Chiemelie Ezeobi â€¨
After the alleged attempted murder of Triple MG music label boss, Ubi Franklin, by the Chinese manager of Lifemate Furniture in Lekki, the police handling the case released him yesterday, barely hours after his arrest without charging him to court.
The suspect was released by the Divisional Police Officer of Maroko Police Division, Abdulmajid Isah,
barely five hours after his arrest, under controversial circumstances.
Although the police have recovered the murder weaponsÂ (two knives), the suspect was released and he resumed work again yesterday.
According to the victim, the incident had happened on Tuesday when he had gone to Lifemate Furniture to register a complaint about the services he paid for.
His post on Instagram read: â€œEarlier today (Tuesday), I was at Lifemate Furniture show room at the Palms, Lekki, to enquire about a service I paid for that wasnâ€™t attended to.
â€œI was then asked by a junior staff (Nigerian) to speak to his â€œogaâ€ (a Chinese man). The Chinese man paid me no attention when I approached him with my concerns, he rather walked away as I was still trying to make my concerns known to him.
â€œSo I followed up to say his attitude was unacceptable and then proceeded to leave the shop since he wasnâ€™t going to pay me any attention or courtesy as a returning customer.
â€œAs I was walking out the door I heard someone scream, I turned my back, only for me to see the Chinese man running towards me with two knives. But for the quick intervention of my cousin the story would have been different.
â€œI handed him over to the police who then transferred him to Maroko police station and he was asked why he wanted to stab me and he said because I said â€˜see this Chinese man oâ€™. Anyway, God got me covered physically and spiritually.â€
The story changed yesterday when Franklin went back to the furniture store and saw the suspect back at his post.
The embittered Franklin who released a video shoot ofÂ the Chinese man working, said: â€œSo the police released the Chinese man at Lifemate furniture that tried to kill me and he is seating comfortably and working. â€œThis canâ€™t happen in their own country and if it does the Nigerian will be dead by now and his family will be looking for him.â€
However, when contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Olarinde Famous-Cole, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, debunked claims that the suspect was released without due process.
He said: â€œThe suspect was arrested by the Maroko Police Division. The police also recovered the knife and itâ€™s an exhibit now.
â€œThe chief security officer of Shoprite was also at the station to give his statement. The suspect was released because the complainant refused to show up to state his own side of the story.
â€œOrdinarily, what the police do after such a case has been reported, is to charge the suspect to court and let the law run its course.
â€œHowever, in this case, the complainant refused to show up. So if we charge the case to court, what will be on the charge sheet presented to the court? â€œ
THISDAY had in turn contacted Franklin on the allegations of the police and he debunked it, adding â€œThat is a big lie and trust me I made a statement clear and it was there at Maroko.â€
As at press time, Famous-Cole however said the case involving the suspect andÂ and the complainant has been transferred to the State Criminal and Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, for discreet investigation.
Given that the victim had expressed his grouse on Instagram, a post which has since gone viral, some Nigerians took to different social media platforms to flay the attitude of the police in handling the case.
One Linda Hope said: â€œYet if it were a Nigerian that tried to stab aÂ Chinese in their country, they would sentence the Nigerian to death and it will be all over the news!!!! I am sick of this country!â€
Julius Okwudili also said, â€œNigeria police are like weapons of mass destruction. Nothing good comes out of them. They should go to China and find out how they treat Nigerians there.â€
Also, one Ekpe Nkechi said, â€œIf itâ€™s in China now, they would have killed Ubi if the reverse were to be the case. Rubbish country.
â€œAttempted murder and the Chinese is freed. We are the architects of our problem. We are suffering don racialÂ inferiority complex.â€
Abdulwaheed Hardeesina also said, â€œLet him charge him to court. Sometimes, we Nigerians do not know how to make money from our ordeal. I trust the westerners, by now they will be preparing a case against him in the region of N50million for attempted murder and assault. â€œ
Addressing the police, one Abdullahi Danjuma asked, â€œWhy would police release somebody who attempted to murder someone without the consent of the the victim or his lawyer? This is corruption of the highest level.â€