Fri. Sep 22nd, 2023

Bereaved Family Begs Justice Ministry, DPP To Investigate Firm’s Activities

late Kehinde Kudirat Akinlabi nee Olanrewaju

Bereaved Family Begs Justice Ministry, DPP To Investigate Firm’s Activities
• Calls For Taking Over Case File From Police

The family of late Kehinde Kudirat Akinlabi nee Olanrewaju, have appealed to the Lagos State Ministry of Justice and Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) to investigation the activities of an Empowerment outfit, Eagle Eye Empowerment Initiative, which they alleged to have led to the untimely death of the deceased.

The 54 years old deceased, also known as Akinlabi Kudirat, was said to have slumped and died at the Empowerment outfit’s office located at 136, Agbotikuyo Street, Orile-Agege, Lagos, on November 22, 2019, at about 7.30 p.m.

She was said to had gone to the place to pay interest on N60,000. 00, loan obtained from the Empowerment outfit, which also operate as a Microfinance bank, after being allegedly threatened by a staff of the out if she failed in paying the interest on the said day. 

The bereaved family in a different petitions captioned: “Re: Murder of Kehinde Ololade Kudirat Akinlabi BY Staff/Agents Of Eagle Eye Empowerment Initiative” to the Lagos State Ministry of Justice/Attorney-General and Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), stated that investigation into the activities of the Empowerment, will save many families and the society from experiencing what befell their family and  so as to avoid a similar occurrence in future.

The family’s petitions dated December 27, 2019, which were acknowledged by both Ministry of Justice and DPP on December 30, 2019, also wants the case file taken from the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (SCIID) Panti-Yaba, Lagos, due to alleged improper investigation and shielding the staff of the Empowerment outfit, whom they accused of causing the death of the deceased.

The petition written by their lawyer,   Adewale A. Fadipe of Messrs Wale Fadipe & Co., reads in part: “that the deceased is a mother and a wife who reside at the address known as 25, Afuwape Street, Oko-Oba, Agege, and both the deceased and daughter are customers of Eagle Eye Empowerment Initiative, a company that operates as a microfinance outfit and a commercial bank. 

“That on the 22nd day of November, 2019 at about 7:30pm, deceased’s daughter one Ms Tinuade Akinlabi received a call from an unknown number asking her to come to the office premises of Eagle Eye Empowerment Initiative that her mother slumped and she is not responding. 

“That immediately after receiving the call, Ms Tinuade Akinlabi left for Eagle Eye Empowerment Initiative’s office and on getting there, she saw her mother’s body lying lifelessly on the floor of the office and she also met with two male police officers who informed her that it was a female resident who is a neighbor in the premises (whose name Ms Akinlabi does not know) who called the Police Station. And that one of the police officers told Ms Akinlabi that the staff of Eagle Eye Empowerment Initiative confirmed to them that the deceased slumped while they were attending to her in their office. and that Ms. Akinlabi noticed some bruises on the deceased’s body and also noticed blood in the’ eyes and other parts of her body”. 

The family stated further in the petition that Ms. Akinlabi asked that she should be assisted to take the deceased to the hospital if there is anything that could be done to revive her. But on getting to first hospital named Omolayo Hospital, but was rejected by the hospital staff and the hospital staff in return directed her to take the deceased to the Orile-Agege General hospital, where deceased’s body was examined and continued dead.

“That the next day being the 23rd day of November, 2019, Ms. Akinlabi together with other family members went back to the office premises of Eagle Eye Empowerment Initiative where they were told that the Police officers at the scene of incident were from Elere Police Station, Agege, Ms. Akinlabi together with the other family members proceeded to Elere Police Station. 

“That at Elere Police Station, Ms. Akinlabi together with other family members met with the Divisional Police Officer and with Investigative Police Officer W/Sgt Durojaiye and she was asked to make a statement. And that Ms. Akinlabi did inform the Police at Elere Police Station that there was a time a lady from Eagle Eye Empowerment Initiative by name Nancy came to the deceased’s shop to fight her due to delayed re-payment of a loan from the said Empowerment outfit and that the said Nancy threatened the deceased in the presence of one Ayooluwa Akinlabi and herself and she also threatened that whenever the deceased delays payment in future, she will be dealt with. 

“That Ms. Akinlabi and the other family members later asked if they could bury the deceased in line with the Muslim faith and the Police Officers directed that the family produce death certificate and an affidavit before going ahead to bury the deceased. Adding that the Divisional Police Officer at Elere Police Station informed the deceased’s family on the 25th November that the matter will be transferred to the State C.1.D, Panti for further investigation”. 

The Alleged Ignoble Role Played By SCIID, Panti

“That on the 26th November, 2019, Ms. Akinlabi went to the State C.I.D, Panti to do a follow up on the case and she met with the Head of the Investigative team, one DSP Salako and she was asked to write another statement in their office. And that she was also informed at that the only suspect in the police custody named Theresa, has been granted bail. And the police said they will convene a meeting between deceased’s family and the management of Eagle Eye Empowerment Initiative. 

“That Ms. Akinlabi informed the police that one Nancy from Eagle Eye Empowerment Initiative came to the deceased’s shop on the 8th November, 2019, to threaten her that the deceased will be dealt with if she further delayed in repaying her loan. And further informed the Police that previously, on the said 22th November, 2019, the deceased delayed payment till around 5:30pm (instead of the stipulated 1p.m. for repayment) before she left for Eagle Eye Empowerment Initiative’s office. 

That further to the information in the paragraph above, the Police promised to invite the said Nancy for questioning -and further reschedule another meeting for 29th November, 2019 and on the said 29th November, Ms. Akinlabi reported at the State C.I.D, Panti where she was informed by the Police that the said Nancy could not attend the meeting for the reason that the said Nancy took her daughter to the hospital and she was asked to come back on the 4th December, 2019.

“On the 4th December, 2019, Ms. Akinlabi could not attend the meeting. However, the deceased’s husband, Mr Rilwan Akinlabi together with Adewale A. Fadipe Esq. of Messrs Wale Fadipe & Co. attended the meeting, where the cpunsel to Eagle Eye Empowerment Initiative one Simi Eyisanmi made an offer in the sum of N100, 000.00 to deceased‘s family as assistance which deceased’ family outrightly rejected. The meeting was further adjourned to 5th December, 2019. 

“That on the 5th December, 2019, the police asked if deceased’s family have concluded on the amount of money they want which the family said they are not after money. And the meeting was further rescheduled to 11th December, 2019 for final conclusion. And that on the said 11th December, deceased’s family together with their lawyer Adewale A. Fadipe, informed the police that deceased’s family do not want money but justice, but the police replied that it will be difficult to prosecute the matter since the corpse of deceased has been buried. 

“The Police also at every meeting introduced the subtle threat of the cost of exhumation out at about N1 million which in their estimation may not be affordable to the deceased’s family”. 

Why the family insists that the Empowerment outfit acts caused deceased’s death

“By our investigation, we found out through the help of the people living in the community where Eagle Eye Empowerment Initiative is situated and operates and discovered that Eagle Eye Empowerment Initiative is known to be using cruel means to retrieve money from its debtors and deceased’s case is not the first the people in the neighborhood have witnessed about the company”. 

Call for Investigation of Firm’s Activities
“That we believe the activities of the Eagle Eye Empowerment Initiative should be investigated so as to avoid a similar occurrence in future. We are also of the opinion that if a check is not put in place, the community and the larger society is at risk. 

“We also humbly plead that you use your good office to unravel the cause of death of deceased and also help the family the deceased left behind get justice and have closure”.