News

NDLEA lets Law Graduate drown during Lagos raid

A 32-year-old graduate
of Law, Dapo Olasore, was left to drown during a raid by officials of the National Drug Law
Enforcement Agency inthe Agboyi, Alapere area of Lagos State.
According to Punch Metro, the incident happened on Sunday after the officials, who came in two vans without number plates, raided the area.
 
Olasore, aka Omopo, was about boarding a canoe to a neighbouring
community to see a relative, when the officials stormed the
community.They were said to have shot sporadically into the air, sending
frightened residents fleeing in different directions. 
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However,
Olasore, who was by the riverside, was said to have been held by the
trousers by the NDLEA men; and in a bid to free himself, fell into the
water.
A boatman, who attempted to save him, was said to have been threatened with guns, leading to the death of the victim.

It was learnt that the victim, who
graduated from a university in Ondo State, joined the National Union of
Road Transport Workers in 2014, after he could not get a job.His family
was said to be resident in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
A witness and friend of the victim, Tosin Oshin, said the NDLEA officials arrived around 10.45am.
He said,
 “It happened around 10.45am. We
suddenly saw two white vehicles in our community. They began shooting
into the air and everybody started running helter-skelter.
“They went to the riverside, where Omopo (Olasore) was about boarding a canoe. As Omopo
saw one of them, he wanted to run like other people, but the officers
held him. In the struggle to free himself, he fell into the river.
“A boat operator, who was about to rescue him, was threatened with guns. Omopo raised his hand and asked for help, but they didn’t help him.”
Oshin said immediately the incident happened, the officials fled the community with two suspects.
The boat operator, Dayo Seun, said
before the victim finally drowned, he made an attempt to rescue him, but
the officials prevented him.
He said, 
“I was on the other side of the
river when I saw the man fall inside the river. I quickly paddled my
canoe to the place he fell into to rescue him, but they pointed their
guns at me, and asked me to go back.”
A resident, Omolara Adekunle, said the
anti-narcotics officials were always harassing residents, adding that
after making arrests, they usually collected about N40,000 for bail.
“It is not only the NDLEA that come here to conduct this illegal raid. The police too are complicit; they have no fear of God.
“Those they arrest, they collect between N40, 000 to N45,000 from their relatives before they release them.”
Another resident, Ayeni Oluwatoyin, told
our correspondent that one of the suspects arrested, one Sunday
Babalola, was planning his graduation as a qualified mechanic for August
26.
Oluwatoyin, who showed our correspondent
a vest the suspect had distributed to his friends for the celebration,
said Babalola was giving out the vests when he was arrested.
“After collecting the vests from him,
they (NDLEA men) grabbed him by the neck and hit him. The boy begged
them, but they did not let him go,” she said.
A resident said the community would hold a procession for the victim, after his remains had been found.
“By Tuesday, his body should float. We will hold a candlelight procession for him on Friday,” she said.
The NDLEA spokesperson, Mr. Mitchell
Ofoyeju, confirmed that there was a raid on the community by the agency,
but denied knowledge that anybody was drowned.
He said, 
“The NDLEA went in search of a
notorious drug dealer, named Saheed, following an information on his
activities, which has constituted nuisance to people in that
neighbourhood.
“Unfortunately, we did not find him as
of the time of getting to the place. One Babalola was arrested and he
was found with 1.3 kilogrammes of cannabis. During the operation, some
people escaped through the river because they knew their activities
contravened the NDLEA Act. But we are not aware anybody drowned.”
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