The policeman, Jonathan, detained the two year-old boy and
his mother because her husband, Gibson Ukeje, owed a company some money.
little boy, Emmanuel Ukeje and his mum, Uju Ukeje were arrested and
detained for two days because police couldn’t locate Gibson. Uju said:
“On January 4, 2016, my son and I were in my restaurant at Egbeda when
policemen, led by one Sergeant Jonathan came there and ordered everyone
to get out.
He locked up my restaurant. I pleaded with him to
tell me my offence. The sale’s representative lady from the company, who
supplied goods to my husband, stepped out. She said she was the one who
ordered for my arrest because my husband couldn’t be reach.”
who said she knew her husband owed the company money, said it was never
her husband’s intention to delay payment. She said: “My husband was
robbed; that was why he couldn’t repay the company. All the food in my
restaurant got spoilt on that fateful day.
When we got to the station, the policeman threatened to take my baby away from me.
later took my baby, gave him to someone and locked me up. I wasn’t
released until my husband paid the company.” Uju alleged that she and
her baby were detained for two days without food.
At a point,
the baby started vomiting. She was finally released after her lawyer
and that of the company sat down and rubbed minds on how best to settle
Gibson said that he had been transacting business with
the company for seven years now and couldn’t under why the management
would order for the arrest of his wife and kid. Gibson said: “Sometimes
in May 30, 2015, the company through their sales representative, brought
the goods to my shop as was the normal practice. Our mode of payment
was to issue the company a postdated cheque. This cheque serves as
He said before the sales rep left that fateful day,
he gave her about N190, 000 postdated cheque. A few weeks after the
goods were delivered to his shop, he boarded a commercial bus from
Ikeja, heading to Lagos Island. Gibson recalled: “I and other passengers
in the bus were attacked by some armed robbers.
all the money I made that day. It was on a Friday. I would have
deposited the money in the bank, but my bus was faulty.
why I boarded a commercial bus. The robbers stole N1million from me. It
affected my business seriously; that was why I couldn’t continue with
the business any longer. My shop was shut down.
Unfortunately, it was as a result of the incident that I was later hospitalized. I couldn’t pay the company.
while I was on my sick bed, the company kept threatening me!” Gibson
further said that after he was robbed, he called the company sales rep,
to intimate her about the incident. He thought of calling the company’s
Managing Director, to explain the situation, but he didn’t have the MD’s
“The company sent its lawyer and we talked at
length. I had met with company lawyer about three their times before
they finally brought policemen to arrest my family. We even reached
agreement on how to pay back the money, but they still came to arrest my
wife and son,” said Gibson.
He continued: “What annoyed me most
was that when my lawyer went to the police station, the Investigating
Police Officer (IPO), Jonathan, told the lawyer that he had not received
order from the complainant to release them even though my son was sick.
I want the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni to
investigate the matter and call this IPO to order. To serve as deterrent
Policemen are not supposed to be debt collectors. My
family was made to sleep on the floor at the station without food. I
didn’t deny owing the company.” A human right activist, Mr. Segun
Adeeko, who went for the release of Gibson’s family, was allegedly
mistreated by the police officer.