The attention of Ogun State Police Command has been drawn to an online publication with the above headline published by an outfit known as Irohin Oodua.
The Command would not have dignified the publication with a rejoinder, except that it is important to set the record straight.
On Thursday 25th of November, 2020, at about 2:30am, a distress call was made to the police divisional headquarters at Ewekoro by one Pastor Seye Obisesan of Christ Apostolic Church, Gudugbe, Alagbon, in Wasimi area of Ewekoro.
He complained that while vigil was in progress at the church , a group of armed hoodlums invaded members, robbed them of their personal effects, and abducted one Mrs Mojisola Atolagbe.
Following the distress call, policemen from Ewekoro division swiftly moved to the scene , thoroughly combed the surrounding bushes, and apprehended five among the hoodlums namely: Abubakar Ibrahim, Sulaiman Yusuf, Ismail Yusuf, Umar Aliu and Yinusa Musa.
The case was immediately transferred to the Anti-kidnapping Unit of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department from where the remaining members of the gang were traced and arrested while the abducted woman was rescued unhurt.
It is therefore a surprise to read from Irohin Oodua that many worshippers were abducted from the church.
The reporter also mischievously wrote that the sum of #300,000 was collected from the victim by the police for the purpose of investigation.
He also claimed that two unnamed high-profile men came in jeeps to solicit for the bail of the suspects.
The Command hereby wishes to state categorically that these claims are false and misleading.
The report is a calculated attempt to rubbish the gallant performances of the policemen involved in the rescue mission.
Up till this moment, the arrested suspects are in our custody helping us in our investigation; and nobody has come to either identify with them or solicit for their bail.
It is also worthy of note that the abducted woman was at Command’s headquarters on Thursday 3rd of December, 2020, to volunteer her statement and identify the suspects.
When she was leaving, it was the investigating team leader who gave her the sum of #1000 to transport herself back home. She can be contacted to confirm this claim.
It is unimaginable and unbelievable that in that circumstance any person would callously ask for a whopping sum of #300,000 from a kidnap victim rather than offering empathy.
Fortunately, the arrest of the suspect was correctly and widely published in reputable newspapers like Punch, Vanguard, The Nation, Thisdays, Guardian in their publications of Monday 30th November, 2020 with the pictures of all the suspects which are again herewith attached.
The Command holds journalists in high esteem as partners in progress and critical stakeholders in the business of crime fighting. It is therefore disappointing that an unscrupulous element masquerading as journalists like the Irohin Odua reporter could go this far to deliberately hurt the police Command. But he has failed woefully to undermine the good work done by the Command in this kidnap incident.
The general public is therefore advised to discountenance the false claims in the report as stated above. Meanwhile, the reporter has been reported to the NUJ for appropriate sanction. The Command’s legal department has also been directed to examine and advise on available remedies. Indeed, the reporter cannot be rivaled in prodigious fertility of imagination! The Command doff its hat for him or her.
DSP ABIMBOLA OYEYEMI,
POLICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER,
FOR: COMMISSIONER OF POLICE,
OGUN STATE COMMAND