The police in Lagos State have launched a manhunt for a suspect, identified only as Olaiya, who allegedly led about 25 hoodlums to torture a landlord in the Makoko, Yaba area of the state.
Our correspondent learnt that Olaiya and the hoodlums went to Rafiu Street last Wednesday to construct a fence on a portion of the road and the landlord, Rafiu Ogundele, reported to the police that the construction was illegal.
Eyewitnesses told PUNCH Metro that Olaiya and the hoodlums invaded the street on the following day around 11am and tortured Ogundele for reporting him at the police station.
The landlord’s phones, money and jewellery were also said to have been carted away.
It was gathered that the landlord was brutalised by Olaiya, because he had gone to report the latter to the police at the Adekunle division.
It was gathered that the hoodlums caused panic in the area, as they harassed residents, saying that they had sold the road linking the street and the fence would be built.
Our correspondent learnt that Olaiya, an ex-convict, fled the area after Ogundele was injured.
The landlord is said to be receiving treatment in a private hospital in the area.
When our correspondent visited Ogundele on Tuesday, a younger brother, identified only as Oladimeji, said the hoodlums smashed his brother’s skull and also damaged one of his eyes.
He said, “Our street is directly behind the Celestial Church of Christ headquarters, Makoko. Olaiya brought the blocks for the fence on Tuesday. He said he had sold the road serving the residents of the street, and my brother said that was not possible.
“When Olaiya did not listen, my brother and I went to report to the police at the Adekunle division on Wednesday. I am surprised that on Thursday, around 11am, the man brought hoodlums to my brother’s apartment and beat him up.
“The area boys were armed with cutlasses and bottles. My brother’s offence was that he told Olaiya not to sell the access road and construct a fence on it.
“They smashed his skull and stole his phones, wallet and jewellery. He is still in the hospital. The torture was also reported at the Adekunle division. Olaiya and his hoodlums have fled the area since the day of the incident. I also contacted the Rapid Response Squad. The hoodlums injured my brother’s eyes.”
A landlord, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Akorede Community Development Association, Nureni Adejumo, said constructing on the road serving the street was unacceptable and the CDA had written a petition to the police.
He said, “The hoodlums took everyone by surprise. The leader is a son of a land owner here. But he sold the road serving the street. He is the son of a land owner. When I asked him why he did that, he said I should not meddle in his affairs.
“The road serves as a link to Igbeyinadun and other streets. The hoodlums came on Thursday and beat up one of the landlords. It was God’s intervention that he did not die.”
Efforts to speak with Olaiya as of the time of the visit were not successful as he was said to be unavailable.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, had yet to reply to a text message sent to her phone on the incident.