh was in their custody, framed up as an armed robber.”
investigate the conduct of Inspector Osha and his team, saying: “It
appears to me that those IRT men actually wanted to kill him. Their
intention is something that government needs to look deep into because
if it is not corrected, it may cause a lot of problems in this country.
If two people are struggling over a property, they have the right. His
mother is the legal wife but if there is an outsider, who feels that his
father is rich and wants to possess; it is not by engaging the police.”
Service Commission (PSC) and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police,
Fatai Owoseni, Temofeh said he hoped that justice would be done in the
Phillip, who is in charge of the IRT South -West, Lagos annex, said the
matter was brought to his knowledge by one of Temofeh’s relations. He
also said he was not aware that Temofeh gave anybody money for his bail.
boys will bring any matter of this nature to my attention. But this
matter came to my knowledge through the suspect’s relation; somebody who
knows me. So, I personally interviewed him and I discovered that he was
behaving like somebody who is not mentally stable. I say so because
immediately after the interview and I ordered that he should be granted
bail to a reasonable surety, so that proper underground investigation
could be done, some journalist called me to confirm that the man is
actually a good writer but he is having issues. They told me he has
worked in so many newspapers, so I said he should be allowed to go. I am
not aware if he gave money to anybody.”
said: “We are still doing underground investigation because the
accusation was from a suspect already remanded in prison and not the
written petitions to the PSC in Abuja, the IGP and the Lagos
Commissioner of Police and that investigation was on to unravel the
facts of the matter.