The family of a mentally-ill man, Kehinde Sodiq, who was wrongly accused of kidnapping his sister’s son, Ahmed, has demanded justice for the torture he was subjected to.
Kehinde was allegedly tortured by Ahmed’s father, Taye, and a traditional religion adherent, identified simply as Baba Olomitutu, in the Amukoko area of Ifelodun Local Council Development Area of Lagos State.
Kehinde’s twin sister, Taiwo, accused her enstranged husband, Taye, of using candle wax, flaming charcoal and hot iron to burn him till he became unconscious.
It was learnt that the torture, which reportedly damaged the fingers on Kehinde’s right hand, was meant to force him to disclose Ahmed’s whereabouts.
After Kehinde became unconscious, the accused were said to have mobilised hoodlums to dump him on Akintimoye Street in the Amukoko area of the state, on Sunday, June 16, 2019.
An eyewitness, Samuel Akinnibinu, told PUNCH Metro that five armed hoodlums dumped Kehinde in front of his house and left him for dead, adding that in a bid to rescue the victim, who was still breathing, he reported the incident at the Amukoko Police Station and got permission to take him to hospital.
Akinnibinu said, “We initially thought that he was dead, but when I moved closer to him, I observed that he was still breathing and foamy substances were coming out of his mouth. He was injured on the head, face, hands, legs and other parts of his body. I went to the Amukoko Police Station to report and got a report that I used in taking him to the Ade-Ade Hospital. He has been hospitalised since then.
“While investigating what happened to him, Kehinde’s other sister, Zainab, told me that Taiwo’s husband, Baba Olomitutu and some hoodlums brutalised him till he became unconscious. Zainab said the men were taking turns to torture him because Ahmed was nowhere to be found.”
Zainab, while demanding justice for her brother, said Kehinde was tortured for three days, adding that the family had condemned the men’s action.
She said, “Even when Kehinde was taken to hospital for treatment, he was unconscious for three days. One of his right fingers burnt with candle wax and hot iron is no longer responding to stimulus.
Our mum’s elder sister, Rashidat, has condemned the torture. They tortured him for three days and used charms to beat him. The most painful thing is that my brother has a mental disorder and he was wrongfully accused of kidnapping Ahmed.
“We want the government to hold all those who tortured him accountable for their action; they should pay his medical bills, because over N200,000 has been spent on his treatment. We also want them to compensate Kehinde for subjecting him to such inhuman treatment.”
When our correspondent contacted Kehinde’s aunt, Monsurat, to inquire about his mental condition, she said those involved in the torture should compensate him as the family was planning to take him to the Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, Ogun State, for adequate medical care.
She stated that Ahmed’s disappearance was staged, alleging that a fake policewoman, who was involved in the plot, brought the four-year-old home.
Monsurat said, “When I got to Baba Olomitutu’s house, I saw about 70 girls, who claimed to be Osun devotees. Taiwo, who, I also met there, said they had been searching for Ahmed. I assisted in the search and later reported at the station.
Till date, no one knows who kidnapped Ahmed, but people who saw him begging around Satellite Town took him to the police station. Ahmed was later taken to the Alakara Police Station from where a fake policewoman brought him home.
“The fake policewoman said Ahmed directed her to where his parents live, but we challenged her as to how a four-year-old would lead her home, but the matter was later settled. It was because of Ahmed that they tortured Kehinde till he became unconscious.
“I have visited him in the hospital and from what I saw, one of his hands has been damaged and no longer functioning. We want all those who tortured him to compensate him as we are making plans to take him to Aro in Abeokuta, because of his mental condition.”
Ahmed’s mother, Taiwo, said her enstranged husband, Taye, was the one who mobilised some boys to torture Kehinde when the boy was nowhere to be found.
She stated, “Ahmed father’s friends were the ones who tortured Kehinde and not Baba Olomitutu, who is my helper, because I have been staying with him for two years since I left my husband.
When I brought Kehinde to stay with me because of his mental condition, Baba Olomitutu accepted him. People are aware that Kehinde was the one who took Ahmed out and instead of him to tell us where they went to so that we could search for the boy, he refused to say anything.
“Ahmed’s father became annoyed that his son was missing, so he and his friends took Kehinde to another location, where he was tortured. I saw when they were torturing him and when I could no longer take it, I begged them to stop but they refused.”
When contacted, Baba Olomitutu denied torturing Kehinde, saying, “They are all lying; I want them to confront me with that accusation and from there, we will move on with the case. I also want you to go to the station to make your findings.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said Taye and Baba Olomitutu had been identified as suspects involved in the torture, adding that the case was still under investigation.
“The main suspect is the father of the boy, who subjected the victim to trial by ordeal; the traditionalist is also a suspect. The matter is still under investigation and we will soon charge the suspects,” Elkana said.