…asks Lagos Police Commissioner to take up the matter
By Adegboyega Oni
The Rector of Crown Maritime Academy (CMA), Ogba in Lagos State, Mr. Musa Adesina Akinyemi has disclosed that he has been attacked and dispossessed by a gang of robbers allegedly led by one Mr. O. S. Raji who claimed to be personnel of the Nigerian Navy.
Musa Akinyemi said the attack took place around Pen Cinema in Agege a few minutes to 10:00am on Friday, 26TH July, 2019 and lasted till around 5:00pm.
He noted that he was held hostage by the armed robbers who disposed him of N11,000 in his pocket and took him to the CMA campus where he was forcefully made to sign off his vehicle, a Villager Mercury Nissan space-bus, for sales to a car dealer at Fagba are of Iju at a sum of N140, 000. But Raji and his accomplice disappeared with the money.
Akinyemi noted that he had reported the case to the Pen Cinema Station of the Nigeria Police at Agege but the Police till now have not made any arrest despite given the name of the gang leader, the person who facilitated the contact of the vehicle dealer and the dealer who bought it.
The CMA who said he paraded the police station severally narrated his ordeals thus:
“I suffered for at least seven mournful hours in the hands of one Mr. O. S. Raji who claimed to be personnel of the Nigerian Navy on Friday, 26th July, 2019. I could not believe that such a thing could happen to me; it might be a set-up or pre-planned attack for robbery.
“I commuted to Agege by public passenger transport with one of our students from Karaole Estate in Ifako-Ijaiye. We arrived at Pen-Cinema area of Agege. I needed a rag to clean my shoe which was stained, and I asked the student following me if he had a piece of cloth who said he did not have any. Meanwhile, I had checked my pocket and found a tissue paper with which I cleaned the shoe, and got ready to cross the road for our destination, Accion Microfinance Bank, Agege. I did not even know that my student had asked for rag from an elderly tricycle operator, if the man had, to give to me. But I no longer needed it. And, as I was expecting the student to follow me, a man in military pullover with dark trousers on pam-pam came closer to him, asking some questions. When I saw that the student brought out his identity card and the military man did not allow him to join me, I exercised more patience.
‘’When I observed that the man was getting furious with the student, I sought to intervene by asking for what was happening. Instead of being specific, the naval man started to blackmail maritime training institutions, and that he was going to deal mercilessly with both the student and myself, swearing. So, he ordered my student into the tricycle and that I must also join the tricycle of the elderly man from whom my student asked for rag. At the same time, a motorcycle man was waiting-by. The military man joined us on the tricycle and asked the motorcycle rider to be following. He said we should be taken to the Abattoir Police Station, Abule-Egba and I agreed. But along the way, he swore again that my student shall go to 5years jail and I also risked 10years imprisonment if he finally handed us to the Police. He gave me a very defeating slap to my face. Then, he asked me to negotiate with the tricycle man whom he said is a retired soldier. I was brought under total duress, the tricycle man told me to do whatever I could do so that he could leave me and my student.
‘’Raji snatched the sum of N11,000 from me and gave it to my student to count if it was complete, which the student confirmed. Then, he ordered that we should be taken to Bonny Camp or Maryland Cantonment. He slapped me again and targeted my left eye. My left eye immediately started suffering a defect. As we were going, I remembered and called one Mr. Ikechukwu Johnson, an Inspector of Police whom I used to call whenever any issue of law enforcement came up when we were at Dideolu Estate, Ogba. The policeman agreed to come later. We arrived Ikeja and drove in front of the State High Court to a place in the GRA before he said that a Patrol Van had been sent to come and pick us up. Yet, none of what he was saying was fulfilled. I guessed I was already mesmerized. We came back and faced Ogba where the policeman met us after entering Dideolu Estate in which the naval man said he did not believe we were once having our Main Campus. The Naval man quickly approached the policeman and knowing nothing about what they might have agreed together on, the policeman asked if I have the necessary approval to run the Academy and I said that I was ready to show them the approval. Again, the policeman asked if I also have the approval of the Navy. I said that normally, all maritime academies are Merchant Navy institutions and that our Academy is an Affiliate of the Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association. And that CMA is also a Member of the Association of Licensed Maritime Academies of Nigeria, ALMAN. He said he was not convinced.
‘’I could recollect that the naval man had asked my student how much he had paid as tuition fee so far and the student had told him. The Naval personnel had asked me to think of how to refund the fees of all the 3 students am having by using the ATM immediately. The policeman now joined him to echo the same thing. “The whole money on me is what you have taken”, I told the Navy man in the presence of the policeman. They decided to take me to our new address to do whatever I could to pay-off the students after which they would leave me. On getting there, he dealt more blows on me; pushed me into the street to be possibly lynched; shouted aloud and made the community to look at me not as the real law-abiding and honest person I have always been. He forced me to open the doors and vandalized the office, saying he would find something to implicate me with; without asking for any approval again; and wanted to sell our power-generator and computers.
‘’Eventually, he made for my vehicle, a Villager Mercury Nissan space-bus, parked a stone-throw from the premises of the Academy and sold it eventually at Fagba area of Iju, Lagos. The buyer of the vehicle was brought by one Alhaji Yusuf, a cab operator at Karaole Estate whom I know, but I didn’t know the buyer. The policeman was the one writing the receipt for the sale until they later forced me to complete and sign it, as sold to one Mr. Christopher Okorie at the sum of N140, 000 and the money was collected by the policeman at about 5:00pm after which the policeman gave my cell-phone back to me, and he and the military man disappeared with the money. The original documents of the vehicle are still in my possession. Although I still sighted the tricyclist and the motorcyclist when I was leaving Fagba where the vehicle was sold, the blackmail, tortures and violent robbery suffered did not make me see anyone as a friend. I made for the Chambers of my lawyers thirty-five minutes later same day to brief them on this brazen use of force and blackmail to deprive me of my property, money, personal security, honest living and physical safety (my left eye is half-gone). I wonder how I bore all the tortures without retaliating or insulting. But, I am seeking for justice now.
Meanwhile, the matter has been reported via a petition received at the Pen-Cinema Police Station, Agege on 30th July, 2019. Though slow, because the vehicle fraudulently sold could no longer be seen in front of Chalkheel College at 10, Daddy Savage Road, Iju where it was sold,neither has it been retrieved by law-enforcement agents till date, investigation and interrogation of the suspects or likely accomplices have commenced. The Rector is praying for his personal safety and that of his students while seeking for the healing of the injuries to his body and the urgent treatment of his half-gone left eyesight.
Note that on the date of the robbery, the naval man that called himself O.S Raji took away the smartphone of Samuel and that of George, my students. He also stole N5,000 of Chinonso, the third student. O.S. Raji called the elder brother of George and victimized him on phone till George’s elder brother, Mr. Dominic paid N4,000 to O.S. Raji’s Bank Account at First Bank. Mr. O.S. Raji’s Account Name (or real name) is ARINZE Emmanuel Divine into which the N4,000 was paid as ransom at First Bank. And his Account Number at First Bank is 3100899121. The Telephone Number the Naval man used to threaten George’s elder brother, Mr. Dominic, has also been obtained.
Akinyemi has called on the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, to come to his rescue and take up the matter as the officers at the station at Pen Cinema, Agege were reluctant to attend to the case.