The publisher of PRNigeria, a press release platform for critical institutions, Yushau Shuaib, has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris, over alleged harassment and intimidation of his family members living in Abuja, especially the Gestapo style his family members were allegedly subjected to by a team of police officers from Lagos.
In a 30-paragraph letter addressed to the IGP dated September 11, the petitioner noted that the team from Lagos had claimed that Governor Akinwunmi 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, who claimed to have arrived from the office of the Lagos State Governor, had initially informed the wife of the petitioner by telephone that they were from an MTN team to deliver a seasonal 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, Solome Hardy, who reportedly 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 traumatised 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 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 said 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 “questionable manner” of the Lagos police team, the police boss should 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.