By Segun Adeyemi
The publisher of PRNigeria, a press release platform for critical institutions, Yushau Shuaib, has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris over harassment and intimidation of his family members living in Abuja, especially the Gestapo-style his family members were subjected to by a team of policemen and woman from Lagos.
In a 30-paragraph letter addressed to the IGP dated September 11, 2017, the petitioner noted that the team from Lagos had claimed that Governor Ambode of Lagos state was aware of an alleged massive fraud committed in Lagos involving his son, Gidado Shuaib.
The police team, led by one Inspector Babatunde (08056506863, 08081700099) who claimed to have arrived from the office of the Lagos state governor had initially informed the wife of the petitioner on telephone that they were from an MTN to deliver a season’s gift to her, which raised suspicions from the wife before her eventual alarm, suspecting them to be a kidnap gang before nearby residents came to her rescue.
The petitioner also resisted the attempt to be taken to Lagos for questioning by the team stressing that he was not the suspect, a move also supported by the Divisional Police Officer of Wuye Police station, CSP Solome Hardy (Mrs.) who categorically told them she would never allow them to take him to Lagos because he was not the suspect of their investigation.
The petitioner, Yushau Shuaib in the petition to the IGP is demanding the reason and justification for the harassment of himself and especially his wife who has been traumatized since then and undergoing medication and counselling.
Mr Shuaib wrote: “The ridiculous treatment of myself and my wife with the detention in Wuye Police Station before our eventual release is not only appalling and scandalous but a calculated attempt to rubbish our hard-earned reputation, having used the last five years protecting and promoting the activities of security agencies in Nigeria.
“In fact, through PRNigeria Platform alone, we have syndicated and published over 300 official Press Releases from the Police in the last two years of the current administration as part of our social responsibility to our fatherland.
“While we have been threatened by terrorists and their sympathisers in the cause of our services, it is rather unfortunate that the police are now our tormentors.
“My fear, currently is not about me, my family or my son who will surely confront the Police with his lawyers over the reckless allegation on his return. My fear is: what may be happening to other ordinary Nigerians who do not have people in police or security agencies to put words on their behalf?
“Only God knows how many lives could have been lost with the kind of recklessness exhibited by the Lagos Police Team that engages in the gestapo-like operation of picking up people without providing the information on their alleged offences.”
The petitioner, therefore, urged the Police boss to provide clear information of the alleged offences purportedly committed by his son; to Direct one Inspector Babatunde (08056506863, 08081700099) to stop threatening them with phone calls insisting they must be in Lagos in the absence of their son. He also urged the police to tender unreserved apology for treating his family like a common criminal without adequate proof of the allegations.
Mr Shuaib further disclosed that his ordeal contravenes a clear provision of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 which prohibits the arrest of another person in place of a suspect. He also pointed out that with the unprofessional and questionable manner of the Lagos Police Team, he urged the Police boss to transfer the case to any of your Special Investigation Units in the Force Headquarters or to the FCT Police Command
Mr Shuaib said that with his strict monitoring and parental guidance over his children, he should also be held liable if his son is found guilty of the alleged offence. “I am not only a guardian but a Father in every sense of the word,” he concluded.
Read the full petition below…
September 11, 2017
Inspector General of Police
Nigeria Police Headquarters
LAGOS POLICE’S HARASSMENT AND INTIMIDATION OF FAMILY OF YUSHAU SHUAIB IN ABUJA
I write to report the harassment and intimidation of my family by a Police Team from Lagos who claimed to be from the Governor’s Office, Alausa Ikeja.
2. On August 21, 2017, my wife received a phone call purported to be from an MTN Team coming to deliver a seasonal gift to her. Suspicious of such gifts at a period of insecurity, their calls were ignored. With persistent calls, she told them she was going towards Wuye Market with her sister where they were accosted by four hefty men and a woman claiming to be from the Police.
3. When they attempted to bundle her into their white saloon car, she resisted by raising her voice, shouting for help. She learnt the trick of ‘shouting’ to evade abductions by suspected kidnappers who use names of security agencies to whisk away innocent victims.
4. Realising the implication of her “shout” that could attract a mob action, they accepted her request to trek together to a nearby Wuye Divisional Police Station for fear of abduction.
5. When I was alerted to the incident, I rushed to the police station on a pyjamas and bathroom slippers only to be detained by the policemen who now seized our telephones and were dialling different telephone numbers from them.
6. When I insisted on what offences we committed for our detention and search on our phones, they claimed that Governor Ambode of Lagos was aware of an alleged massive fraud committed in Lagos involving my Son, Gidado Shuaib.
7. Though shocked and traumatised by the experience and the so-called massive fraud in Lagos, I can conveniently without an iota of doubt, vouch and defend the integrity of all my children, who were not only trained to be of good character but were groomed to imbibe value of simplicity, humility, hard-work and sacrifice.
8. Gidado had travelled the previous day as Member of MediaTeam for the coverage of Hajj Pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
9. The police team insisted we should write official statements about our son and some of his friends who are mostly university students. They further insisted that my wife could be granted a bail, while I must follow them to Lagos that day in my pyjamas.
