MOTHER LUCK: Car dealer escapes death trap laid
Alhaji Abdul Ganiyu Kolade
BUT for divine intervention and some elements of
good luck, a Lagos-based auto mechanic and motor dealer, Alhaji
Abdul Ganiyu Kolade, would have been killed like a common criminal
by some officers and men of the Kaduna State police command late
According to Midweek Tribune investigation, the
journey of the 36-year-old man who has dual citizenship of Nigeria
and Senegal, into the the world beyond would have been caused by
what appeared initially as a mere business transaction.
Midweek Tribune gathered that Alhaji Kolade
whose father is from Ibadan, and his mother, a Senegalese, had on
Thursday, August 26, 2005 been approached by one Alhaji Ado, a
middle-aged man who brought business to him and a stranger called
Alhaji Shuaibu Mohammed who offered to buy four Jeeps from him at
The transaction according to Midweek Tribune
findings took place in his office at No 1-5 Jimade close, off Matori
Street, Ladipo, Papa-Ajao, Mushin, Lagos. In a chat with the Midweek
Tribune, the complainant who had since intimated the Inspector
General of police, Mr. Sunday Ehindero, about his close shave with
death, told his story thus:
On the 26th of August, 2005, one Alhaji Ado who
resides in Agege and a man brought one Alhaji Shuaibu Mohammed who
sells cars in Kaduna to me with the purpose of patronising me. The
said Alhaji Shuaibu saw four Jeeps in my office which included one
Honda CRV, two RAV 4 Jeeps and Harrier Jeep and he offered to buy
all the cars. We now agreed on N7.5 million as the price of the cars
because they were all fairly used.
Out of the said amount, he deposited almost
immediately a sum of N4.180 million but with a condition that I must
deliver the cars to him in his showroom in Kaduna State, promising
to offset all the expenses which I would incure in the process of
bringing the cars to Kaduna.
I asked him why he was attaching that condition
when he could easily make arrangements to take the cars to his base,
he responded by saying that whenever he brought cars to his
customers, there were always complaints about the seizure of those
cars by the officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service on the
road while in transit by the respective drivers who helped to drive
the cars to their owners.
I therefore assured him that we were not likely
to be faced with such a problem since all our vehicles have genuine
documents that were got when importing them into the country and the
prompt payment of the customs duty on the cars. I however told him
that if he was ready to pay our charges, we would deliver the cars
to him at his own risk, just as I asked him how the remaining
balance of N3.120 million would be paid.
He said as soon as I delivered the four cars to
him in Kaduna, he would pay me the balance of N3.120 million. But at
the time the negotiation were going on between us, Alhaji Ado had
gone back to his place at Ikeja Airport where he works. I called him
on his GSM handset if he could vouch for the new customer he had
just brought to me and he said there would be no problem if I agree
to the terms of agreement with Alhaji Shuaibu Mohammed.
To start with, I first took two cars to Kaduna
and delivered them to him and later came back to Lagos to take the
remaining two RAV 4 cars with the purpose of delivering them to him
in Kaduna also. Unfortunately, while on my way back to Kaduna, one
of the RAV 4 cars developed mechanical fault . When he did not see
me at the appointed time, Alhaji Shuaibu called me on the telephone
and I explained to him that the mechanical fault on the car could
not be rectified on the road except if I tried to take it back to
Lagos, for repairs and he agreed I should do exactly as I told him.
However, before I got back to Lagos, Alhaji
Shuaibu had called my elder sister and informed her that he wanted
to buy my Lexus Jeep LX470 in addition to the four Jeeps he had
bought from me. My sister, Ms Nafisatu Kolade, did not hesitate to
tell him that he should pay a sum of N5 million for the Lexus Jeep
but she said Alhaji Shuaibu offered to pay N4.5 million. And on my
arrival in Lagos when my sister informed me about the latest
development, I called Alhaji Shuaibu and he confirmed the story.
He said as soon as I finished the rectification
of the problem on the faulty RAV4 Jeep, I should quickly come with
the three cars to Kaduna so that he could pay me off immediately.
When I thought of the magnitude of the amount involved and I was
doubtful if Alhaji Shuaibu Mohammed could afford to pay me such. I
called him and told him that the money was too much, considering the
total sum which he had to pay me on my arrival at Kaduna.
During our conversation on the telephone, he
assured me he would pay me if I deliver the vehicles. Then I
proceeded to Kaduna with the cars and delivered the cars to him on
my arrival at Kaduna in the company of those who assisted me to
drive the Jeeps to Kaduna. After we delivered the cars to him,
Alhaji Shuaibu Mohammed gave me N80,000 to give my escorts so that
they could return to Lagos. He thereafter asked one of his boys,
named Shuaibu Junior to take me to an hotel called White Hotel so
that I could lodge there.
