Yusuf Ayinla, an estate agent, has accused the Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps of shielding its officials, who allegedly shot him and injured his three-year-old son.
He said the command had yet to probe the operatives who stormed his residence on Fijabi Road, Bode Olude, in Abeokuta on September 25, allegedly shot him in the hand and smashed the butt of a gun on his son’s mouth.
This is just as the state police command said it had commenced investigation into the alleged assault and promised to ensure that the operatives did not go unpunished if found culpable.
According to Punch Metro, the operatives had invaded the area on the instruction of their colleague, identified simply as Ismaila, who had had a disagreement with Ayinla and other members of a riders’ association the previous day.
They had reportedly cautioned Ismaila at a motorcycle park in the Itoko Junction, Abeokuta, for overloading.
“There were two women at the back of his motorcycle and one of them had a baby. He also allowed two children to sit on the fuel tank. He was going towards the Ake area when an executive member of the riders’ association in the park, Gbenga, stopped him and asked him to pay for a ticket.
He introduced himself as an NSCDC officer and refused to pay; Gbenga then scolded him for overloading the motorcycle. He said it was embarrassing that an officer could be breaching the law. He (the officer) became angry. I blamed the officer too,” Ayinla said.
Ayinla told a Punch correspondent that the altercation worsened and one of the riders slapped the officer’s back.
“I pleaded with them and they allowed him to go. He vowed to come back with his colleagues,” he added.
Punch Metro learnt that a few hours later, about 14 NSCDC operatives, including the officer, went to the park, arrested Gbenga and whisked him away to their office in Oke-Mosan.
One Musibau, Gbenga’s brother was also reportedly detained when he went to secure his brother’s release. They were, however, released the following day.
Ayinla said, “On the morning of the following day, the NSCDC men came to arrest me. I insisted that I would not follow them because I had not done anything wrong. As I was trying to run away, one of them shot me in the hand.
They dragged me to my apartment and asked for my car key. I told them I didn’t know where I kept it. While we were searching for the key, one of them hit my son, Farooq, with the butt of his gun in the cheek.
After they found the key, some of them entered my car and drove off. They bundled me into their van and took me to their office. As they were about to enter my car, I told them I kept N700,000 there.”
Punch gathered that the operatives later took Ayinla to the Federal Medical Centre, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, where Farooq was also admitted.
“At the hospital, they returned N23,100 to my brother, saying that was what remained of the money they found in my car after paying for my medical bills. We reported the incident at the Adatan Police Division. But the police told us that the officials had not shown up for investigation. I know they are being deliberately protected by the NSCDC authorities,” he added.
Ayinla’s neighbour, Jimoh Jamiu, said an officer smashed a gun on his thighs when he tried to caution them.
“What those officers did was very wrong. They were shooting continuously. I approached their team leader, one Bamidele, to talk to him. He hit my thighs with the butt of his gun and told me to leave,” Jamiu said.
The NSCDC Public Relations Officer in Ogun State, Olanrewaju Kareem, said the command was investigating the matter.
He said, “The administrative department of the command is investigating the case. The police are also conducting their investigation. At some point, we will reach a logical conclusion.
The family of the victims had been invited and we assured them justice would be done if the officers are found guilty of the allegation.”
The state police command’s spokesperson, ASP Ambibola Oyeyemi, said, “The case has been transferred to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, Eleweran. We are following due process.”