A car dealer, Adekeye Adeyemi has recounted how he was kidnapped, tortured, and almost on the verge of being killed in Lagos by a syndicate linked to one of his clients.
Adeyemi who claimed he was eventually saved miraculously in the process by the police who intercepted the vehicle while he was being taken away; gave a graphic detail of how the incident happened during a media parley in Lagos on Friday, May 12.
He said the men lured him to a house: No 2 Soyemi Street, Ojodu, Lagos, stripped him, seized his phone, and forced him to transfer money from his bank account.
How it all started
Incidentally, the syndicate that carried out the kidnap according to Adeyemi did so on the authority of one Mr Owolabi Onipede who had earlier purchased two vehicles that were yet to be cleared from the port from Adeyemi.
The vehicles according to Adeyemi were “bought by Onipede on my unction account. No dealer would do that. But I did that so he could see the transparency in the whole deal. But when the vehicle got to Nigeria, it incurred some demurrage because there was a delay in clearing.
“The vehicles were still not being cleared when I traveled to Osun for a prayer programme. While in Osun, Rogba, the brother of Owolabi Onipede called me and asked me to come back to Lagos; that they were ready to make payments to clear the cars,” said Adeyemi who did not suspect any foul play.
At first, he asked Rogba to pay the agent that had been detailed to clear the vehicles at the port. But he insisted his brother wanted him in Lagos.
The journey to Lagos
Unknown to Adeyemi, they were planning something untoward. He stopped what he was doing in Osun and headed to Lagos. It was while in transit Rogba called him again and asked him to link up with him at Sabo Bus stop around Ojodu when he gets to Lagos.
Adeyemi met him at the said location and from there was taken to No 2 Soyemi Street along with one Wale Soyemi who incidentally lives in the house. It is a face-me-I-face-you house supposedly owned by Soyemi’s father.
Soyemi’s sister according to Adeyemi operates a shop in front of the house. There is an RCCG parish in front of the house too.
He was ushered into the house and offered a sit. He saw a number of young men in the house and was wondering what could be going on.
Not long, Rogba who led him to the house told him in the Yoruba Language that, “Mr. Yemi, Eko te wa, eti si rin o” meaning, your coming to Lagos is a misadventure.
The import of that statement did not dawn on Adeyemi until minutes later when the men in the room took turns to beat him. He was being tortured while they informed him the vehicles in question had been cleared by the agent.
“Immediately I called the agent and he confirmed to me that he had used his money to clear the cars. He said he did not want to bother me since I said I was traveling. I now said to them that since the vehicles had been cleared why did they ask me to come to Lagos? Rather than get an answer, I was greeted with a heavy slap”
The torture continued
Adeyemi could not fathom why they had to beat and torture him. They collected all he had on him including his iPhone pro max and some jewelry. And they stripped him.
He recounts, “Wale Soyemi brought a rope from inside the fridge in his room. I was tied for more than 8 hours. They were beating me, punching me. At a point, I zeroed my mind that the end had come.
“Rogba Onipede later brought out his phone and started showing me pictures of people they had dealt with. He showed me more than 10 people including the picture of a lady who was beaten to the point that her eyes were blurred.
“It was at that point that I gave up hope of escape. I surrendered to God. But then I prayed and pleaded with God that I don’t want another person to father my child, trusting that God would see me through.
“Wale Soyemi’s sister who runs a POS service outside the house and many others were coming and going out of the house as if nothing was happening. Some were smoking Indian hemp and did as if nobody was being tortured. At a point, they brought out a golf stick and started hitting me on the head and all over my body.
Owolabi Onipede from Turkey
In the process of the torture, Wale Soyemi called Owolabi Onipede who was the first person Adekeye had a business deal with. He is said to be the owner of O’Blow Hotel located at 45 Agbado Oke Aro Road, Ifako Ijaiye. He was in Turkey as at the time he called.
“He called him, put him on video, and showed him how I was tied down and was being tortured. To show he was behind my ordeal, he said to them that he had not seen blood yet, that they should get a blade and tear my body apart so he could see blood.
