THE demolition of the warehouse where kidnappers kept their victims situated at Soka area of Ibadan, was on Wednesday, halted by the state Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Indabawa.
The management of Ibadan Local Governments Properties Limited, in company with combined security personnel comprising the police and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), were on hand to supervise the demolition exercise which started at 11am.
At about 11:35am, the operator of the bulldozer pulling down the structure stopped the engine and discontinued the work. Nigerian Tribune, however, gathered that the stoppage was on the order of the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Indabawa.
Nigerian Tribune also sighted a senior police officer talking to the operator of the bulldozer, saying:”Don’t continue with the work, forensic experts are on their way to this place to carry out some examinations”.
Speaking with journalists at the venue, General Manager, Ibadan Local Governments Properties Limited, Mr Lekan Babalola, informed that:”Some minutes after the demolition exercise began, the Commissioner of Police ordered the stoppage of the exercise and summoned us to his office where he told us that forensic experts were on their way from Abuja, that the demolition of the structure would continue immediately after the conclusion of the examination”.
At exactly 12:28 pm, members of the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) arrived at the venue of the demolition exercise to carry out their own investigations. They were said to have come to find out whether there was still a dungeon where some victims might still be trapped sequel to information that a victim still put a call through to his family from there on Sunday.
After several incantations and spiritual exercise by the OPC, the leader of the team, Kazeem Lawal, told the Nigerian Tribune that:”We have come here to find out whether there is a spiritual connection to what has been happening here. But we discovered that there was no connection at all.
“We believe that there is an existing dungeon at the site which the bulldozer that is currently in use cannot dig. Only an excavator which can dig up to 10-12 feet down the surface of the land can help ascertain this. But we strongly believe there is a dungeon in that place”.
Meanwhile, a man, suspected to be an accomplice of the kidnappers was also apprehended at the venue by members of the Man O War. Nigerian Tribune was informed that the man was arrested in the bush near the kidnappers’ den and when interrogated, told them he lived very close to the place.
He was asked to take them to his house, and the journey took them over an hour without getting to a particular destination. This prompted the Man O War members to bring the man back to the kidnappers’ den to hand him over to the police.
The man, who identified himself as Simon Popoola Olajide Tijani, while narrating his own side of the story, said:”I came here to pick some juice to give to my chickens in Ijebu. I live at Toll-Gate area and I do not know why these men are holding me for what I know nothing about”.
He was, thereafter taken away by the police.
The chairman of Ibadan South-West Local Government, Taoreed Adeleke and his counterpart from Oluyole Local Government, Ayodeji Abas Alesinloye, were at the venue of the demolition exercise but both left shortly after the stoppage of work.
Madman lynched in Ibadan •Another rescued by police in Molete
By Tunde Ogunesan and Nurudeen Alimi
A madman was on Wednesday burnt to death by an angry mob in Ibadan.
The madman, according to investigations carried out by the Nigerian Tribune, was alleged to have been in possession of some foreign currencies (dollars), a gun and several ATM cards.
He was apprehended by an angry mob and was allegedly thoroughly beaten and set on fire after they discovered what was in his possession.
As of the time Nigerian Tribune visited scene of the incident at Ahmaddiya Crescent, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, where the remains of the madman were still lying on the road, no one could give details as to what really happened as police men fired teargas to drive people away from the scene.
An eyewitness, who spoke with the Nigerian Tribune under the condition of anonymity, said:”By the time I got to the scene, I saw people with various objects like stone, sticks and tyres. They were beating the man. At that time, the dollars and the ATM cards found on him were still on the floor, but within the twinkle of an eye, the money and those cards had disappeared. I suspect some people among the crowd might have made away with them. But I did not see any gun as alleged”.
The police, however, made some arrest before leaving the scene.
Meanwhile, timely intervention of members of the Nigeria Police saved a middle aged man, who was alleged to be feigning madness, on Wednesday when he was accused of snatching a teenager around Popoyemoja area, Ibadan.
According to sources, the man had successfully lured away the teenager but luck ran out on him when a neighbour to the family of the victim challenged him few meters away from where he took the teenager. His inability to provide answers to questions made the people to swoop on him and beat him until he shed blood, with his clothes torn.
As the crowd descended on him, his wig fell off, making it clear that his dreadlock was artificial and not that of a mad person as he wanted the people to believe.
However, security personnel prevented the crowd from taking law into their hands as he was takes away to the Iyaganku Police Station.
In her reaction, the Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer, Olabisi Ilobanafor, confirmed the arrest of a man at Molete, saying the suspect was in the custody of the State CID, Iyaganku, for further investigation.
However, concerning the Oke Ado incident, she said the police only saw the burnt body of a person, who allegedly feigned madness, adding that the deceased was said to have had several items on him. She noted that the mob’s claim could not be substantiated by the police because the suspect had been beaten to death.
APC, Accord bicker over kidnappers’ den
THE All Progressives Congress (APC) Oyo State, has called on well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the state branch of Accord Party to stop capitalising on what it referred to as the fresh blood of the dead people to gain political popularity just as the Accord Party described as crocodile tears the reaction of Governor Abiola Ajimobi, over the recovery of corpses and half-humans at a kidnappers’ den found at Soka Area of Ibadan on Saturday.
The APC said this in a statement issued and signed by its interim state secretary, Mr Dauda Kolawole, and made available to the Nigerian Tribune, on Wednesday, with reference to an allegation of negligence in the discovery of the den by two chieftains of Accord Party.
The APC averred that from the testimonies of the kidnapped victims, it was obvious that the den had been in existence for almost 10 years, a period the party said covered the time of Senator Rashidi Ladoja as governor, adding that it was the security consciousness of the government that led to the discovery of the den and the prompt response of government that saved the situation.
