Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has been accused of using the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) to arrest, torture and detain former domestic staff after they asked to be paid three months’ salary owed them.
A family member of one of the former domestic staff said the chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) allegedly ordered the arrest of one Benjamin, Diamond, and Okikiola.
The source told SaharaReporters that, “On the 5th of June, 2020, a Friday, at Ife, in 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.
“What is their offense? Their offense is that they demanded for their salary having worked for him for 3 months without payment at his house at Aso Villa, Abuja.
“After several appeals to pay them, he first locked them up at a Police station in Abuja for four days after which he ordered their release and subsequent dismissal from his employment.
“Since then, they have been pleading with him for their salary, till the faithful Friday when they were arrested and they are still in the custody of the SARS at Abattoir and they are being tortured.”
The family source alleged that Fani-Kayode had the men abducted and taken to Abuja, where they were held incommunicado.
Threat To Life
When contacted to react to the allegations, Femi Fani-Kayode’s lawyer Henry Dimgba, disclosed that the staff were arrested because they threatened the life of the former Minister.
Explaining, Dimgba said: “There is nothing of that nature happening. The boys were working for him, one was sacked, two decided to leave with the one that was sacked.
“Now they have terms of employment which is 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 was sacked and two followed him that they are leaving in solidarity and chief (Femi Fani-Kayode) said no problem they should leave after which 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 and they refused, when they got outside the gate, they escalated and it took the intervention of the area DPO Asokoro Police station and even when the DPO came, the boys couldn’t be controlled.
“They unleashed threats as to how they will kill the man, kill everybody and burn the house. They were arrested and taken to the police station where they agreed and signed am undertaking that they will not do things like that again and it was even chief (Fani-Kayode) that even brought surety for them because they couldn’t provide one.
“They were released and after their regained freedom, they came to the house on their own which video I have, tendered apology and asked to see chief (Fani-Kayode) and he said no he doesn’t want to see them, it was his wife who recieved them and Madam gave them N50,000 for transport to go back home.
“After they left, a week or two later, the threats started. They said they will kill him, his family and everyone related to him, they sent it on messenger, on SMS, through WhatsApp, they did a voice note and even mentioned their name that they are the ones sending it and if he likes he should use police.
“They accused him of murder, accused him of rape and all sorts of things, it became to much that we had to write a petition to the Commissioner of police. From the petition, an 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 investigation of the matter.
“Somebody said that they’re protesting for salary, one person was sacked — the 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.”