The police in Lagos have been accused of unlawful arrest of a church instrumentalist, Tope Adeyemi. Tope, who played guitar for a Pentecostal church, was arrested as he was returning from a vigil on May 24, 2018.Tope’s mother, Mrs Sade Adeyemi, said she was informed of the incident after the 29-year-old was taken to a police station. She said, “He went for a choir rehearsal vigil in his church on College Road, Ogba, on Wednesday.
“As he was coming home on Thursday, he alighted from a motorcycle on Amikanle Street, Alagbado, and decided to check his friend in his shop.
“Unknown to Tope, a woman had called some youths to tell them that some robbers attacked her house on Monday and one of them was Tope. One of the boys called Tope to come out and when he got outside, he saw them with the woman.
“When the boys saw him, they told the woman that my son was not a thief and that they knew him as a quiet man. The boys accused the woman of lying because she informed them that over 50 robbers came to her house.”
Tope’s mother added that the woman later went to the Alagbado Police Station and Tope was arrested.She added that the accuser, who noted that the Closed-Circuit Television in her apartment captured Tope’s face, could not produce any footage when it was requested.She said Tope was at home the day the woman claimed that robbers invaded her house.
She said, “When I started disturbing the policemen, they transferred the case to the state Special Anti-Robbery Squad and the men told us to pay for what my son stole. I told them that I would not pay for what my son did not steal.”Tope’s pastor, Oluwatobi Alli, confirmed that Tope was in church for the vigil and left the following morning.
He said, “He was in church for a choir rehearsal vigil and he left the church the next morning.“I learnt that he was on his way to see his friend when he was arrested.”The state Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, said there was no record of Tope at the Alagbado Police Station and at the SARS office.He said, “We don’t have the record of any Tope Adeyemi at SARS and Alagbado Police Station.”
However, our correspondent gathered that Tope had been arraigned before an Ogba Magistrates’ Court on armed robbery charges.
The charges read, “That you, Temitope Adeyemi, and others now at large, on May 21 around 11am on Ereluway Street, Amikanle, Alagbado, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony, to wit: armed robbery, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 209 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
“That you, Temitope Adeyemi, and others now at large, on the same date, time and place, in the aforesaid magisterial district, while armed with a pestle, did steal one Samsung handset, one Oppson Soo handset and one LG laptop, all valued at N360,000, property of one Funke Ayegboka, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 297 (2) (a) (b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.”
The chief magistrate, Mr P.E. Nwaka, adjourned the case till September 2018.