Charles Nwoke, Abuja, Nigeria
November 21, 2020
Above image courtesy of local news. Fair use.
The prey is missing seven days after he was kidnapped by suspected security agents, says his missus.
Omioye Titilayo has disclosed that his husband, a young man who aided the recent EndSARS agitation that rocked Nigeria is missing exactly 7 (seven) days after he was abducted by suspected security agents.
She said suspected security officers came to their home in Abuja on November 13 night and hijacked her husband, Imoleayo Michael; and up till this moment, she has not heard from him.
When addressing the PREMIUM TIMES correspondent his wife, Mrs. Titilayo said 20 men, heavily armed to the tooth, came to the family house at 2:30 a.m. and grilled her husband before moving him away.
She was unable to hairline which security agency the men came from. Mr. Michael’s cellphone and laptop were also expropriated during the incursion, she stated.
A search of his Twitter feed by the reporter shows that Mr. Michael had been openly critical of bad governance in Nigeria and supported the EndSARS protest, although his wife told newsmen that he did not physically attend the protests.
On the same development, Deji Ajara, Michael’s lawyer, said, based on the ‘outfits’ worn by the intruders, he believed they were Nigerian Joint Taskforce (JTF) of security agencies – none of the abductors wore any insignia.
Since the occurrence, he said Mr. Michael’s wife has been to several police stations looking for her husband but has been unable to gather any information on his whereabouts.
Several attempts by the source to clarify from the police and army spokesmen, if they were involved in the abduction proved abortive.
Mariam Yusuf, the FCT police command PRO requested a text message about the case. She only responded with “where?”, a reference to where Imoleayo Michael was arrested.
When the reporter added all the details, she eschewed replying. When called again Friday, she declined a response.
Calls to Musa Sagir, Army spokesman, were not picked. The army was actively involved in the stemming of the violence that erupted during the protests.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ajare said he has petitioned ‘several law enforcement agencies’ for information regarding his client “and is awaiting a reply”.
The lawyer expressed grave concern for the safety of his client, saying “this is reminiscent of cases where people were forcibly abducted in the past, such as the case of Dadiyata (another missing critic)”.
The lawyer was referring to the case of another government critic who has been missing for over a year.
On August 2, last year, Mr. Idris, who is better known as Dadiyata, was abducted by unidentified assailants who seized him from his residence in Barnawa neighborhood of Kaduna State.
He was returning home at about 1 a.m. that day when some armed men breached his home’s security and whisked him away in his BMW car, the state police said at the time.
The lawyer said some unnamed court officials informed him that Mr. Michael was recently asked to testify in a terrorism-related case brought by the Nigerian Police.
“Apparently, the case involves a yet unknown social media user who posted a tweet asking American President Donald Trump to ‘bomb Nigeria,” he said.
He said Mr. Michael apparently refused to testify in the case, which, he stressed, “is not a crime under Nigerian law”.
Mr. Ajare said, “we strongly suspect that Michael’s arrest may be connected to that case”.
He added that Mr. Michael’s detention by a ‘security agency’ could be a means of influencing his testimony.
A court date for the mysterious case has been set for December 7 and 8, he added.
He did not elaborate further.
In the aftermath of the recent protests against police brutality, the Nigerian government went after perceived leaders of the protest.
The protests had escalated into crisis when infiltrated by hoodlums who looted public and private properties and also murdered many persons, including security officers, razed down, and destroyed both public and private properties.
An apoplectic government, apart from detaining some of the agitators’ leaders, went ahead to freeze their bank accounts.