Lagos Authorities Keep Mum Over Alleged Release Of Two Murder Suspects From Custody

The Lagos State Ministry of Justice has kept mum over the alleged release of two murder suspects –Ogunbayo Waliu and Mukaila Salami – from custody.


The suspects, who are members of the Oodua People’s Congress, were remanded in December 2020 over the alleged killing of a Togolese, Frank Afanvi, in the Ayobo area of Lagos.

Frank was a French teacher, but became a security guard on Abiola Farm Estate, Ayobo, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 38-year-old Togolese, who was the only graduate in his family, was lured from church to where he was allegedly beaten to death by the OPC members, who claimed that a car battery thief implicated him.

Frank’s family, however, claimed that he was a victim of jealousy, saying the OPC men were angry that he was guarding an estate that should be under their jurisdiction.

The case, which was investigated by the Ayobo Police Division, was transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba.

Out of the nine suspects arrested by the division, the SCIID charged two with murder.

Waliu and Salami were remanded by Chief Magistrate A.O. Adedayo of the Yaba Magistrates’ Court 1.

The deceased’s brother, Peter, said he sighted the OPC leader, Waliu, on the street recently. Our correspondent also spoke to the suspect several times on the phone.

Forty-six-year-old Waliu and Salami, 42, were supposed to be in custody pending the release of legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.

Investigations by our correspondent showed that the legal advice was not released, because the police failed to include the autopsy report in the file sent to the DPP.

Without the autopsy result, the legal advice will not be issued, and without the advice, the suspects’ case cannot go to trial at the state High Court.

The autopsy report has, however, been out since January 25, 2021.

A copy of the result obtained by our correspondent stated that the death was primarily caused by “16 multiple injuries” and secondarily by “cervical sharp pain.”

Peter said the police never involved the family in the arraignment, adding that efforts to also know the adjournment date were thwarted by the police.

Peter, however, said after the involvement of the Police Complaint Response Unit, the family was informed on Tuesday that the case was adjourned for that same day.

“The case was adjourned to today (Tuesday) and nobody told us till now. We were later informed that the court did not sit and the case had been adjourned till April 26. We don’t know the reason for it and we don’t know what is going on” he added.

The Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Kayode Oyekanmi, did not take his calls, which rang several times on Tuesday.

Messages sent to his WhatsApp line on March 24 and 30 were not responded to as well.

Peter also said the Lagos Mainland Hospital mortuary, where Frank’s corpse was deposited, had yet to explain how one of his hands disappeared from the morgue despite the body being complete when the police brought it.

Meanwhile, PUNCH Metro learnt that Frank’s father, who slumped and died after watching the video of his alleged torture, had been buried.    ,,

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