ON Wednesday 23 September, Kingsley Amaechi, an indigene of Abia State resident in Lagos picked three passengers at Eleganza bus stop – a notable spot before Lekki 2nd Toll Gate. It was about 9:45 pm.
The passengers were heading to Oshodi, still within Lagos axis, unknown to him they were ritual killers.
It was meant to be a regular trip until the unfortunate occurrence. Narrating his ordeal, Amaechi said few distance apart, one of the three passengers indicated interest to alight at law school, another bus-stop.
He said immediately he stopped the car, and the passenger alighted, the other two held him from behind, holding tight to his throat.
He was pulled to the rear seat while one of the culprits who alighted took the steering wheel.
“…at this point, they started hitting my knees, shoulders and elbow with harmer to weaken me, I became so weak with pain and remained calm till they drove to a distance when the driver suddenly said my fuel is finished.”
Meanwhile, Amaechi, the 33 years old man has been jobless for a while. He could hardly feed talk less of accommodation but suddenly help came. He got a Toyota Matrix Car with Lagos registration number LND 581 FZ on hire purchase.
He had paid N500, 000 from the N2,750, 000 agreed sum. He was saving N2,000 from his daily earnings in a safe compartment within his car until the incident.
The leader of the criminal gang asked if he had fuel keg in the boot when they noticed they were running short of fuel. He responded in affirmation. So, the driver was directed to park close to a fuel station and get fuel with the keg.
All these while, he was already sapped. His face was covered at the rear seat where he was positioned, but hoping he could summon courage, pull his strength to cry for help.
Immediately he noticed they have approached the fuel station, he shouted for help. According to him, they managed to escape. Someone who drove after the vehicle in an attempt to block the car failed as he was hit off the road.
“…they continued and at this point, the torture on me became more severe, one of them held onto my nose with his teeth with blood pouring out while the other one tightened his hands to my throat, I didn’t even have the voice to begged but only struggled for life,” he said.
“They already had the music to its highest volume and rolled up the glasses, while they were driving, I begged them to just go with the car.” He said he was willing to let go of the 45, 000 he made on previous trips.
We only need your heart and manhood
Amaechi emphasised that despite his pleas, the kidnappers turned deaf ear but insisted they needed his heart and manhood for ritual purpose.
By this time, it was already midnight. He said one of the kidnappers had loosened his belt and was ready to cut him as planned.
“Commander make we cut this thing and throw away this guy, he’s causing lots of attention,” the culprit stated.
Luckily for the victim, the gang leader suggested the team should hold on until they arrive Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. Amaechi said he could not comprehend the kind of fear that enveloped him even as they proceeded to Ibadan, the neighbouring state.
Help at last
Amaechi eventually struggled to summon courage, and shouted for assistance when the vehicle approached a particular junction. Boys within the area chased the vehicle, broke the rear windshield until the car came to a halt.
“…that was how the area guys their ran after us with weapons, one broke my vehicle rear windscreen and jumped into the car on motion,” he stated. “In an attempt to escape, the driver entered an end-point road and crashed against a parked trailer.”
He described the last-minute action as his escape route. Two of the kidnappers seating at the back were captured by the mobs while the driver escaped.
Though, grateful for his safety, rest of the mobs, he added went away with whatever valuables they could found in the vehicle. These were happening until police operatives from Maroko visited the scene. The two kidnappers were arrested while his vehicle was taken to their station.
Amaechi later expressed the kind gesture he received from the police officials before the matter was transferred to the FSARS office in Ikeja.
“I have never seen Nigerian police so nice to that extent. The DPO took care of me. Asked the officers to give me water. I was shown love and care for surviving the incident,” he told The ICIR.
Extortion at FSARS Ikeja Office
Austine Imagbe was the IPO assigned to the case when the matter was transferred to the FSARS office in Ikeja. But he accused Imagbe of demanding N20, 000 from him before he could investigate the matter and ensure the third culprit is found and prosecuted with the other two earlier arrested.
“He was not concerned at all,” Ameachi said narrating his unpleasant experience to this reporter.
The officer, according to him, eventually collected the 20, 000 as demanded. He said Imagbe was offered the money at his office in the FSARS office on 6 October, at about 11am.
He was able to describe other officers seated in the office including a female IPO, whom he noted was seating adjacent Imagbe.
“He was not alone in the office. They were about three in the office when he collected the money.” The ICIR asked for proof of payment to the accused officer but he could not provide any. He said Imagbe had insisted on cash payment.
“They don’t allow us enter the office with our phone. Usually, they will collect the phone at the entrance, label it and keep it until we return. It is the tag number we would have to present before we receive back our phones,” he told this reporter why he could not get visual evidence.
“About three of his colleagues were also in that office. There was also a woman seating right adjacent where he was seated.
“I asked him how do I recover the loss and damages but he told me they are not divisional SARS office but federal so he is not concerned on recovery.”
Its not true, Amaechi under psychological stress –ASPImagbe
The ICIR contacted Imagbe, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) in charge of the case acknowledged the victim but he denied receiving N20,000 from the victim. He assumed Amaechi must be undergoing psychological stress to have made the allegation.
“It is not true, in fact I spent my money. I spent N10, 000 because I know he doesn’t have money.”
He boasted his junior officers would have handled the case, but they were not available. He, however denied all the allegations stressing that he was not in capacity to release the vehicle.
“Yes, we have the two suspects in our custody and we are in search of the third who is still at large. His name is Babangida,” he told the reporter. He also said the case has not been taken to court.
Adejobi Olumuyiwa, Lagos Police Spokesperson could not respond when contacted by The ICIR. He said he was at the Lagos gas explosion scene.
Want his vehicle released
Segun Awosanya, popularly known as Segalink has volunteered to follow up the matter with top police officials to ensure he gets justice. He also booked an appointment with Ameachi for 11 am Wednesday. Other notable Nigerians have also been reaching out to Amaechi to offer assistance.
However, he would like his vehicle released so that he can go back to business.
“I want the release of the car. It is on hired purchase cos I ought to complete the payment by December 2021.”