Some tenants and members of the Odua People’s Congress have lynched a 41-year-old man in the Ajelogo area of Mile 12, Lagos State.
Journalists learnt that the deceased, Tolulope Olajuwape, was beaten to death by residents of Fasanya Street near his father’s house after being wrongly accused of being a kidnapper.
The elder sister of the deceased, Mrs. Oluwakemi Adesanya, told correspondents that her brother had been away from Nigeria for many years.
She said on the fateful day, the deceased had gone to the area to visit their mother, who he did not know was dead.
An unidentified woman was said to have raised a false alarm, after which Olajuwape was beaten to death.
She said, “My brother has been away from Nigeria for about 24 years. He spent five years in Sierra Leone while he has spent the last 19 years in Guinea Bissau.
However, four years ago, he came briefly to Nigeria and we discussed how we were going to renovate our late father’s house on Fasanya Street and let it out.
“We begged him to stay in Nigeria, but he refused. After he returned to Guinea Bissau, we lost touch because he lost his phone and my elder brother, who had his phone number, had misplaced his own phone as well. So, when our mother died over a year ago, Tolulope did not even know.
“On April 9, 2014, I received a phone call from one of my elder brothers in Kaduna, who told me that he heard that Tolulope was in Nigeria and was being beaten up near our father’s house. It was quite late in the evening and I was very far away, so I could not do anything that night.”
Adesanya said the following morning, she visited the area where she was informed that a suspected kidnapper had been lynched.
The matter was then reported at the Mile 12 Police Post after which investigations began.
Adesanya said, “My aunt told me that my brother had gone to my father’s house around 7pm and did not like the condition of the house. He went inside the house and threatened to evict some people, but none of the tenants knew him because the house had been given to a developer.
“Maybe because my brother was on dreadlocks, he looked suspicious to them. I learnt that a woman raised the alarm and accused him of being a kidnapper and a thief. People immediately gathered around him and one OPC man descended on my brother.
“My brother ran to the next street – Fadare Street – where my mother’s house was situated. He entered the house and started knocking on doors, shouting ‘Iya Kemi e gba mi’ (Iya Kemi, help me). He did not know that Iya Kemi, our mother, was deceased and the house had been rented out.”
It was learnt that the irate mob traced Olajuwape to the house and tortured him for about four hours.
The developer of the said property was said to have called the tenants of the house on the telephone to inform them that the person being lynched was indeed the landlord’s son, but by then it was already too late.
After killing him, his corpse was thrown into the main road and was crushed by oncoming vehicles.
“After killing my brother, someone explained to them that he was indeed the landlord’s son. When the mob noticed that they had made a mistake, they threw my brother’s corpse into the main road so that it would be crushed beyond recognition,” Adesanya said while fighting back tears.
Adesanya wondered how the lynching took place without the knowledge of the police despite the fact that the scene of the incident was just two streets away from the Mile 12 Police Post.
She, however, called on the police to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to book.
When correspondents visited the house on Fasanya Street, all the rooms were locked and the house was deserted.
However, it was learnt that some of the tenants, including the woman who raised the false alarm, had been arrested.
A landlord on Fadare Street, who spoke to journalists on the condition of anonymity, said many of them could not do anything to save the victim.
He said, “As you can see, I am very old and I have lost my sight. I knew the victim’s mother, Iya Kemi. I heard when somebody was shouting Iya Kemi’s name for help, but I cannot even walk without being aided.
“It was later in the morning that I was informed that it was her son that was killed. Before her death, Iya Kemi used to cry that she missed her son, Tolu. It is unfortunate what happened.”
Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, had yet to reply to text messages sent to her telephones as of the time of going to the press.