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‘Kidnapped’ Ejigbo scavenger found in Kano

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Crowd in front of the building last week

Crowd in front of the building last week

Police investigate mystery behind disappearance

The scavenger, who was allegedly kidnapped at No. 31, Kayode Adebanji Street, off Unity Road, Ashamu Estate in Oke-Afa, Ejigbo last week, has been found after operatives of the Lagos State Police Command tracked him from Ibadan to Kano.

The command has, however, commenced discreet investigation into what it called ‘mysterious disappearance’, with a view to unravel what really transpired.Detectives attached to the command were said to have been tracking his movement through his phone and was once pinpointed at Ibadan.

Attempts to rescue him were aborted when the tracker indicated that he was again on the move, this time towards the northern region. The police were finally able to track him to Kano, where he was brought from to Lagos yesterday.The victim, who recounted his experience said: “I went to scavenge when a woman called me inside the compound to buy a used fridge. When I got in, I found myself in Ibadan the next day. When I managed to escape, I reported myself to the Hausa community there.

“They now put me in a bus going to Kano. I was there when the police tracked me through my phone and directed them to bring me back to Lagos. I didn’t come back straight to Lagos after I went to the Hausa community because I was scared those people will get me again.”

Speaking on the incident, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Fatai Owoseni, said the command at present is trying to unravel the mystery behind his disappearance.He said: “The scavenger has been found and we are still investigating the matter. Upon interrogation, the victim claimed that he was lured into the house by a woman.

“He claimed he saw himself at Ibadan, where he also claimed that he saw 10 other people in captivity. We are investigating.“But from preliminary investigation, we discovered that the owner of the house was not even at home when the said abduction happened. The man works for a top multinational company and has had years of practice.

“Already, we have put surveillance in that area. At the same time, it is imperative that people should not take laws into their hands. Imagine how the mob vandalized the house without confirmation about the authenticity of the news,” he said.Before police intervention restored peace in the area, residents had slept with their eyes closed for fear of reprisals from the Hausa community. They described the development at the twin-duplex building as strange.

A resident who spoke on the condition of anonymity told The Guardian that neighbours are jittery for their safety in the community. “Not only because of fear of attack from the Hausa people but because of the disturbing news circulating that an underground was discovered in the house.

“Some months back, Mrs. Bukola Olowookere, who lives on this street was reported missing. Till date, we don’t know what has happened to her except that a colleague dropped her off at Canoe bridge linking Oke-Afa to Ajao Estate,” she said.

The Guardian had earlier reported that the scavenger had entered into the said building to buy a used fridge, leaving his cart outside, only to disappear. He had managed to contact his colleague and Hausa community in the area, who were worried about his disappearance.The victim was said to have told his colleagues that he was being held inside a particular compound in Ejigbo.

When news of his alleged disappearance spread like wildfire, some scavengers of Hausa extraction, numbering over 50, had stormed the said house to protest against his disappearance.

Going berserk, the protesters had damaged several property at the V-Sleem Gym, the ceiling of the main building, where the victim was allegedly abducted from, and the transformer stationed in front of the house.

Other scavengers, armed with cutlasses and knives, stormed the compound, threatening to pull it down and they were soon joined by other youths led by the Seriki Hausa in Ejigbo.

However, a company of soldiers and policemen, who later searched the entire premises, did not find the victim, who allegedly told his kinsmen he was being held in the ceiling and could see them.


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