By Adeola Ogunrinde in Lagos
Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday approved the immediate suspension of the Baale of Shangisha in Magodo, Chief Yusuf Ogundare, for faking his kidnap, which allegedly took place on July 5 along the Center for Management Development (CMD) Road in Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of the state.
In a memo with reference number OLGAS.83/S./Vol.1 dated July 13, 2017 addressed to the Sole Administrator of Ikosi-Isheri LCDA and signed by the state’s Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Hon Teslim Folami, Governor Ambode directed Ogundare to stop parading himself henceforth as the Baale of the community till further notice.
According to the memo, Folami said: “I am directed to convey the approval of His Excellency, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, of the suspension of Chief Yusuf Ogundare, Baale of Shangisha with immediate effect in accordance with Section 38 subsection 1 of the Obas and Chiefs Laws of Lagos State, which states that “the Governor may suspend or depose any Oba or chief whether appointed or after commencement of this law, if he is satisfied that such suspension of disposition is required according to customary law or is necessary in the interest of peace and good government.
“You are to communicate the decision to the chieftain to stop parading himself as Baale of Shangisha with immediate effect,” Folami said.
Ogundare’s suspension was approved by the Governor moments after the Lagos State Police Command paraded him alongside his younger brother, Mohammed Adams, for conspiring to fake the alleged kidnap.
Adams, on the fateful day, reported the alleged kidnap incidence to the police.
Speaking while parading the two suspects, the state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, said the Command on July 5 received the report of Ogundare’s alleged kidnap, and immediately swung into action in collaboration with other security agencies especially the Department of State Service (DSS).
Owoseni said luck, however, ran out on Ogundare when he was apprehended by men of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) in Alausa area of the state on July 11 after he was dropped in a suspicious manner by a car which sped off immediately.
Giving details of how Ogundare was apprehended, Owoseni said: “On July 11 at about 10pm, a team of RRS patrol officers working around Alausa had sighted a vehicle drop a male adult in a suspicious manner close by Shoprite along the Secretariat road. The speed with which that car drove off attracted them to that spot and fortunately before they got to the spot, the car had taken off and a quick enquiry revealed that it was the Baale that was allegedly kidnapped.
“Immediately after while Ogundare was being debriefed, he sold a dummy that the kidnappers dropped him off but unknowingly to him, it had been found out that on the 5th of July, the day he was allegedly kidnapped in Lagos, investigation had revealed that he was driving around in Ibadan around Ashi; he went to Ilorin, he went to Iwo, he was just on a frolic.
“And unknowingly to him as well that because of information that had gotten to security services that his younger brother and his wife were being questioned and were actually in custody because of some discrepancies that were noticed in the interaction they had with security agencies, and in furtherance of the synergy existing between the Police and DSS, we jointly compared notes and our findings were such that the act of the chief was despicable and amounted to crying wolf where there is none,” Owoseni said.
He said while making reports, Adams had told security agencies that he was with the Baale at CMD Hotel when some people who claimed they wanted to buy land whisked them away and later dropped him, but investigation revealed that he (Adams) was not at any time in the hotel with the Baale but was only at the restaurant of the hotel, and after some minutes, he left, and the wife of the Baale actually drove the Venza car allegedly used to abduct the supposed victim into the hotel.
The CP added that after the suspects were confronted with the indisputable facts, they had no choice than to confess faking the kidnap.
The CP said immediately after Ogundare was allegedly kidnapped, Adams went to the community and called the town crier to order the whole community to close shops and markets should not open, an action aimed at inciting members of the community against the State Government.
He said the objective of the suspects was to falsely accuse the Oba of Shangisha as the brain behind the kidnapping, which they indeed did, as a vengeance to him being installed the Oba instead of Ogundare, and also embarrassed the State Government and as well as security agencies for arresting him (Ogundare) when he falsely displayed the plate number of Oba of Shangisha on his car.
Also speaking, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem also demanded the unconditional release of the six children kidnapped from Igbonla Model College since May 25.
He said it was disheartening that while the State Government and security agencies were working round the clock to secure the release of the children, some unscrupulous persons deemed it fit to raise false alarm.
He said it was situations as this that prompted the Governor to sign the Anti-Kidnapping bill into law, assuring that the Government would not hesitate to prosecute anyone who runs fowl of the law.
He said Section 5 of the anti-kidnapping Law prescribes that “a person who overtly or covertly puts himself forward to be kidnapped or abducted by another for the purpose of extracting money or ransom, from another or for any other reason commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to fourteen (14) years imprisonment.”
“Nothing can be more despicable and heinous than to raise false alarm where there is none. This is even more despicable when we consider the plight of these children that were recently kidnapped and are still being held by the kidnappers.
“Let me sound a very serious note of warning that we have zero tolerance for crimes against the State. No matter how high or low you may be in the society, you can be assured that we will bring you to justice if you commit a crime.
He also urged them not to rest on their oars but continue to go all out to ensure that the State remains safe and secured for residents and investors.