When we got to the hotel, to my surprise, he did
not pay for my hotel accommodation and he did not instruct the said
Shuaibu Junior to do so on his behalf. The following day, the boy,
Shuaibu Junior came and took me to their office which is situated at
N0 J.S.34 Junction Road, Kaduna South from my hotel room. In his
office, Alhaji Shuaibu told me that he had some financial
constraints adding that he had approached a branch of All States
Trust Bank, Kaduna for credit facility and that the request was
turned down because the management of the bank had allegedly decided
not to grant credit facility to the bank customers that period.
He then pleaded with me to bear with him and
wait for the next two weeks to collect the money he owed me.
According to Alhaji Shuaibu Mohammed, there were people who owed him
and who could not pay just as he also informed me that he had sold
the CRV Honda car as he promised to pay me off, so that I could go
back to Lagos whenever he gets the money.
I reasoned with him, but I demanded my hotel
accommodation fee from him, to which he said he had no money. Alhaji
Mohammed advised that I should pay the bill and keep all the
receipts so that he could make necessary refunds later. I was
brought back to the hotel in the night of that fateful day by Alhaji
Shuaibu Junior, but in the midnight, I couldn’t sleep till day
break. The following morning, I went to meet Alhaji Shuaibu Mohammed
in his office and demanded that he should give me one of the Jeeps,
particularly, my Lexus LX470 so that I could go and park it in my
hotel with a condition that if he pays me for the vehicle with the
earlier agreed price, I would hand over the Lexus Jeep 470 to him.
I stated further that when I got to the hotel, I
would keep the car keys with the hotel manager. He disagreed with
the arrangement while I bluntly told him that I would not allow him
to keep my Jeep in his showroom unless he paid for it. We later
reached an agreement on the matter and the Lexus Jeep was given to
me as myself and Alhaji Shuaibu Junior both drove in the car to the
hotel. After parking the car in the hotel’s premises, I handed over
the car keys to the hotel manager as promised in the presence of
Alhaji Shuaibu Junior.
From then on, I remained in the hotel for the
next two weeks. But surprisingly, the very day Alhaji Mohammed was
to pay me for the cars, he refused to show up and he did not phone
me as well. I called him persistently from 8:am till 4:pm, in his
conversation with me on the telephone, he said he was arranging the
money. But at exactly 5 p.m, about eight (8) policemen came to my
hotel in a police van. Four of the policemen came to my room and
banged my door repeatedly. I quickly opened the door for them and I
asked what I could do for them.
They chorused that they were in the hotel to
search my room and I demanded that on what account did they want to
do that. But they replied almost immediately that I was a suspect.
They did not even have the courtesy of allowing me to change my
dress. After the search that lasted for about thirty minutes, which
yielded nothing as no incriminating thing was found either on me or
inside my room, they brought me downstairs and ordered that I should
follow them to Kaduna State Criminal Investigating Department (SCID)
The policemen saw the Lexus Jeep at the car park
and they requested that they would take the Jeep along with them. An
argument ensued because they handled me roughly. Later some curious
people around were attracted to the scene because of the humiliation
to which I was subjected to by the policemen. When it was confirmed
that they were policemen from the state police headquarters, I asked
the hotel’s receptionist to write down their names. The policemen
took the Lexus Jeep to the state CID, Kaduna while I was also
arrested and dragged to their office.
When we reached there, one Deputy Superintendent
of Police (DSP) Danbala, attached to Kaduna State CID anti-robbery
squad asked me who owned the car and I replied that I was. The DSP
asked for the original documents and I told him that the original
documents were in Lagos and that if he insisted on seeing them, I
said I would ask my elder sister to bring the papers to Kaduna the
following day is the first flight from Lagos.
Later, Alhaji Shuaibu Junior, came into the
matter after I had called my customer, Alhaji Shuaibu Mohammed that
I had been arrested by the police. But he refused to come and rather
sent his younger brother, Shuaibu Junior who tried to mediate
between DSP Danbala and myself. The DSP tried as much as he could to
intimidate me but I didn’t succumb as a bonafide Nigerian even
though my mother is a Senegalese who resides with my Nigerian father
from Ibadan, in Senegal.
Thereafter I left the room for Alhaji Shuaibu
Junior and DSP Danbala to have some private discussions. But Alhaji
Shuaibu Junior was the first to come out of the office and he
informed me that DSP Danbala said I should give him N500,000 as
bribe so that he could let go of me. I demanded for the rationale
behind such bribe since I had a genuine case and that I am not an
armed robber, nor had been found wanting in my conduct since I
decided to put up at the White Hotel, Kaduna.
I was visibly annoyed and I declared that I did
not have such an amount to give out to anybody for that matter.
Consequently, I called DSP Bawa of the Trinity police station, Lagos
informed him about my plight, and he advised that I should not yield
to their pressure, just as he asked me to give the telephone to DSP
Danbala so that he could talk to him on my behalf and for an
amicable resolution of the matter.
The two policemen spoke and after their
conversation, DSP Danbala asked that I should give him N50,000 and I
said that the only amount I had was N20,000, after which I gave him
the N20,000 and I told him that was the only money I had with me.
The following day, I brought the original documents but they said
they would not release the car unless I give them the balance of
N30,000 as bribe.
