A man who supported the recent EndSARS protests that rocked the nation is missing seven days after he was abducted by suspected security officials, his wife has said.
Omioye Titilayo said suspected security operatives came to their home in Abuja on the night of November 13 and abducted her husband, Imoleayo Michael. She has not heard from him since.
Speaking with the PREMIUM TIMES his wife, Mrs Titilayo said 20 armed men came to the family house at 2:30 a.m. and interrogated her husband before taking him away.
She was unable to pinpoint which security agency the men came from. Mr Michael’s cellphone and laptop were also confiscated during the raid, she said.
A search of his Twitter feed by the reporter shows that Mr Michael had been openly critical of bad governance in Nigeria and supported the #EndSARS protest, although his wife told this newspaper that he did not physically attend the protests.
Meanwhile, Michael’s lawyer, Deji Ajara, said, based on the ‘outfits’ worn by the intruders, he believed they were a ‘joint taskforce of security agencies’ – none of them wore any insignia or identified themselves.
Since the incident, he said Mr Michael’s wife has been to several police stations looking for her husband, but has been unable to gather any information on his whereabouts.
Several attempts by this newspaper to clarify from the police and army spokespersons, if they were involved in the abduction have been unsuccessful.
The FCT police spokesperson, Mariam Yusuf, requested a text message about the case. She only responded with “where?”, a reference to where Imoleayo Michael was arrested.
When the reporter added all the details, she stopped replying. When called again Friday, she did not respond.
Calls to army spokesperson, Musa Sagir, were not answered. The army was actively involved in the stemming of the violence that erupted during the protests.
Meanwhile, Mr Ajare said he has petitioned ‘several law enforcement agencies’ for information regarding his client “and is awaiting a reply”.
The lawyer expressed grave concern for the safety of his client , saying “this is reminiscent of cases where people were forcibly abducted in the past, such as the case of Dadiyata (another missing critic”.
The lawyer was referring to the case of another government critic who has been missing for over a year.
On August 2, last year, Mr Idris, who is better known as Dadiyata, was abducted by unidentified assailants who seized him from his residence in Barnawa neighbourhood of Kaduna State.
He was returning home at about 1 a.m. that day when some armed men breached his home’s security and whisked him away in his BMW car, the state police said at the time.
But the lawyer said some unnamed court officials informed him that Mr Michael was recently asked to testify in a terrorism related case brought by the Nigerian Police.
“Apparently, the case involves a yet unknown social media user who posted a tweet asking American President Donald Trump to ‘bomb Nigeria,” he said.
He said Mr Michael apparently refused to testify in the case, which, he stressed, “is not a crime under Nigerian law”.
Mr Ajare said, “we strongly suspect that Michael’s arrest may be connected to that case”.
He added that Mr Michael’s detention by a ‘security agency’ could be a means of influencing his testimony.
A court date for the mysterious case has been set for December 7 and 8, he added.
He did not elaborate further.
In the aftermath of the recent protests against police brutality, the Nigerian government went after perceived leaders of the protest.
The protests had degenerated into violence when infiltrated by hoodlums who looted public and private property and also killed many persons, including security agents.
An irate government, apart from detaining some of the protests ‘leaders’, also froze their bank accounts.
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