Lagos Police Raid: The Curious Case Of Ifeoluwa Fatoye
“I was just washing clothes in front of my house. I saw policemen in a vehicle and on a raid going to arrest some people.
“Since I did not do anything, I continued washing my clothes. But on their way back, one of them just saw me and said, ‘handcuff this one too’.
“So, I started shouting but they did not answer me. With only a boxer short and singlet, they arrested me and took me to the police station.
“On the second day, men of SARS came and packed me with others they arrested during their raid.
This was the story told by Ifeoluwa Fatoye a carpenter who resides with his brother in Jakande Estate in Ipaja area of Lagos.
Bounce News met with him at the Police Headquarters in Ikeja where he is being held alongside other young men for belonging to a notorious cult gang.
But the 19-year-old insists he knew nothing about the crime or any of the men he was arrested with.
His sounded like the same story of indiscriminate arrest that we have heard before and one would like to say Ifeoluwa is another victim of circumstance.
But there are many questions that need answers. Have the police told him his offence since he got there? No, he answered.
“Do you know these men with whom you have been grouped?” No, he answered again.
But there were weapons on display, which the police said belonged to the arrested men, but he argued that only the carpentry saw belonged to him and that was his work tool that was taken from his house.
According to Ifeoluwa, he was not the only so-called innocent person arrested but others have been bailed by their families.
So, how come no one has come to bail Ifeoluwa since he claimed his brother is an honorable – a popular politician in Egbeda area?
He claimed he had not been able to call home because his phone had been taken away from him by the police,but was he not arrested ‘at home’?
How can it be so difficult for his family to trace his whereabouts since he was first taken to the Egbeda police station before being transferred to SARS?
Perhaps, only the police can answer these questions as the other suspects also said that they did not know Ifeoluwa and they only met at the SARS office.
When confronted with Ifeoluwa’s claim and those of others like him, the Commissioner of Police in Lagos state, Edgal Imohimi warned that such stories should be taken with a pinch of salt.
“As investigation progresses we always do our best to reach out to their family members. Of course, they are entitled to representation in court when the family members refuse to come.
“But some of them, their families refuse to come because they have become problems to their families and they have since disowned them.”
Could this be the case of Ifeoluwa Ige Fatoye?
Can one be in his house and still be guilty of being at the wrong place at the wrong time?
If he is indeed innocent, how can the society, or the police authorities stop these recurring cases of raids and random arrests by the men in black?