September 25, 2022

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Family petitions police over missing undergraduate, mother hospitalised

The family of a 22-year-old undergraduate of the University of Ibadan, Samson Ajayi, has petitioned the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, accusing the police of delaying investigation into his disappearance and releasing suspects arrested over the matter.

PUNCH Metro had reported that Samson went missing after going to work at a construction site on an estate in the Ajah area Lagos State.

The first-class student had been doing manual labour at the construction site for three weeks due to the ongoing strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

A co-worker at the site informed his mother that he was not seen at work.

On March 10, 2022, the family reported a case of a missing person at the Ajiwe Police Station, Ajah,

The case was later transferred to the Ogombo Police Station, Ajah, after which the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, took over the matter.

However, the family, in their petition to the state police commissioner, lamented the slow pace of investigation.

In the petition, signed by the Femi Falana Chambers, the family accused the SCID of releasing the prime suspects.

The petition read in part, “The police brought a decomposed body of an older person which they claimed in concurrence with the suspects arrested that it was Samson’s body. Our client and others who know Samson equivocally stated that the said body was not him. Despite this, the police went ahead to carry out a DNA on the instigation of the suspects, which came out negative.

“Since this investigation commenced, there has not been any indication of getting close to unravelling the mystery behind the sudden disappearance of this young promising boy. Our client believes that the DNA carried out on the body on about two occasions is a calculated attempt to prolong the matter, distract and mislead the police till the investigation dies a natural death. Over four months have been spent on waiting for DNA.”

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The petition further stated that the owner of the estate had yet to be invited by the police for questioning, while other suspects, including the site engineer and three security guards initially arrested, had also been released.

The victim’s brother, Samuel Ajayi, told PUNCH Metro that their mother had been hospitalised over the matter.

He said, “It has really affected the whole family. It has been four months now. We want to see Samson. Our mother has been hospitalised. She is not herself again.”

Samuel said the family was afraid Samson was kidnapped for ritual.

Reacting, the construction site engineer, Abolade Adekunle, said, “The police are aware. You can meet them to get proper details of everything.”

The family’s lawyer, Taiwo Olawanle, of the Femi Falana Chambers, said he suspected compromise by the police.

“We cannot have a murder case and the prime suspects will be released just like that. These workers were working with him when he went missing. We urge the police commissioner to set up an unbiased team of investigators to unravel the cause of his disappearance,” he added.