Funmi Olaitan, Ibadan
The recent arrest and detention of a Lagos-based businessman, Mr Abayomi Alaka, by the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly sponsoring the dreaded Badoo boys, on Tuesday, took a new dimension as he accused the police of persecution.
Alaka, an independent oil marketer, while speaking with journalists in Ibadan, alleged that he was being persecuted over his inability to raise the money demanded by the police.
While explaining that his life has been under threat since his unconditional release by the police, Alaka further revealed that he was coerced by the police to part with some money before he was asked to go home.
He alleged that the police had launched a manhunt on him, to re-arrest and detain him to perfect the lies told against him.
He said, "They (police) are currently looking for me to arrest and put me under lock so that they can tell the world that I was never released without a surety. That is why I have decided to hide myself for now. They know I am innocent. I have no link with the Badoo cult group. They lied against me to intimidate me and collect money from me."
In the meantime, Alaka through his counsel, Mr Tunde Ojehomon, has petitioned Lagos State Police Command over what he called the unlawful arrest, detention and prejudicial stigmatization, harassment and wrongfully accusing him of sponsoring Badoo boys.
In the petition made available to journalists in Ibadan, Ojehomon said the actions of the Lagos State Police Command showed that they have no respect for fundamental human rights and the rule of law by detaining Alaka because the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Section 36(5) stipulates that a person is presumed innocent until the guilt is proven beyond reasonable doubt in a court of competent jurisdiction which the Lagos State Police Command did not
He insisted that Alaka was wrongfully arrested, detained, paraded without preliminary investigation to ascertain a reasonable
degree of involvement/culpability, only for them to release him when they realized that they have trampled on his
fundamental human rights.
He restated that his client was released without any surety, adding that the Lagos State Police Command has no right under the law to parade a suspect who has not been
convicted by the court of law.
Ojehomon maintained that his client has never been, he is not and will never be a member of any cult or notorious groups that is disturbing the peace of residence of Lagos State.
He added that the allegation against Alaka is untrue, baseless and a mere deliberate attempt to damage his hard
earned reputation and image.
He then called on the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to caution the overzealousness of his men against baseless stigmatization of innocent citizens via prejudicial parade, stating that as law abiding citizen, his client has approached the court of law to seek redress on the issue.
Ojehomon then advised Lagos State Police Command to tender an unreserved apology to his client by placing their apology letter in some national dailies so that members of the public will know that he was wrongfully accused.