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Former Domestic Workers Of Femi Fani-Kayode Cry Out From Police Detention, Allege Ex-Minister Had Them Arrested, Tortured Over Unpaid Salaries



Some former domestic staff of a former minister of aviation in Nigeria, Mr Femi Fani Kayode have cried out over their arrest, torture and detention by the Nigerian Police Force on his orders.

A family member of one of the former staff alleged that Fani-Kayode illegally ordered the arrest of one Benjamin, Diamond and Okikiola after they appealed to him to pay them three months unpaid salaries.

Instead of paying them, the source said, the former minister got them detained and tortured in Abuja.

He said, “On Friday 5th of June, 2020 in Ile Ife, Osun State at about 10:30 am, our brothers; Benjamin, Diamond and Okikiola were picked up by some SARS personnel and taken to Abuja at their Abattoir station on the order of Femi-Fani Kayode.

“After they had appealed to him to pay them their unpaid salaries, he first locked them up at a police station in Abuja for four days after which he ordered their release and subsequently sacked them.

“Since then, they have been pleading with him to pay them their salaries until the fateful Friday, when they were arrested and they are still in the custody of SARS at Abattoir and they are being tortured.”

He alleged that after the men were abducted and taken to Abuja, they were held incommunicado despite pleas to Fani-Kayode to let them go.

“No one would have known where they are till now if not for one of them that secretly sent a text message to his family to hint them of what happened to them because, initially, their bigger phones had been confiscated.

“He has vowed to waste them because of the several appeals they sent to him via text, voice messages and emissaries. It’s been 10 days since they have been undergoing inhuman treatment in the hands of the SARS,” the family source added.

When contacted for his reaction to the allegations, Fani-Kayode’s lawyer, Henry Dimgba, said that the former domestic staff of the ex-allegedly threatened his life, which led to their arrest by the police.

He said, “Nothing of that nature is happening. The boys were working for him, one was sacked, two decided to leave with the one that was sacked.

“They have terms of employment that states that if you are sacked, no salary for the month and if you resign without giving two weeks notice, no salary again for you, so if you want to resign you have to give two weeks notice to be entitled to your salary.

“One person was sacked and two of them followed him and said that they were leaving in solidarity and Chief (Femi Fani Kayode) said that there was no problem and that they should leave. But instead of leaving, they started causing confusion within the premises.

“They made noise and threatened to burn down the house, kill everybody in the house and so on. The policemen in the house tried to stop them, but they refused. When they got outside the gate, they went haywire and it took the intervention of the DPO of Asokoro Police Station and even when the DPO came, the boys couldn’t be controlled.

“They started threatening that they would kill the man, kill everybody and burn the house. That was when they were arrested and taken to the police station, where they agreed and signed an undertaking that they would not do things like that again and it was even Chief (Fani-Kayode) that brought surety for them because they couldn’t provide one.

“They were released and after they regained freedom, they came to the house on their own and I have the video. They tendered an apology and asked to see Chief (Fani-Kayode) and he said he didn’t want to see them. It was his wife who received them and gave them N50,000 for transport to go back home.

“After they left, a week or two later, they started another threat. They said they would kill him, kill his family and everyone related to him. They sent threat messages to facebook messenger, SMS, WhatsApp, they did a voice note and even mentioned their names that they were the ones sending the messages and that if he liked he should call the police.

“They accused him of murder, accused him of rape and all sorts of things. It became so much that we had to write a petition to the Commissioner of Police. From the petition, investigation started and they were arrested again in Ile-Ife and they are currently in custody.

“A day after they were arrested, we got a detention order from the court to detain them for two weeks pending the investigation of the matter.

“Somebody said that they’re protesting over unpaid salaries, one person was sacked — two of them joined, what is N100,000 salary? Nobody is being detained unlawfully, he is not intimidating or harassing them, it is a serious case of threat to life and conspiracy to murder.

“On the issue of allegations of rape that they raised, when they printed the messages that they sent where they alleged that Chief (Fani-Kayode) raped some girls, the police invited the girls; about three of them. They came all the way from Kaduna to Abuja and they were questioned, interrogated and they said nothing of that nature ever happened.”

A source in the family of one of the detained men however, called on well-meaning Nigerians to intervene to secure the release of the three men, who he said were in danger.

“Help save our brothers’ lives, no one under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has the right to hold a fellow citizen for more than 24 hours without being charged to a law court, this is a democratic era and not a military era,” he said.