OGUN, Nigeria – The family of a policeman, Constable Emmanuel Gene, have cried out over the failure of the Nigeria Police, Ogun State Command to rescue their missing son, more than a week after he was allegedly abducted.
The missing officer, an indigene of Tube, Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State is serving at the Ijebu-Igbo divisional police headquarters.
OgeneAfrican had reported on Saturday that some villagers in Aba Tuntun, a remote village in Ijebu-Igbo area of Ogun had attacked the police, who were in the community to arrest some hoodlums.
The Command confirmed that five policemen were kidnapped by the said villagers but Gene is the only one yet to be rescued.
In a petition to the Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, a copy of which was made available, Barr. Oluwaseyi Awodele, on behalf of the family, said the DPO of the station, SP Kazeem Solatan had led his men, including Gene to disperse land grabbers in Aba Tuntun, where they were attacked.
“The divisional police officer, SP Solatan Kazeem, led a team of police officers from a division to a venue to prevent trespass to land by some land grabbers at Aba Tuntun in Ijebu-Igbo of which the police were attacked by the said land grabbers and many police officers sustained injuries.
“It was part of our brief that the land grabbers, who were with dangerous weapons, chased the police team to different parts. It was later at the police station that they discovered that Emmanuel Gene has not been found since he could not return from the scene of the attack.
“However, with the seriousness of the incident, coupled with the missing of an officer, the divisional police officer-in-charge kept silent and no action was taken until the 4th day. It was due to the serious pressure mounted by our clients that the DPO now informed our clients of the recovery of the personal handphone of PC Emmanuel Gene and the gun he carried to the operation with claims that Emmanuel Gene was kidnapped.
“This claim by the DPO was faulty and not acceptable to the family, having known the fact of the case. It was gathered that the DPO collected a certain amount of money from his own ‘client’ to help them recover the land on which he took his officers to,” the petition by the counsel, Awodele read.
The father of the missing officer, Hon. Jimoh Gene, said the incident happened in December, saying the DPO was being economical with the truth when he told the Commissioner that it happened on December 3.
The father told our correspondent that his son’s wife, Comfort, is currently pregnant, wondering how she is coping with the missing of her husband.
He expressed sadness that the DPO and the entire Ogun police command have been “insensitive” to the plight of the family, alleging that “they have been sitting down without taking a step.”
“Since the incident happened, the police have not done anything. Neither the DPO nor the Ogun command has deemed it fit to mobilise to the community to search for my son.
“How will the DPO ask them to go to a village that is almost six hours journey from Ijebu-Igbo at night? I need to see my son,” he said.
In their plea to CP Ajogun, the family said: “we hereby passionately urge your authority as the chief security officer of the state to urgently look into the matter and put machinery in place to fetch out PC Emmanuel Gene alive.”
When contacted, the accused DPO of Ijebu-Igbo, Solatan Kazeem, said he was in the hospital and asked our correspondent to talk to the state PPRO, Abimbola Oyeyemi.
However, he debunked some allegations against him, while revealing that Gene is not dead.
“I don’t have any allegation. I am a police officer, I was attacked, I was shot. Which allegation? I don’t have any problem with them (the Gene family). The missing person, we are doing everything to fight for him. He is not dead. We are negotiating with the person; that’s what I told the family. I was also shot in the hand myself. I am not feeling fine. I just went for an x-ray. What of if I am dead, who are they (the family) going to talk with?
“This thing is no more my case. It is the case of the Commissioner of Police,” Solatan stated.
When asked if the problem was about land, he said “It was not a land issue. We went there, they attacked us, we recovered 17 guns in that village. Which land are we fighting over? Will they report a land matter to me and I will carry my policemen there?
“My brother, they (the family) just have their mouths to talk. You can talk to the PPRO to get the whole fact from him.