26th August, 2010
A trader, Martins Asiegbu, has accused officials of Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) of detaining him and 30 others in a Black Maria unjustly for 12 hours because they could not pay N11,000 demanded from each of them.
The Abia State-born trader who deals in second-hand clothing said he and others were detained inside a Black Maria by KAI officials last Thursday for 12 hours at the Alausa office of the squad simply because they could not pay the amount demanded by KAI officials.
”I reside at Abule Egba from where I go to Ajah everyday to display my wares. Around 4 p.m. at Berger Bus Stop, Ajah, I was arrested along with others by KAI officials who pushed us into a Black Maria.
”A bus painted in Lagos State colour was behind us carrying armed soldiers from Op.MESSA squad.
â€œWhen we arrived at the KAI office at Alausa around 7 p.m, the officials demanded N10,000 and another N1,000 as â€˜gate passâ€™ from each of us. Four of those arrested paid and were released. Those of us who could not pay were left inside the Black Maria till the following morning.
â€œWe were allowed to call our friends or relations on phone. I called my neighbour, Ajayi Adewale who came from Abule Egba to assist me. I paid N5,000 which they had earlier rejected before they allowed me to go.
â€œAs at the time I regained my freedom, over 100 people were still being detained in a container designated as ”detention camp.” Some of them have been there for four days.
â€œWhen we got to their office at Alausa, they were hostile to us. They did not allow anyone to talk or make any request. Those who did not cooperate with them were maltreated,” he narrated.
Contacted on phone, the Public Relations Officer of KAI, Mr. Tunde Olusesi, refused toÂ comment on the matter, saying he was not allowed to talk to journalists.