Victor Essiet, the band leader of the popular Nigerian Reggae band 'Mandators' has opened up about the story of his arrest that made the rounds recently.
Mandators legendary singer says he was kidnapped not arrested
In his version of events, Essiet said he was kidnapped and not arrested.
"These all started last year when one ‘Supol Nda’ led members of SARS on November 29, 2014 to the venue of our First Annual Festival ‘Africa Meets Reggae and World Music International Festival’ held at Hockey Pitch, National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. I was attacked and seriously brutalised which led to AMR loosing over Two hundred million Naira in the process and I was hospitalised for months.
However, I had to follow due process by seeking redress in the court of law, against all the parties involved as it is done in America where I reside and other countries in the western world. We have been attending court sessions without any of the respondents showing up in court, as it was very difficult serving all the people involved, but at last my attorneys have to apply options provided by the law to get everyone served. And the first appearance of everyone mentioned in the suit was to be on Monday, June 29, 2015 two days after the burial of my late elder brother which was on June 29, 2015. They tried to Kidnap me again" said the veteran music act.
He went on to say police officers have been trying to kidnap him. He also said they have been making threatening phone calls to his lawyers. According to Victor Essiet these men warned his lawyers not to show up in court.
"Unknown to me, the Police were planning to get me kidnapped because I had to seek a redress in the court against them and the individual whom they collaborated with, to infringe on my fundamental human rights. This, they achieved on Saturday morning at about 2:30 am. They came in a convoy, numbering fifteen with mask on their faces, armed to the teeth and forcefully took me away from the company of my friends and family members who were with me coming back from the wake keep of my late brother at our family compound, going to Uyo so I could take my brother’s corpse in the morning back to my village for burial. This happened in the middle of the road.
‘ am saying so because I realised that they were not all members of the Police force. I was able to spot two of them. They had difficulty trying to identify me from my other friends who were in the vehicle with me and also had dread locks like me. In the process of trying to identify me, both pulled their masks.
‘Only three were Police officers while others were civilians. This was so because when the attempted kidnap was botched by the press together with the fact that some of our people saw their faces, instruction was given to them to drive me back to Lagos, I could recognise three of the Policemen who were there during the stadium attack.’ Talking about how the whole matter began, Victor said he tried to help someone who betrayed his trust and is now threatening to destroy him by all means. ‘As the individual that I helped to get a Mack truck for in America since he didn’t have enough money to purchase the same here in Nigeria, refused to pay me the five thousand dollars that I put down to be able to secure the truck for him.
Instead, he gave me a hundred and fifty thousand naira and that led to my disassociation from him. In other to avoid paying me the money, he decided to go and deal with the company directly after one year and two months without my knowledge but when he got his fingers burnt, he came back, trying to put it on me that he gave me eighty-six thousand dollars for five trucks.
I dare him to prove with evident his claims in the law court and stop using his Police friends to try to intimidate and brutalize me, get me kidnapped and killed. ‘At this point, I would like to let the world know that even my attorney was threatened on the 29th of June by an unknown phone call not to appear in court. So he had to go to Human Right Commission to seek company. Should anything happen to me or my family members, my attorneys, my employees and associates etc., the Police force and the AIG should be held responsible" narrated the Mandators band leader.
The Mandators was the biggest Reggae group in Nigerian from the late 80's to the early 90's. One of their albums reportedly sold half a million copies.
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