Six months after a detective attached the Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS),Ikeja, Lagos State Police Command,disappeared into thin air, his corpse hasbeen found in a shallow grave at the
Ibeju Lekki area of the metropolis.
The deceased, Inspector Musa Sunday,was abducted, tortured and later buriedalive while on illegal duty at Ibeju Lekki.Sunday and four of his men werealleged to have been drafted to guard aland, which was under dispute by their Admin Officer (AO), at Ibeju Lekki. The policemen were drafted to the disputed land without the knowledge of the Officer in Charge of SARS (OC) and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni.
The skeleton of the inspector, 45, a father of four children, with their ages ranging from four, six, eight and 12, was exhumed from ashallow grave after six months search. At least five persons, including a traditionalruler,otherwise known as Baale have been arrested in connection with the murder of the inspector. A police source said: “The police are
hunting for one Mr Balogun, who led the hoodlums that attacked, abducted
and buried Sunday alive. In fact, information at police disposal says that it was the fleeing Balogun that tied his hands before burying him.
Balogun’s second in command, Arokin is
in police custody. He’s helping police
with investigation.” The suspects confessed to have buried him alive after starving him for more than five days. They also admitted to
have buried him alive on the orders of a
traditional ruler, who has interest in the
land under dispute.
Sunday was abducted sometimes in
November, while guarding the disputed
land. The abductors made away with his
rifle. The inspector, who was the leader
of the team, was on duty with four
other policemen. The abductors, alleged to be armed to the teeth, stormed the land on that
fateful day in November and over
powered Sunday, his policemen and
civilian guards, patrolling. The civilian
guards were there on the instruction of one of the men struggling for
possession of the land, identified simply
as Prince, living in Ikeja. The Prince and his opponent had allegedly been fighting over possession of the land for months. This has led to several people, from both factions,
being killed and maimed.
A police source said that both men had been warring, using paid thugs, until Prince
decided to take SARS men. But rather than go through the proper channel, which was to contact Owoseni or OC SARS, Prince went to his friend, the AO. When the AO ordered Sunday
with some policemen to the land, the
Inspector couldn’t argue with his superior. Sunday was kidnapped when he
confronted a large number of thugs
from the other faction. The thugs
attacked, injured and attempted to
carry away some of Prince’s thugs. An
inside source said: “Sunday’s men abandoned him and ran away because
the thugs from the other faction large
expanse of land. The Prince came to SARS to get policemen to keep his opponent from
encroaching on the land.” After his
abduction, his phone stopped going
through. His colleagues became frantic.
Sunday’s wife and family members besieged the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja, demanding to know what had become of him. Speaking with a journalist a few months after the abduction of Sunday,
his wife, Halimat, 27, said: “They were deployed there to maintain peace. We learnt that hoodlums were attacking a man, so my husband and his men moved to rescue the man.
He told the other two policemen to go and put
the man in the car so he could be safe. The hoodlums pounced on my husband
and took him away. Sensing danger as
the hoodlums kept increasing in
number, his men ran away. Since then,
we have not heard from him.” On the
fateful day of the incident, Halimat said that she spoke with Sunday around 4pm; he promised to come home the following day. In the evening, his kids demanded to speak with him, so Halimat called his line repeatedly, but it didn’t go through. In the morning, some of his
colleagues called Halimat and told her
Since then, Halimat and Sunday’s family members had been
visiting the police headquarters in
Lagos, praying and hoping. She added, “Three months after, police
kept telling us that they were on the
matter. We learnt they have arrested
the Prince that hired the hoodlums, but
nothing has happened since then. His
children keep asking after him. His aged mother, who has high blood pressure,
has not stopped asking for his
whereabouts. We don’t know what else
to tell her.” Halimat, a housewife, noted that since Sunday’s disappearance, she and her
kids have been struggling to survive.
She’s no longer able to pay the kids’
school fees. She said: “Nobody from the
police cared to check on us, and now we don’t have money because we don’t
have access to his ATM pin.
I want my husband to come back. The children are suffering, and I can’t carry the load alone.”
A police source said:
“Sunday was posted there with his
team; they were five in number. Two of
the policemen later left, saying they were tired of the constant threat. Even soldiers that were supposed to guard the land with them left,
complaining that Prince had never bothered to ask about their welfare.
“Sunday has been on that land for
almost three weeks when bulldozer entered the land. Prince’s faction was overpowered.
Everyone scampered for safety, but one
of Prince’s thugs were held. Sunday ran
back to save him. It was in that split
second that his policemen and the man
he saved drove off in a vehicle, leaving him. Sunday was grabbed by the hoodlums,
beaten and injured.” It was gathered
that the fleeing policemen ran to Mobile
Police Force (Mopol) 49, Epe.
They explained that an inspector had been
abducted, that they needed help to rescue him, but the commander allegedly didn’t respond to their pleas. The policemen moved to Akodo Police Station, where a woman happened to
be the Divisional Police Officer (DPO).
The DPO said she couldn’t send anyone
to the area because it was a volatile
axis. They went to SARS, Ikeja to report and
for five days, no action was taken to
rescue Sunday. Later, policemen started
looking for Sunday, to the extent of
going to Bonny Camp, Victoria Island.
The soldiers said Sunday wasn’t with them.
When the OC SARS went to meet
Owoseni, to intimate him of the missing
inspector, Owoseni demanded to know
the person that deployed Sunday and
his men on the illegal duty. Determined to find Sunday, sources said
that the OC SARS approached the
Inspector General of Police Special
Intelligence Response Team (IRT),
headed by Assistant Commissioner of
Police, Mr Abba Kyari. It was alleged that through the efforts of the IRT
operatives, Sunday’s phone was tracked
and some of his alleged killers arrested. The suspects took police to where
Sunday’s rifle was buried.
A police source said: “Police investigation also
led to the arrest of the traditional ruler.
The traditional ruler denied knowing
anything about the disappearance of Sunday. He was invited to the police command;
but rather than honour police
invitation, he ran to Police Force
Headquarters, Abuja. He was told at
Abuja to go back to Lagos and
respond first to police invitation.” The source continued: “Balogun, who
led the operation in which Sunday was
kidnapped is on the run. But his second
in command, Arokin, has been arrested.
Arokin confessed that Sunday was
buried alive. He took police to the shallow grave at Ibeju Lekki. Police brought pathologists
from Lagos State University Teaching
Hospital (LASUTH), to exhume Sunday’s
corpse. “One of the pathologists, when
he saw Sunday’s skeleton, said that it looked as if he was buried with his
hands tied behind. It was at that point that Arokin confessed that Sunday was buried alive.
He disclosed that after beating and
disarming Sunday, he and his colleagues
waited for five days for policemen to
come for him, but nobody did. In those five days, they didn’t give him food. He said that when police didn’t come searching for Sunday; the traditional ruler instructed them to go
and bury the inspector alive.
The traditional ruler said that nothing would happen. Sunday was buried alive.”