A woman, Fatima Wasiu, is seeking justice for her late son and has accused the police in Lagos of being tardy with the probe of the teenager’s death.
Fatima alleged that her 14-year-old son, Basit Wasiu,was strangled after her landlord threatened to forcefully evict her family from his house.
It was gathered that while the police were investigating the case, the landlord of No. 8 Adeniran Street, Isale IjuOgundimu, Iju, Ishaga, Lagos State, was released after he allegedly paid the sum of N350,000 and no further action was taken on the case.
The mother of four said she was denied justice because she did not have money and had no one to fight for her.
Fatima told our correspondent, “I moved into the apartment in 2016. When my rent was due for renewal in June 2018, my landlord requested that I pay for one and half years, but I told him that I could only afford to pay for one year. At first, he told me to bring the money but after some days, he returned it and said the payment was already late.
“Afterwards, he started pressurising me that I should leave his house. He said if I didn’t leave on my own accord, he would forcefully push me out. I begged him to give me some time to get another apartment, because I am separated from my husband and I am the only one taking care of our four kids.
“In July, someone called me and told me that he was directed by my landlord to call me. He also threatened that I must leave the house or I would pay dearly for my refusal to leave. I went to beg the landlord not to harm me and my children.
“After some days, I went to get some foodstuffs for my catering business. I left my last son at home hale and hearty. But by the time I got back, I met his corpse on the chair. I quickly rushed him to the nearest hospital with the hope that something could be done to revive him, but it was too late. It was at the hospital that the bruise around his neck was shown tome and it was confirmed that my son was strangled.”
The Oyo State indigene said she had not found peace since the incident, because the suspected killer of her son is still walking free.
Fatima added, “When I returned to my apartment, the landlord had already mobilised some policemen from the Red House Police Station, Iju, Ishaga, to come and arrest me for refusing to leave his house.After I explained all that happened to the policemen, my landlord was detained instead and the case was transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, Yaba.
“While we were at the SCIID, we were asked to payN20,000 for an affidavit. My husband was able to raise N15,000 and we promised to pay the balance. Some days later, while we were still trying to raise the balance, we were told that my landlord has been released on bail. I learnt that the sum of N350,000 was paid for his release and he has been walking freely ever since.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti,however, said the landlord was released because there was nothing linking him to the death of the teenager, adding that the police had done all that was needed to be done on the case.
He stated, “The landlord was invited for questioning and he denied the allegation. We didn’t let him go; we still transferred the case to the Homicide Section of the SCIID, Panti, to investigate further.Investigation commenced and his alibi was checked upon to be true and there was nobody to corroborate the evidence of the tenant.
“Nothing so far has linked the landlord to the death in question. In other words, no criminal evidence has been established against the landlord. He was granted an administrative bail and the case file was sent to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions for advice.
“Everything that is needed to be done as far as the police are concerned has been done. The police invited the family of the boy to seek their consent for an autopsy to be conducted to ascertain the cause of death, but they did not respond to the invitation.
“The man was not released because of N350,000. Anyone who knows the Homicide Section of the SCIID will know that they are very thorough. It is because nothing was found against the man that was why he was released and not because of money.”