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Nigerian Man Accuses Police In Ekiti Of Illegal Detention, Framing Him For Attempted Murder After Reporting Invasion Of Farmland By Herdsmen

January 24, 2023

He accused the Divisional Police Officer of the station of framing him over a case he had with herdsmen destroying his farm two years ago.

An Ado-Ekiti-based man in Southwest Nigeria, Joshua Peter, has appealed for the intervention and protection of the Ekiti State Chief Judge and Commissioner of Police in the state from the continued “harassment and trump-up charges” foisted on him by policemen from Odo-Ado police station.


He accused the Divisional Police Officer of the station of framing him over a case he had with herdsmen destroying his farm two years ago.


According to Peter, he had in the past sued the police authorities for shielding herders whose cows destroyed his farm.


In a petition addressed to Ekiti Chief Judge and the police commissioner, the man narrated how he was framed by police personnel attached to Odo-Ado station on January 19.


He added that he was illegally detained and tortured by the officers.


“I of the above name and address, on the 19th January 2023 at about 10:48 pm on this fateful day, I was in my room sleeping with my kids and my wife and my mother were still awake in the parlour checking the children's assignment, all of a sudden at 10:48 pm, she heard someone talking inside my compound close to my farm because my house is built on an acre of land, where I have my farm as well and it's at the extreme end of the street, there is no road inside it nor any other house after mine, so when she heard the voice of a man and a 10 year- old child, she then asked who was there?


“The man answered, I am the one, so my wife asked him where were you going inside my compound because there is no road there? Then he said can't he walk on the street again, and that he is passing by, so my mother came to wake me up in the room, that there was someone inside my compound, immediately I woke up and wanted to go outside but my wife refused me to go out that they may be much outside and wanted to come inside and harm us using this tactics, so I stayed in and put off all the lights inside the house and I monitor him and called fellow landlords in the community, when we started challenging him he left the farm with the child and passed through the back of our window.


“So when I saw him leave the farm, I came out with a cutlass and torchlight for self-defense with fellow landlords as well, I then pointed the torchlight to his face and asked him three questions. Who are you? Where are you going? And what are you looking for at this time of the night with a little child of 10 years old? And he said they were walking and I asked him, walking to where at this time and he said who was I to ask him where he was walking to, I then pointed the torchlight to his face so I can see him if he was someone I know from the community, only for him to point the torch with him on my face and was shouting at me.


“He later told us that he was strolling with his son, then he said he wanted to beat his son when he saw him smoking and the son ran out of the house that night and he pursued him and got him. So he wanted to take him round that night for him to see how dark everywhere was, so he will be scared of running out of the house next time. I then told him it wasn’t good for him to walk at this time of the night, not to talk of walking in someone's compound with a small boy that's a bit fenced.”

He continued, “Since he said he is a Pastor and from Edo State, we asked him to follow a particular road and go straight and I asked the son to beg the father that night that he will not smoke and run out of the house again and immediately the son prostrated and apologized to the father that he won't do that again and also to all the landlords at that night, we now asked him to be going and not branch anywhere, so he left and all the landlords and landladies went inside, not up to 2hours around 1:30 am, I heard a heavy knock on my door and shouting, open the door, it's the police, open the door they were shouting heavily, then we opened the door and we greeted them.”


He added that he was asked to report to Odo-Ado police station where he was tortured and subsequently charged to court.


“The police now said the DPO wanted to see me to settle the matter, and I said which matter? At this time of the night? The police now said they have called the DPO, he wants to settle the matter between me and the man who invaded my property, that the DPO was in the office waiting for me, so I called other landlords again to inform them, so they said I should follow them. So I and my wife followed them, on getting to the station, they now said the DPO was not around immediately. They put me in the cell and assaulted me. Later, they said I should come and write a statement around 1:00 am but they insisted I write a different time on it. After writing the statement, they returned me back to the cell and when it was around 7:00 am, the DPO and later the DCO came and asked me if maybe I was the one that did a cow case some time ago with them and I said yes. They both left immediately, and almost all the police officers in Odo Ado station that morning were harsh and angry at me.


“They said it was time to deal with me, unknowingly to me that they are now acting under the cow case to attack me. I asked to see the complainant that morning but they refused, later I heard that they took the boy to hospital for X-ray but when they came from the hospital they didn't come with the result of the X-ray. The police didn't do any investigation up till now as I write this letter, the IPO and police didn't investigate anything, they didn't come to my house where the incident happened, no investigation was carried out.

“The only thing the IPO told me was that he is taking me to court by 9:00 am, and I ask him how do we go to court when he hasn’t investigated the matter, he said I should not worry that when we get there, I will know, then one policewoman gave my wife a number that he is the lawyer that will help defend me in the case that she should call him, so the woman called the man with her phone and gave to my wife to speak with him, so the police brought 2 bike man and carried me to court.


“Before leaving for the court, I heard the police saying he was the one that wrote against one officer Clement over headmen’s invasion of his farm. It's now time to deal with him, when we got to the court, they took us to court 13, later court 9, then court 7 where the case was heard.”


He accused the police of backdating the charge, saying “instead of on the 19th January 2023 at 10:45 pm they wrote 18th January 2023”.

He said, “The charge was murder assault and kidnapping.

“The Judge has to tell the police to change the first charge to attempted murder, without hearing from me or asking for proper information about the matter, I was granted bail with N50,000:00. With two sureties and the case was adjourned to 13th February 2023.


“Before we finished the bail bond and got home around 8:10 pm that fateful day, I discovered my big generator had been stolen from the house and I obtained a loan to buy this generator.

“And the suspects in my mind are the man that came to my house in the night and the policemen at Odo Ado station, when I went inside the farm, I found a rope there which was not there before, also the man told me he knows me and my family very well and he knows my house of which he said he missed his way that very night and the policemen at the station told me that it was time for them to deal with me, and they also said it in court, now they have done their worst, my generator is missing within 12hours they detained me, I found a rope close to the poultry farm.


“I and my family live are at risk as the police at Odo Ado are still planning to set me up with kidnapping and other charges. If that man had succeeded to tie that child in my compound or farm that night and the police came to search my farm and find the child their as planned, what would have been the story by now? Because when I was going round the place, I found a rope there that I don't know where it came from.


“Is it that it is risky for someone to fight for his rights in this country? Imagine a case of 2 years ago, the police in Odo Ado just want to take revenge. A copy of the petition when the cows were eating my crops 2 years ago is also attached to this petition for documentation.”