“But they told him it was not time for that yet, that they were going to use me to kidnap the agent that cleared the vehicles and collect the vehicles from him forcefully. And they would remove parts of our bodies they need and throw the rest into water.”
At that point, Adeyemi was already exasperated. Nobody knew where he was. His phone was ringing but he could not receive the call since it was in their custody. They got his bank details and blocked his accounts after transferring the money there.
He was there till the following day. “The second day, Some men in military uniform came to the room and asked me what happened. I gave my side of the story and the men accused me of being a thief. I said I was not a thief but that we only had a business transaction.
“The military men now asked me to call the agent and pretend as if nothing had happened to me, that I should speak well with him on the phone and agree on where we could meet. I had to cooperate with them. I called the agent and we agreed to meet at Ago Palace in Isolo. They took me in their car and we drove to Ago Palace.
“By the time they got to Ago palace, they untied him because the agent was around. But they threatened me not to raise any alarm. They said some of their people were already in front of my house in Ikeja, and that they would kill all those in my house if I raised the alarm.
“The agent eventually came and we got talking. Not long, the soldiers bashed in and threw him into the car. We all entered the car and they started taking us on another ride to nowhere.
The police stepped in
“What saved the day was that the friend of the agent came along with him to Ago Palace. He was at a distance watching what was happening. He was the one who ran to the police station to tell them someone had been kidnapped. And that there were some military men involved in the kidnap.
“The police immediately swung into action and intercepted us. They redirected our vehicle to Ago Palace Police Station. That was how God thwarted their plan. On getting to the station, the agent who did not know what I had experienced thought I was the one who set him up to be kidnapped. As soon as we got to the police station he started pointing at me that I was the one who arranged his kidnap.
“The police didn’t ask any question. They just put me in detention along with others. It was on the Good Friday of the year 2022.
But a miracle happened. On Easter Monday the IPO came to the cell and they were planning to take Adeyemi to court. “The soldiers with us were released to military police. Immediately after the IPO left, the DPO came and asked to see me.”
“Incidentally, the DPO had seen a video of where I was being tortured in a Whatsapp group. The video must have been taken when I was being tortured in Ojodu by Soyemi or any of the other men in the room. I later got to know they sent the video to all my contacts.”
Adeyemi said the video got to his mother who was living in the US. According to him, his mother, who was ill at that time could not stand the shock. She passed on three days after. So when the DPO who is a lady saw Adekeye she quickly linked his face to the video she saw on the WhatsApp group. “The DPO now ordered they should bring me out of detention.”
Impact of the torture
That was how he was released from the cell and was asked to go and treat himself in the hospital. By then, a lot of damage had been done to him. His hearing was impaired. He was no longer himself.
“I did a series of tests in the hospital and spent millions of naira on my health. I just started regaining the use of my right ear.”
Everybody knew it was a clear case of kidnapping and sundry crime. But one year after the gory incident, the dust is yet to settle. Adekeye told journalists that one DIG Adeleke played a great role in ensuring that he gets justice. “He played a fatherly role in trying to settle the matter. But some forces within the system are trying to trivialize the crime. My assailants are now being charged with “tying and fist blowing” from what my lawyer found out. That is after two months that the same Directorate of Public Prosecution charged them for kidnapping. I don’t know what changed between then and now. But I suspect some people are being manipulated in the system.”
Already Wale Soyemi who supervised the torture in the Ojodu house is being detained in Ikoyi prison, while a warrant of arrest has been issued to arrest Rogba and Owolabi Onipede. Rogba is said to have jumped bail about three times. That notwithstanding, Adeyemi said he got the hint that there were several moves to thwart the case and make light of it. Rogba Owolabi may never show up in court again.
“I gathered some people connected to the case asked the DPP that the charges against my assailants be reviewed. My concern is that justice is about being thwarted. I would have been killed and forgotten. While we are in court, we are also appealing that the DPP should maintain its earlier charge. There is clear evidence that these people are killers.”
The matter will be heard on Monday, May 15 at the Lagos Igbosere Magistrate Court 18 under Magistrate K.K. Awoyinka
Story by Gbenga Osinaike