10. Intervention from well-meaning senior security officers, whom I have worked with over the years by virtue of my professional callings saved me from being taken to Lagos that morning. The DPO of Wuye Police Station, CSP Solome Hardy (Mrs.) was very categorical when she told them point-blank that she would never allow them to take me to Lagos because I was not the suspect of their investigation.
11. The police Team reluctantly accepted DPO’s position, especially on health ground and that I should bring my son to Lagos upon his return from the foreign trip.
12. Gidado, my first son and his siblings are not only well-brought up, they are exceptionally humble, simple and very obedient that they hardly go out to seek for favours.
13. On the police allegation of fraud in Lagos, Gidado has never spent a night in Lagos in the last five years. In fact, he was only in Lagos on a transit to connect with a foreign airline on a trip to New York to attend the annual United Nations Youths Assembly where he was invited as a delegate in 2015. He didn’t even return through Lagos but through Abuja Airport. He has therefore never spent a single night in Lagos in the last five years.
14. Since September 2016 to May 2017, Gidado had been in the United Kingdom pursuing a Master Degree Programme on Communication at the University of Westminster. He started the programme immediately after his graduation from the Baze University Abuja.
15. Apart from the fact that I opened Bank Accounts for my Children, I closely monitor their transactions which give me ideas on their spending.
16. I deliberately arranged for Gidado to be staying with a very humble guardian in London who guarded and guided him throughout his stay. Most of his expenses were routed through the same guardian.
17. As a father, I subjected him to live an austere life in London so that he could imbibe the spirit of endurance, piety and independence rather than develop an ostentatious lifestyle.
18. As the Publisher of PRNigeria, Economic Confidential and other media outlets, I ensure Gidado earns extra allowances by writings, proofreading, editing and publishing.
19. While at the Baze University Abuja, Gidado introduced a magazine, YouthsDigest which focuses on students, education and youths engagements. He doesn’t engage in any other business apart from that.
20. In recognition of his entrepreneurship skills, Gidado was recently voted and honoured by SME100 as one of the 25 Young Nigerians under the age of 25 who have inspired others to greatness.
21. It is painful, however, that I have to write this letter over supposedly unproven allegations against an innocent young Nigerian for an offence in an environment he was not used to.
22. It is also shocking that in this age of technological advancement with affordable tools for intelligence gathering, the police in Lagos have to waste human and material resources to identify and locate a young man that can be simply and easily identified and traced through the common ID Caller App and the social media Platforms. This is terribly embarrassing.
23. The ridiculous treatment of myself and my wife with the detention in Wuye Police Station, before our eventual release, is not only appalling and scandalous but a calculated attempt to rubbish our hard-earned reputation, having used the last five years protecting and promoting the activities of security agencies in Nigeria.
24. In fact, through PRNigeria Platform alone, we have syndicated and published over 300 official Press Releases from the Police in the last two years of the current administration as part of our social responsibility to our fatherland.
25. While we have been threatened by terrorists and their sympathisers in the cause of our services, it is rather unfortunate that the police are now our tormentors.
26. My fear, currently is not about me, my family or my son who will surely confront the Police with his lawyers over the reckless allegation on his return. My fear is: what may be happening to other ordinary Nigerians who do not have people in police or security agencies to put words on their behalf.
27. Only God knows how many lives could have been lost with the kind of recklessness exhibited by the Lagos Police Team that engages in the gestapo-like operation of picking up people without providing the information on their alleged offences.
28. I am writing this letter to request the Office of the Inspector General of Police over the unnecessary harassment and unjust intimidation from Police Team from Lagos.
29. I wish to, therefore, request your office to:
a. Demand the reason and justification for the harassment of myself and especially my wife who has been traumatised since then and undergoing medication and counselling
b. Provide clear information of the alleged offences purported committed by my son
c. Direct one Inspector Babatunde (08056506863, 08081700099) to stop threatening me with phone calls insisting I must be in Lagos in the absence of my son
d. Tender unreserved apology for treating my family like a common criminal without adequate proof of the allegations.
e. Note that my ordeal contravenes a clear provision of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 which prohibits the arrest of another person in place of a suspect.
f. Note that with the unprofessional and questionable manner of the Lagos Police Team, I wish you would transfer the case to any of your Special Investigation Units or to the FCT Police Command
g. With my strict monitoring and parental guidance over my children, I should also be held liable if my son is found guilty of the alleged offence. I am not only a guardian but a Father in every sense of the word.
30. I, therefore, submit this for your prompt intervention, as the Gestapo-police team insists on my presence in Lagos this week which I will not honour in the absence of my son who is yet to return from Hajj.
Yushau A. Shuaib
Publisher PRNigeria, Economic Confidential
Governor Ambode of Lagos State
Commissioner of Police Lagos State
Commissioner of Police Federal Capital Territory
Force Police Public Relations Officer
Divisional Police Officer, Wuye District
Executive Secretary Centre for Crisis Communication
Chief Press Secretary to Governor of Lagos State