Some soldiers, who were reportedly acting on the orders of a Lagos landlord, on Saturday allegedly tortured an asthmatic patient on Lekki Palm City Estate, Ajah, Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the soldiers, who were five in number, stormed the estate with the landlord and an agent after a disagreement.
The soldiers were said to have flogged a tenant, identified only as Ayoyemi and his younger brother, till the latter passed out.
The victim, who was reported to be asthmatic, was rushed to a hospital where he was allegedly stabilised.
A resident, who did not want to be identified, said trouble started after Ayoyemi, a nurse, moved into the house in March 2018.
He said, “The tenant needed an apartment and went on an online advert platform where he got the contact of the agent, called Dominic. The agent informed him that the apartment available was N1.3m per annum.
“Ayoyemi paid N1m, including N100,000 agency fee. He later paid an additional N250,000, remaining N50,000, which he promised to pay later.
“After all the payments, the agent told him that the landlord would like to speak to him on the telephone. The landlord said he did not want young men in the apartment. Ayoyemi was angry that he was just telling him after he had paid. He asked for a refund, but the landlord refused.
“Last week Saturday, some policemen barged into the house and claimed that they came from Alagbon with a petition to search the room. They saw a laptop in Ayoyemi’s room and asked what he was doing with it. He unlocked the laptop for them and after the search, they did not find anything incriminating.”
The resident said on Thursday, the agent came to the house and Ayoyemi challenged him for not picking his calls during the time the policemen visited the house.
He explained that Ayoyemi’s younger brother alleged that the agent and the landlord gave their names (the siblings) to the police.
The unidentified brother was said to have been involved in a scuffle with the agent during which Dominic’s phone fell and the screen was shattered.
The disagreement reportedly made the tenant to decide to quit the apartment and he asked the agent to call the landlord on the spot to communicate his decision to him.
“During the telephone conversation, the landlord said he only gave the tenant’s name to the residents association on the estate. He told Ayoyemi that he would give him a notice to quit the following day.
“Later, the landlord changed his words and said if he wanted to leave he could leave, but he would not refund the rent until he found a new tenant.
“On Friday, while the tenant was away at work, the agent came back to the house with a policeman from the Ajiwe Police Station. The policeman spoke to Ayo on the telephone and said his attention was needed at the station,” he added.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Ayoyemi promised to honour the invitation.
However, on Saturday, the tenant was reportedly preparing to go out when some soldiers, accompanied by the landlord and agent, allegedly stormed the house.
“Three of the soldiers were in uniform; one wore camouflage trousers and the last one just put on a camouflage cap. The five soldiers did not wear name tags.
“It was the new tenant that they beat up first. When his brother came outside, they beat him up as well. They did not allow them to utter a word. They used belts and AC hose to torture the three of them, including a friend who had visited. But Ayoyemi’s brother was the worst hit. When he collapsed, they asked Ayoyemi to get his inhaler. When the brother could not find it on time, the landlord and the agent dashed into their cars and left.
“The estate Chief Security Officer later reprimanded the landlord for using soldiers and said they could have invited policemen to handle the matter,” the resident said.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the police at the Ajiwe division later informed Ayoyemi that the agent, Dominic, petitioned the police, saying he was attacked at the house and money was stolen from his bag.
When our correspondent contacted the nurse on Sunday, he confirmed the incident, but said some landlords on the estate had begged him to let the matter go.
He noted that some friends had also advised him against taking up the case.
Efforts to reach Dominic and the landlord were abortive.