The family of 32 -year-old Richard Osakue Ajayi, who is presently detained by the police in Nasarawa Correctional Centre, has sent a save-our-soul (SOS) to President Muhammadu Buhari, Inspector-General of Police( IG), Mohammed Adamu and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF ) to wade into the matter and save him from being killed for the crime he did not commit.
Ajayiwas transferred from Lagos State Police Command to FCT Command in Abuja, before he was sent to Nasarawa Prison.
Richard’s mother, Mrs Grace Ajayi, who spoke to newsmen in Lagos at the weekend said she wanted to keep all the aforementioned persons abreast with the traumatic experience her family is going through in the hands of the police.
She said: ” My son is being roped into a murder case that he knows nothing about. A female lawyer was allegedly murdered last year at Ogba area of Lagos by one Joshua Usulor, who was arrested by policemen from the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba.
“During investigation, the police found some interactions between my son and the suspect. The suspect according to the police, named my son as the alleged sponsor of the murder, but few days later, Usolor changed his statement telling the police that my son was innocent; that he only mentioned him because he was angry at my son, who was owing him some money which he has refused to pay.
“When the police came to pick my son, they were shooting sporadically; asking where were the Dallas, Toyota Highlander? My husband and I were in Benin, Edo State. The following day, we rushed back to Lagos. My neighbours and children narrated how the police turned the street into a theatre of war as they shot sporadically into the air. The policemen nearly shot Richard’s younger sister who was with him.
“At SCIID Panti, the police later discovered through the confessional statement of Usulor that he lied against my son, then they granted my son bail and asked him to be reporting every week. My son’s connection with the suspect was that my son works with a digital training company. He does training for people who are interested in marketing.
“It was through the radio advert that my son did that Usolor heard and came to register with N90 ,000 but refused to come for the training. Later, he started disturbing my son that he should pay him back his money, but my son told him that the money has been paid into the company’s account and promised to refund part of the money when another persons would pay cash.
“Usolor and his people kept disturbing my son, warning that they would deal with him if he failed to pay and that he must not wait till another person come to register as he promised. Richard trying to convince Usolor that he would have paid if he had money, sent him his account balance to convince him that he had no money to pay back.
“While the interaction was going on between the two, Usulor allegedly killed the lawyer. It was through the call log that the police traced my son’s number. But after investigation, SCIID discovered that my son’s interactions with Usolor was basically on lectures and not associated with the murder and granted him bail.
“We were surprised when SCIID told us that Federal Criminal Investigation Department (FCIID) was interested in the case. The Deputy Inspector- General in charge of investigation told us that the police were waiting for the Directorate of Public Prosecution’s (DPP) advice. Really, the DPP advised that my son should be released as he was not connected to the murder .
“After setting my son free because of the DPP’s advice, we were shocked when SCIID came for his arrest again, saying that a new commissioner of police has just resumed office and that the lawyer’s husband petitioned him.
“The police took Richard to Abuja again. This time around, they detained him in Nassarawa Prisons without trial .The questions are: what is my son’s offence when the principal suspect in the murder case has exonerated him and confessed that he did the murder alone? Why are the police not working with the DPP advice and is the lawyer’s husband bigger than the police and the DPP?
“My son has no connection with Usolor, he only met him twice and that were when Usolor came to register in IML institute where my son lectures and when he met him at SCIID ,Panti. Their conversation was given to the police by the service providers and there was nothing linking their discussions to murder. I don’t know what the police want again. My son has suffered enough, a hard working young man who took to lecturing spent about 90 days in police detention and is now in the prisons for a sin he did not commit.
“I am therefore calling on the President, IG, AGF and other Nigerians, to do something urgent so that an innocent person will not die for a crime he did not commit. I am also raising the alarm that my son’s life is not safe in Nassarawa Prison. I am having some dreams and premonition that something sinister may happen to him in the prison custody.
“Please prevail on those who are holding on to my son to release him according to the DPP advise. We have spent money and time paying for flight to and fro Abuja because the roads are bad. We also pay for hotel accommodation. What about the traumatic experience the family is facing for a crime our son did not commit? “.
When journalists visited SCIID, a senior police officer in the homicide section who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “Actually we arrested Usolor for the murder of the female lawyer who was killed in Ogba area of Lagos last year. We saw some interactions with Richard Ajayi, so we arrested him as well, but after investigation, we discovered that Ajayi has no connection with the murder, so we allowed him to go.
“We later got directives to bring him to Abuja. We have written report that Ajayi has no connection with the murder. Also, the DPP has advised that he should be set free. I am shocked to hear that he is in the prison. The man is Innocent. The real suspect told us that he named him out of annoyance for owing him some money. Later, he told the truth that Ajayi is innocent. Well, this is Nigeria, a big man is interested in the matter, but in the truth remains that the man is innocent “.