By Christopher Oji
Relatives of 20 artisans who were last Friday arrested at a construction site in Awoyaya, Ajah, Lagos State, have raised the alarm over the continued detention of their loved ones in Zone 2 cell, Onikan, without telling them the crime they committed.
The families cried to the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, and the state Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, to help them secure immediate release of their relatives.
The workers were arrested last Friday, when armed policemen invaded Awoyaya before about 15 houses under construction were demolished.
The family members stated that those arrested were bricklayers, labourers and site managers who were only working for survival, adding that they had, since Friday, been detained at two police detention facilities at Elemoro Area Command and Zone 2 Police Command.
The family members also accused the police of not being able to say any particular offence of the arrested labourers other than there was an order from Abuja.
They also appealed that the arrested workers should not only be released as a matter of urgency, but also should not be transferred to Abuja, since they have not been accused of committing any crime.
The relatives of the arrested workers also appealed to the IGP to order a thorough investigation into their arrest.
A family member of one of the arrested workers, Mrs Popoola, said, “My brother had gone to work on Friday and when we did not see him, we contacted some of his coworkers.
“We were told that some policemen from the Lagos command Headquarters and zone came to the site to arrest them.
Another relative of a bricklayer, Tolani Sulaimon, also said: “The worst thing is that nobody is ready to tell us their offence and they are keeping them in a police cell.
“They were first taken to area command. We were told that we could not bail them and that they will get to zone 2 before they can be released.
“Now at zone 2, they are saying that they can only be released in Abuja without being linked to any criminal offence.
“These are just labourers and bricklayers, who have only gone to fend for themselves and their families.”
Effort to get reaction from the spokesperson of Zone 2 Police Command, Hauwa Idris Adamu, proved abortive, as calls to her mobile phone were not answered yesterday.