I begged DSP Danbala that he should hold the
original documents until when Alhaji Shuaibu Mohammed would pay me
the money for my Jeeps which I sold to him on credit. “With this
arrangement, the police boss released the car to me and I drove the
Lexus Jeep to Alhaji Shuaibu Mohammed office and parked it. I left
for my hotel where I stayed for two days because I was ashamed to
come out of my hotel room due to the embarrassment I suffered in the
hands of the Kaduna policemen.
My telephone rang at about 5:30 pm later that
day from one of my customers, based in Sokoto State and he asked me
what I was doing in Sokoto and why I had refused to check him since
I came to town in the ancient city of Sokoto. I told him I was not
in Sokoto, but that I was in Kaduna. He said he saw my black Jeep in
Sokoto in a customs officer’s house. As soon as the caller dropped
the phone, I took a motobike to Alhaji Shuaibu’s office and I found
out that my Lexus Jeep was not there and none of his workers nor
himself was in the office.
Thereafter, I called Alhaji Shuaibu Mohammed on
his GSM handset but there was no response because he had switched it
off. Throughout the night, I couldn’t sleep because I was lost in my
thought. The following day, I went back to Alhaji Mohammed’s office
and met my Jeep and Alhaji Shuaibu Junior in the office. When I
inspected the car, I discovered that one of the trafficators was
broken. When I asked him what happened to my car, the young man
denied using the car, but he later owned up and said “he travelled
to Sokoto with my Jeep.
The third day, when I went back to the office,
Alhaji Shuaibu Mohammed was yet to return to the office and on
getting to my hotel room, I called him and related everything that
transpired between myself and his younger brother to him but he
pleaded with me not to be annoyed with him. I informed him that I
was prepared to leave the following day in the morning and as early
as possible with my Jeep parked in his office. When I got to Alhaji
Shuaibu Mohammed’s office to collect my car, I met DSP Danbala,
discussing with him.
I demanded that my original documents in the
possession of the police officer be given to me. But I was taken
aback when they both chorused that it was not necessary. Rather, the
businessman advised that I should leave the documents with them and
the Jeep. He said if he sells the Jeep, he would remit the money
into my bank’s account. But DSP Danbala said except I paid him the
N30,000 balance, he was not going to release the vehicle’s original
documents to me. He said he would not release it to me unless I pay
him the N30,000 balance. Up till now, DSP Danbala is still with my
original vehicle particulars.
Despite the fact that he didn’t give me the
documents, I drove the Jeep out of Alhaji Shuaibu Mohammed’s office
and headed towards a petrol station to fuel the Jeep. But on my way,
I stopped over at a Michelin Company to check my wheel alignment.
Thereafter, I entered into a supermarket and bought one bottle of
Eva water, two sachets of fruit juice. But as soon as I came out of
the supermarket, some group of men, about six in number, emerged
from a Gulf car.
Four of them surrounded me with guns asked me
who owned the car. I responded by saying it was my car, they asked
me to follow them to a filling station. But as soon as I entered the
car, one of gunmen hit me with the butt of the gun and dragged me
into the back of the Jeep. I now realised that they were armed
robbers and I made up my mind not to speak English Language and
switched to French language. The armed robbers drove me to Banawa
area of Kaduna near a Celestial Church of Christ.
During our conversation, I asked her to tell DSP
Bawa to help me get in touch with the Kaduna State anti-robbery
squad. Then the armed robbers started asking me if I am a Senegalese
and I said yes. They said I should cooperate and immediately, they
started discussing with each other. Two of the armed robbers were
Igbo because I understand Igbo language. The others were speaking
English language and I heard them saying that the amount of money
they were given by those who sent them after me to collect my Jeep
was too much.
They later collected my GSM handset from me and
put it in their pocket. The armed robbers took me to Banawa, at the
Celestial Church’s prayer ground and ordered me to kneel down as one
of them pointed his gun at my head, ready to shoot me point blank.
The robber pressed the trigger of the gun but it couldn’t shoot. One
of the robbery gang members whom I presumed to be their leader
called on another member and taught him how to operate the gun. Then
the junior member called the leader by his name and asked him a
particular question when he too couldn’t shoot at me.
The leader got angry with him for disclosing his
name, he collected the gun and cocked the gun, when I saw them
arguing with themselves endlessly, I picked up the courage and ran
into a nearby bush in the area. They got angry with me and they
opened fire on the bush at random but fortunately, none of their
bullets came my direction and I remained untouched as I laid down on
the ground. After the robbers had fled the scene, I ran to the main
road, and took a bike to the hotel. When I got to the hotel, I met
the anti-robbery policemen from Kaduna State police command who
received a distress call from DSP Bawa of the Lagos State police
command that some armed robbers had robbed me of my Lexus Jeep LX
470. They requested to visit the scene of the crime and I led them
to the place where they saw bullet holes and the expelled shells of
The matter is now being investigated by the
Lagos State zonal command of the Nigeria Police Force, following a
protest letter by Alhaji Ganiyu Kolade to the Inspector-General of
Police, Mr. Sunday Ehindero shortly, after the incident.