A case of a Mistaken Identity? A Businessman Accused of Being a Badoo Sponsor
Alhaji Akala Abayomi, a businessman who was arrested by the police and labeled a Badoo sponsor cried out that the police just wanted to frame him up. He thus called on the police force to prove their accusation or be sued by him.
Though the Lagos state-based based businessman insisted that he was merely invited by the police to make statements after which he was released from custody, the State Police Command had maintained that Alhaji Abayomi who is a landlord at the highbrow Magodo Phase II GRA, is still in their custody and that he has been admitted to a hospital where he is set to undergo a surgery for enlarged testicle. Thus, according to Dr. Paul Umoh, a Chief Superintendent of Police [CSP], the officer-in-charge of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Special Tactical Squad (STS), Alhaji Abayomi was never released. CSP Umoh described Alhaji Abayomi as a suspect, even though he denied being a Badoo sponsor and that he is still being investigated. “The man admitted he was a traditionalist and that he worships at the shrine. But he denied being a Badoo sponsor. He is not here now because he is not well and has been moved to the hospital.”
Abayomi, who is very angry about the alleged allegations had declared in Yoruba that for some months now, a recording that mentioned his name, those of the Ikorodu monarch, Ibeshe monarch, a man called Be Happy and others, have been circulating online under the allegation that they were Badoo sponsors. He declared his house was thoroughly searched before he was eventually taken to the police station but that nothing incriminating was found. “I was not allowed to write any statement”, he continued. “I was released. Then, three days ago, they came around 11 pm and I asked them what happened. They said they wanted to see me in their station. After that, they went to De King Hotel, Ikorodu, and asked for the owner. They said they wanted to see the owner who was not around and so, they arrested the manager. From there, they went to the hotel owner’s house and his family said he was not around. They went to the palace of the Oba Ibeshe to arrest the monarch. They also went to other places to make other arrests. All those they were hunting were people whose names were on the tape circulating online.
He said they got to the police station around 2 am. There he told the police that he wanted write his statement but he was not allowed to do so. “The following day, they took me to a shrine. I know the shrine. I usually go there to seek spiritual assistance to boost my business. I am not the owner. It is owned by one Baba Oluwo. He died seven years ago.
Those graves were dug by the late Baba Oluwo while he was alive for his burial. I asked the policemen to open the grave whether they would find any incriminating thing there but they didn’t. Why did they refuse to open it?” Abayomi queried. He claimed that it was shortly after that he saw the leader of the policemen speaking with journalists. He asked to be allowed to speak on camera but he was denied the opportunity. “They didn’t allow me to speak with the journalists and they didn’t allow me to write a statement”.
According to Abayomi, the police have been arresting innocent people since the Badoo and that “the actions of those policemen could best be described as criminal and murderous. In fact, they are not supposed to be in the Nigeria Police Force at all. There is proof. Those policemen have been coming to Ikorodu to extort and assault people since the issue of Badoo came up. Unfortunately, the people they are arresting are nothing but innocent people. Since this issue came up, people have been going to attack my house and where I do my business…I will sue the Inspector-General of Police, Commissioner of Police and all the media houses that called me Badoo sponsor. The media ought to have investigated the allegation before publishing anything. I told the police that the actions they took will back fire, they started panicking. As a matter of fact, I’m seriously upset because the journalists did not interview me…”
A source however indicated that Alhaji Abayomi’s initial invitation followed intelligence report received by the police, Department of State Services (DSS) and the military. The information allegedly named him and some prominent persons as Badoo sponsors.