Consider Rotimi Adeosebekan as casualty of situation and you won’t be a long way from reality. All he did was go to his friend’s place to charge his mobile phone, an action that has seen him spend the last two years behind bars.
The above has been the fate of 28-year-old Rotimi Adeosebekan who was arrested on November 15, 2017 alongside others by Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operatives from Abuja at the instance of a lawyer alleged to be embroiled in a property tussle at 8, Agorodiyan in Victoria Island with one Segun Babaloye.
Following a Save Our Soul (SOS) appeal by Adeosebekan’s aged mother, Mrs. Folasade, our correspondent made findings and discovered that the victim was being held alongside Olayinka John, Ismaila Fatasi, Joseph Adeniran, Thompson Emmanuel and Kolawole Seun at the Keffi Prison in Nasawara State on charges of armed robbery, kidnapping and terrorism.
But neither Adeosebekan nor his co-defendants understand why fate dealt them a huge blow and allowed the police to rob them of their freedom.
Narrating his ordeal to our correspondent, Rotimi said: “The worst part is that I did not know anything about the fight. I learnt that the late landlord’s son and a tenant who’s a lawyer fought over property. I do not even stay there; I just went to charge my phone at my friends’ place. My friends were working as guards employed by the late landlord’s son.
“So, that day, policemen just came and packed all of us. They took us to Abattoir in Abuja and three days later, they took us to a Magistrate’s Court where they accused us of stealing jewellery and phone belonging to the lawyer. We denied it and then, the police took us back to Abbatoir and we were there for over two months.
“After that day, the man said unless we provided Mr. Segun Babaloye, he will not let us go. He said he bought the house from Segun’s father Pa Babaloye when he was alive and that Segun.
“It was after that period that they now took us before Justice Binta Nyako of Federal High Court III and charged us for armed robbery, kidnapping and terrorism. We have been in prison custody since that time.
“The police made such huge allegations against people without any evidence. The worst part is that I did not know any of these things and I am not involved. My friends are not involved either. Some of those arrested with me were eating yam outside, while others were security men.
“It is unfair how we have been made to suffer over a case that does not concern us. This is a typical case of the grass suffering when two elephants fight. I am appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to order an investigation into this case so that the truth can come to light and we can go home.
“I am begging them to release us because we did not do anything. We are innocent. Our case is coming up on November 20 but November 15 will be exactly two years we were arrested and locked up,” he told The Nation.
It was gathered Seun, an Oodua People’s Congress’ (OPC) Chief Security Officer (CSO) was arrested at his Ajegunle residence 15 days after the others were rounded and whisked to the same cell in Abuja were the others were held.
The policemen who embarked on the mission had asked him to provide his boss’ number which he did and he was thereafter dumped in custody with the rest.
Appealing to the President to release her son, 63-year-old Mrs. Adeosebekan said she has sold all she had in order to frequent Abuja to visit him.
The woman who sobbed uncontrollably said her health was failing as a result of the continued detention of her son for a crime he did not commit.
“I have been going up and down since 2017. I developed issues with one of my legs because of that long journey. I have spent more than N200,000 on this matter but my son has not come out.
“It was my son who used to help me sell my Agbo (local herb) and since his arrest, I have not been doing it. Now, I do not have anything. It is my Alex Omorodion in Alausa (Public Advice Centre) that has been helping me. I am begging those holding my son to release him. I know my son and I know that he is not a criminal,” she said.