A businessman, Adeyemi Olajide, has accused men of the Intelligence Response Team, an arm of the Nigeria Police Force, of breaking into his house in the Alashe, Igbe-Lara area of Ikorodu, Lagos State, to kidnap his fiancée, Rukayat, and two brothers, Murphy and Oluwaseun.
Olajide also said a yet-to-be-identified neighbour was taken as he escaped the attack after hiding in the ceiling of his house.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the businessman and his family members were sleeping at home when five armed men invaded the premises around 4am on Sunday.
Upon entering the compound, the suspected policemen discovered that the apartment was locked.
In a desperate attempt to enter, the cops, while calling out Olajide’s name, reportedly used strong objects to hit the door and windows, damaging the property in the process.
The Ekiti State indigene told our correspondent that when their efforts to enter the apartment failed, the men, who presented no ID card or search warrant, threatened to shoot through the damaged window.
He said, “At that point, we switched off the light in my apartment and I hid in the ceiling for fear of my life since I was the person they wanted. We initially thought they were armed robbers as they were dressed in plain clothes, but wore bulletproof.
“I watched them through a hole in the ceiling and saw as they used gadgets to shock my brother and fiancée. When they could not find me, they seized the phones of my fiancée, relatives, guests, and took them away alongside my neighbour. They also stole my laptop and power bank as they drove off in a Sienna vehicle.
“I called the engineer in charge of the building, Abiodun Balogun, but before he came with policemen from the Ijede division, they had escaped. I don’t know why they were after me. They also invaded my house on September 14, 2021, and during that incident, one of the policemen showed an ID card indicating he was from IRT in Abuja.
“I was lucky not to be around then, but my fiancée, who was at home, witnessed as they arrested five of my friends at my place. The policemen released them after they paid N1m. This time around, while on their way, they called my phone number, told me to surrender myself and threatened to shoot my fiancée and brothers if I didn’t.
“They also threatened to take them to where I would not see them again and demanded N3m for their release. Over N805,000 was paid to free all of them.”
Speaking with our correspondent, Rukayat said the policemen took them to a place in Ibadan, where they extorted money from them.
She added that one of the policemen involved in the incident was among those who invaded their home in 2021.
Asked how she recognised the cop, she said, “The policemen were five; two of them held guns and they had a driver. When they entered, one of them said I was Olajide’s girlfriend and that he knew my face the last time they came.
“They saw my ATM card at the back of my phone, took me to an ATM machine to check my balance and told my neighbour’s relatives to send money into my account for our freedom.
“The relatives sent N490,000; I had over N250,000 in my account. So, they took us to a PoS operator in Ibadan, where we withdrew all the money before we were released.”
Olajide later said a transfer of N15,000 was also made into a GT Bank account number owned by the policeman that led the operation.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the victims reported the incident at the Ijede Police Division and also visited the nearest GT bank to get the account number the N15,000 was transferred into.
“The account number, 0017685996, is owned by Rahman Musa Obalowo,” Olajide added.
Attempts to match the account name with an identity led to the discovery of Rahman Musa Obalowo’s Instagram handle, @obalowu1010.
No fewer than seven pictures of the alleged policeman were found on his page.
The victims confirmed he led the attack on their house.
The owner of the damaged property, Jide Awoliyi, while condemning the actions of the suspects, called for justice.
He said, “The reality is that they didn’t come as policemen; they came as kidnappers, apprehended those people, threatened their lives and released them after collecting money.
“They destroyed my house. The police authorities should nip this trend in the bud and put a name to the people that did this thing.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Adekunle Ajisebutu, said the cops were not from the state command.
“But the Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, has directed that an investigation be carried out with a view to revealing their identities,” he added.
Our correspondent sent Obalowo’s photo to the IRT Commander, Tunji Disu.
Reacting, he said, “He (Obalowo) is not an official of the IRT. I have asked the admin and the team in Lagos and Ibadan, and they said he is not working with them. My S.O. also said he does not know him.”
The Commander, Special Tactical Squad, Kolo Yusuf, also said, “He is not my operative.”