A trader, Mrs Toyin Fasipe, has allegedly been brutalised by a landlord, Taiwo Bankole, in Lajo, Igbogbo, in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Toyin’s husband, Femi, a pastor, was also allegedly assaulted by the suspect.
The matter was reported at the Igbogbo Police Station, but the police allegedly developed cold feet in arresting the suspect.
The brutalised couple were said to have hired some local vigilantes, aka Onyabo, who apprehended the suspect and took him to the police station.
The Divisional Police Officer, Igbogbo, CSP Ade Balogun, allegedly refused to detain Bankole, who is vying for the chairmanship of the community development association.
The landlord was released the same day and allegedly returned to the community boasting that no one could arrest him because he was a relative of the DPO.
Toyin, a mother of three, said she wanted the suspect to be brought to justice for the injuries she suffered.
She stated, “I was going to fellowship on Sunday, May 31, 2020. My husband had gone ahead of me on a motorcycle.
“While waiting for a motorcycle, my son called me on the phone and I was receiving the call when Bankole rushed at me and asked, ‘Where do you think you are going?’ He punched me while the phone was in my ear. He rained heavy blows on me. I fell and he continued beating me on the ground. As he was pounding me, his wife and neighbours rushed out to hail him.”
PUNCH Metro learnt that some neighbours, who came to the woman’s rescue, called her husband on the phone.
Our correspondent gathered that Femi, who was in a car being driven by another pastor, saw Bankole on the road and decided to confront him.
Bankole allegedly slapped Femi three times and threatened to break the windscreen of the car.
The matter was later reported to the Baale (community leader) of the area, who urged the brutalised couple to report the case at the Igbogbo Police Station.
Toyin said the police, after asking her to go to the Ikorodu General Hospital for treatment, sent a cop to apprehend Bankole, but he was not at home.
She explained, “When we returned to the police station, the officers said my husband and I should go and look for how to arrest Bankole.
“My husband hired Onyabo personnel, who got him arrested that day. When we all got to the station, the DPO asked me how I would feel if the man went to jail. I told him to ask him how he felt punching me.
“I went to the station on Tuesday for an update, but the DPO said the matter had been settled.”
Her husband, Femi, explained that his family had been a target because he refused to support Bankole’s ambition to become the chairman of the CDA.
The cleric said his decision was based on the alleged mismanagement of funds by the landlord when he served as the treasurer of the CDA.
Femi stated, “But the most recent incident, which I believe triggered the attack, was a birthday bash held on the premises of a riot policeman’s house in the community. The youth partied from morning till around 10pm.
“I was called by other landlords, who were fearful of a possible attack on the community.
“Some security operatives later came to send the youth away, but some people started saying that we were the ones, who reported the incident and that we said some of the youth had cutlasses and guns.”
But Bankole denied all the allegations, saying the case had been settled by the police.
He accused the Fasipes of raising false alarms by reporting children of landlords celebrating a birthday as cultists.
Bankole stated, “Iya Tobi (Toyin) stays three streets away from my house. She came to the front of my house on Sunday and started making calls that she was in front of the youth godfather’s house.
“She made threats in front of my house. I went to ask her why she was bent on making trouble. I collected the phone from her and dropped it on the ground.
“She rushed at me and held my clothes. I pushed her away from me. She used her nails to cut herself and started screaming that I had killed her.”
He explained that some minutes later, Femi raced to the scene in a car.
Bankole said Femi hit him in the chest three times and accused him of beating up his wife, while he retaliated with a slap.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, said Bankole was arrested after police personnel went to his house three times, adding that the DPO had no relationship with any of the warring parties.
He said, “After we got the man (Bankole) on the third visit to his house, he was brought to the station. All the CDA executive members came and said they could resolve it internally.
“But as far as the police are concerned, we have done our investigation and the case will be charged.”