One of our readers sent this to us alleging that some officers of the ogun state immigration office, Abeokuta molested her and forced her to write a statement under duress…… Below is her claim, pleading for this to get to the necessary superior officers for immediate actions…..
I wish to state the issues that occurred yesterday at the Nigeria Immigration Service office Abeokuta.
Date: 11th April 2016.
I arrived at the centre yesterday just after 11am and waited for hours until around 4pm when I had not been attended to for the passport picture which will be used issuing the renewed passport I required.
Prior to that, I was told to pay N28,000 to an uniformed man which I did. No receipt was issued.
Around 4.05pm , I walked over to an officer in the picture capture room and explained that I had been sitting there since morning and that I needed to travel away from the city early tomorrow morning , so he told me to sit in the office and will attend to my request. His name is Officer Umoh. After sitting for almost an hour and not attended to but others being attended to, I mentioned that others who had come in after me had been attended to apart from me, the officer Mr Umoh heard and got visibly angry. He ordered that I leave the room.
“Get out of here ” he screamed and I did. Afterwards, I stood onthe corridor before two men in mufti- one in a white top and the second in a t-shirt screamed what are you still doing here. Get out my friend. I responded that I have complied with the officers iinstructions and had left the place and they should stop screaming at me. After all, they are not officers.
The older one in white just came to hold my right arm and started twisting it and hitting me that who am I to tell him not to talk to me anyhow . At this stage, I started screaming that you are assaulting me Sir and other people heard. Then he threatened to throw me down from the first floor down if he wished. A female officer in uniform Kadiri by name then came and told the man to leave me alone. She took me away and calmed me down as I was in tears at this stage.
After some minutes, I took my assistant’s phone and took pictures of the older man. I kept the phone away, waited for like half an hour and went to speak to Mr Umoh again to ask if I should wait today to get the picture taken and if I would get it done. He said heh didn’t know anything about my file and it was no where to be found again. I asked what the next thing could be but he said I should go and meet the person I paid to but I said he was not in uniform and i could not find him again.
The younger man who had screamed at me before had threatened that my file will not be found came out and said you will suffer for nothing and that will be the end of the matter.
I later stood away and took his pictures too. Not up to ten minutes after, I was rounded up as I moved close to the stairs to walk downstairs. The young man started screaming that I hand over my phone and bag and that failure to do so will result in being beaten . He came close to slap me when another man from the crowd pulled him back.
The man who first assaulted me started slapping my back again and pulled my arm to follow them downstairs to a place. I asked where they were taking me to but they didn’t answer. At this stage, I started screaming that he’s assaulting a woman and he should not. Then he screamed that a woman comes downstairs to hit me. She came and started slapping the back of my neck and asked me to walk faster to the hidden, obscure location. I walked as I could and she hit me again for being slow.
As we walked on, I saw a tiny, dingy cell with someone on the ground chained. When I saw that, I knew that was where I was being led to with my assistant. I had asked that she be left alone but they refused . When I saw the cell, i picked a fast race and ran away towards the gate screaming they want to put me in a cell. This was around 6pm or 5.50pm as jt was getting a bit dark.
The four officers started running after me but couldn’t reach me as I was too fast but the lady who had been called upon started screaming ” catch that lady. Shoot her. Shoot. We will shoot ” but I kept on running. By the time I got to the gate, I had been rounded up by like 6-8 officers who caught me and this lady came again to hit me. They called her name ” Makinde, leave her alone. She will follow you “.
The men promised that I will not be placed in a cell and that they will follow me but I was hesitant. Eventually, I followed them and when we got to that office, I was asked to write a statement that first I was not put under duress to write, to write my name and address and my contact phone numbers. I said I didn’t know the phone numbers by heart and couldn’t write under such stress. Eventually, I wrote a statement of what transpired to the point of the first assault and i was asked to stop while the young officer kept screaming at me to write before he slaps me .
I was led upstairs to get my picture captured and then to give fingerprints because they didn’t want to deny me my rights. I did and then was led by the young man, older man and lady all in mufti to an office. There sat two men whom I know to be passport comptrol.
They said I had committed great offences on secured military grounds and therefore will not be issued a new passport, my old one will not be given to me and my phones -mine and assistant’s will be confiscated.
That was my experience last week at the immigration office in Abeokuta. Please i need your support in making a report to the highest authority about these officers – Mr Olatunji
Mr Taiwo Romiluyi