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Authority Blunder "Missing" Ghanaian found in prison after three months

A young Ghanaian who was declared missing by the family was actually arrested in a raid by the police and clamped in prison.

  • Published:
Mensah Etroo play

Mensah Etroo

(Punch)

Mensah Etroo, a 21-year-old Ghanaian declared missing by his family about three months ago, was actually arrested by men of the Nigerian Police during a raid and was remanded at the Ikoyi Prison when he could not pay the required bail .

The young man who could have been languishing now in jail without committing any offense, has the press to thank for publicising the case which happened in Ikota, Ajah area of Lagos.

According to Etroo, the police had raided the area on March 14, 2015, and arrested people indiscriminately.

While at the station, those who had money to give to the officers at the Ajah Police Station, were let go or allowed to call their people to come and bail them but for him, he had no money and no means of reaching his people.

So after being detained for few days, he was charged to court and remanded in prison where he spent three good months.

Meanwhile, the Lagos Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Kenneth Nwosu, had told journalists that the young man was never arrested by the police at anytime.

Etroo explained his ordeals:

“On that morning, at about 6am, I was at a shop to buy a tube of toothpaste. I saw everyone running. I did not run because I had not committed any offence. Suddenly, a man grabbed me from behind, handcuffed me and threatened to shoot me if I ran.

They arrested about 40 persons from the street. They had a big bus. They took all of us to the Ajah division and lined us at the station. Four women were among us. They took some of us to the Elemoro Police Station. We were in Elemoro for four days.

That was where I called my brother. While we spoke, I told him we were arrested by policemen from the Ajah station, I was about telling him I had been taken to Elemoro when a police woman, Juliana Adeniyi, snatched the mobile phone from me.

By the following Tuesday, family members had come to bail most of us. It remained about six of us inside the cell. I could not reach my family because the police woman did not return my mobile phone. I did not have their contacts off hand.

On that day, we were arraigned at the Tinubu Magistrates’ Court and four of us were taken to Ikoyi Prison from there.

That was where I had been for three months. The three others were Olaosebikan Temitope, Stephen Adjei, and one Rasak. I am the only Ghanaian. The three others also said they were innocent on the matter.”

Etroo added that the four of them kept appearing in court with no complainant and prosecutor till the magistrate struck out the case on Tuesday, June 16.

“The four of us kept appearing in the court until June 16, when the magistrate declared us acquitted and discharged. I begged for money to pay for my transport fares back to Ajah. I thank God that I am back home at last.”

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