Nigeria: We Were Raided, Detained for Seven Nights By Task Force for No Offence, Teenagers Lament

Two teenagers, Oluwaseun Ojediran and Waheed Gbolahan, have narrated their ordeal in the hands of policemen and how they were detained for seven days and ill-treated for offences they claimed they never committed. According to Ojediran, he had followed his friend, Gbolahan to get medications for waist pain when policemen parked their vehicles beside them and whisked them to their station at Ikotun area of Lagos.

Ojediran, 19, noted that the two of them were accused of being cult members even without tattoo and were beaten severally and asked to confess. "On June 5, my friend told me to escort him to get something at Ikotun market. As we were going, we saw the police van, they just parked beside us, but we didn't run since we didn't commit any crime. The next thing they did was they started accusing us of being cult members and took us to the Ikotun police station.

"When we got there, we were told to take off our cloth, the DPO then ordered the officers to beat us, they started flogging us as if we were thieves. The following day, the DPO told the officers to take us out, we even thought that they wanted to set us free. But to our dismay it was another journey to the anti-kidnapping squad at Surulere where we spent another night. From there, we were taken to anti-cultism squad at Gbagada where we spent another five nights. They handcuffed us and asked us to confess. But we stood by our words that we weren't cultist. It took the intervention of some activists in the state to secure our release," he said.

Meanwhile, for Mrs. Bola Ayobami, June 9 is a sad memory for her household as her Son, Tayo, aged 26, whose birthday is today, June 12, was among those arrested in a raid carried out by the members of Task Force in Lagos. Mrs. Ayobami, who had lost two children and one grandchild to the cold hands of death is afraid to let go of Tayo, lamenting how life had not treated her fairly.

According to her, Tayo who is into aluminum work, had gone to meet a client on Sunday but was arrested on his way back from the place. She said: "On Sunday, my son Tayo went to work but I didn't hear from him. I called his number but there was no response. The following morning when I eventually reached him, he told me that Task Force had arrested him at Ikeja under bridge. He told me they had taken him to Ikorodu police station, after first being taken to Charley Boy Police Station. When I eventually got there, they had dealt with him mercilessly."

The distraught mother added that when she was taken to see the IPO in charge of her son's case, she was told to go and bring N70,000 to get him out. She was threatened that if she report to anybody, that would be the end of the boy.

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