While warning the Accord Party faithful masterminding the campaign, especially former Secretary to the State Government, Mr Dele Adigun, to desist from seeking political relevance, the APC said the state had left the era of politicians hoodwinking the people by manufacturing lies and falsehood.
Also, in a release issued and signed by the director of media of Accord Party, Prince Dotun Oyelade, a copy of which was made available to the Nigerian Tribune, on Wednesday, the Accord Party, said the present administration provided the property over two years ago to be used as a dumping ground for miscreants and homeless people so as to get them off the streets to boost the beautification agenda of the government.
According to Accord, a contractor was given the job to cart away people adjudged to be unstable and miscreants to keep the streets clean and he dumped them at the Soka property without provision for feeding and welfare.
It added that what happened at Soka area was the handiwork of the present administration, saying instead of finding face-saving devices such as demolition of the place, government should admit that it was the beautification agenda that worked negatively for the people.
Kidnappers’ den victims: 5 days after
By Sade Oguntola , Taiwo Olanrewaju, Rotimi Ige and Paul Omorogbe
The scene at the Adeoyo Hospital, Yemetu Ibadan where surviving victims of the Ibadan “House of Horror” are being treated was one of apprehension, pity and awe on Wednesday.
A crowd of sympathizers had gathered outside the ward where the victims were kept. A strong stench filled the air around the vicinity which onlookers braved to get a peek of the victims through a wide window. It was gathered that the stench was much stronger on Saturday when the victims arrived, and it was much less now that the victims had been cleaned up by hospital staff. The victims were in full view for those outside, separated only by mosquito netting and louvers.
Before long, some elderly onlookers filled with sympathy, put up a spontaneous prayer session outside as they faced the victims. One of them came close to the window and responded ‘amen’ to the prayers.
Not long after, a supposed madman was brought in by four police officers in a car. The “madman”, looking dirty and messed up, responded to orders given to him by the police in English to get out of the car and walk towards the wards. He came out wearing filthy looking jeans, a dirty long sleeved shirt, with blood and saliva drooling out of his mouth.
It was gathered that he was picked up around Awolowo area of Bodija, where jungle justice was about to be meted out to him by burning him with a tyre. Arms and ammunition were reportedly found with this “madman.”
Meanwhile, the acting permanent secretary, Oyo State Hospital Management Board, Dr Bayo Adigun, speaking on the eight victims of the Soga saga, said the board had taken up their care through the Adeoyo Maternity Hospital, Yemetu, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Dr Adigun, who remarked that the hospital was doing its best to rehabilitate them, added that a psychiatrist had also been invited to assess the four men and four women, two of who were brought in incoherent.
The medical expert, saying that they were brought to the Adeoyo Maternity Hospital, Yemetu, Ibadan, unkempt, and “in malnourished form and unsound mind”, assured that all was being done to support them.
According to him, the hospital management board was already linking the Oyo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to render services to them as well.
While assuring that none of them would die, Dr Adigun however, said that they needed extensive rehabilitation and adequate treatment.
He appealed to well meaning Nigerians to help to trace their relatives so that they could also come in to help, stating that none of their relatives had come forward yet.
Our staff are not victims of Soka forest horror — Sobic boss
By Wale Olapade
New facts have emerged after the discovery of the den of kidnappers and ritual killers as documents and evidences to ascertain victims of the horror incident are now surfacing.
Recently, documents, which included a receipt booklet was reportedly found inside one of the containers where the victims of the Soka forest horror were said to be kept.
The receipt booklet was reportedly belonging to Sobic and company of Suite. 29, In God We Trust Plaza, Afro Bus stop, Km 8, old Ife Road, Sawmill Ibadan, had entries dated 2012 with payments credited to Adeola Adetomiwa, Chuks Osayi and Bose Adizua.
When Tribune visited the address of Sobic, it was discovered the company had relocated, and a further inquiry from other tenants gave the new office address as No 1 Onigbongbo, Km 8, Old Ife road.
On getting to the said address, Nigerian Tribune gathered from the Chief Executive Officer of Sobic and Company, Mr Adejumo Kehinde that the news was strange, to him, adding that all his company’s receipts booklets were intact but never denied knowing the three names mentioned in the report published today in one of the national dailies.
According to Kehinde, “Sobic and Company is a reputable finance, consultancy and training organization. We have an up to date audit of our documents and we assure you none of our receipt booklet was missing.
Kehinde told Nigerian Tribune that two of the names mentioned in the report (Chuks Osayi and Bose Adizua) were former employees of the company while the third (Mrs Adeola Adetomiwa) is one of the members of the cooperative group financed by Sobic and Company.
He added that Bose Adizua left the company to further her education and she is studying Public Administration at the Federal Polytechnic Offa, while Chuks Osayi is seeking admission into University of Benin.
Asked if any of the company’s staff is missing, the CEO said none of Sobic is missing and for those who have left the company, he has put calls across to Bose Adizua and Mr chuks Osayi and confirmed that they are safe and sound.
Speaking to one of the names mentioned in the report, a foodstuff vendor at Oje Market, Ibadan, Mrs Adeola Adetomiwa told Nigerian Tribune that she has no missing documents or has anything to do in the Soka area.
According to Adetomiwa, “ I do not know anything about the receipt being mentioned and as you can see I am in my shop doing my business.’’
She admitted knowing Sobic and Company and she is one of the members of the cooperative group being financed by the company.
Subsequently, Mr Chuks Osayi another former staff whose name was also mentioned in the newspaper publication was invited by the owner of Sobic and company to confirm his wellness and not a victim of the Soka forest horror.