Mohammed, ex-prison inmate seeking to die, gets respite

  • Rescued by Ikeja General Hospital paramedics

The Lagos State Government has rescued a newly released prisoner, Musa Mohammed, who attempted to commit suicide, owing to harsh living conditions.
The Point had exclusively reported the ordeal of the former jailbird.
Mohammed had told The Point that he was miraculously released from Ikoyi Maximum Prisons in Lagos, eight years after he had a brush with the law.
Three weeks ago, the former detainee was dumped by unknown persons under the Kodeso Bridge in Ikeja, Lagos, looking frail and gaunt as on-lookers wondered at his pitiable condition.
Looking every inch unkempt with sores all over his body, Mohammed had defecated all over his body and was an eye sore to the traders around, who resented his presence in the area.
Paramedics from the nearby Ayinke House, General Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, who took pity on him, following our story, bathed him openly before clothing him with new dresses.
He was immediately taken to the Emergency Section of the hospital, where he was given treatment.

“I thought it was a joke. The joke soon became a yoke. It only dawned on me when the police changed my story from being a petty thief suspect to an armed robbery suspect”

“We rescued him from under the bridge. He was smelling like a rotten egg due to the festering sores all over his body. It is our job to perform rescue operations and we thank God, he is responding to treatment,“ Mrs. Ajarat, a paramedic, told our correspondent, who visited the hospital.
Ajarat said though Mohammed was in a stable condition, “We can still not locate any of his family members.”
Penultimate Sunday, The Point was attracted by the crowd milling around Mohammed, who, due to weakness and hunger, sprawled on the bare ground by the roadside to tell whoever cared to listen the story of frustration, anger and injustice.
Narrating his ordeal, Mohammed had told our correspondent, “The police came calling that day. I was with one of my friends known as Abubakar at Abule Oja area of Yaba. We were arrested and taken to the station at Panti, Armed Robbery section. Initially, the police said we were thieves, who had waylaid a trader before dispossessing her of her belongings. But I know that I am not a thief; and that I did not waylay anybody. I thought that my explanation would be taken by the police for the sake of it. I was arrested in a bar with my friends because, I had a job, selling second-hand clothes at Yaba. When others “settled” the police to secure their bail, I held on to my statement that I am not a thief.
“I thought it was a joke. The joke soon became a yoke. It only dawned on me when the police changed my story from being a petty thief suspect to an armed robbery suspect. I spent over three months in their cell at Yaba. That was when my people became agitated. They decided to look for a lawyer for me. The very day the lawyer came for my bail was the day the police arraigned me on a charge of armed robbery.
“The count charges were read and I was taken to Ikoyi Prison on Awaiting Trial. I was in the prison for so long a time. At a point, my Investigating Police Officer stopped coming to take me to the court. Thereafter, everything became blank.
“I made more than 20 appearances in court before I lost touch with my IPO. I was just within the prison, vegetating. They would give us food that could barely feed a day-old baby. In the beginning, I was crying whenever I remembered my family members and colleagues alike. I would cry in the night whenever I remembered my age mates. The only consolation I had there was in the Christian brothers, though I am a practicing Muslim. They would come to preach to us, to counsel and console. And in most cases, the free food donations from some Non- Governmental Organisations would not be given to us but shared with us by the greedy warders.”
Mohammed could not recount how he got his freedom from prison.
Before he was finally rescued from where he was allegedly dumped by prison officials and taken to the hospital for treatment, Mohammed said he had nowhere to go.
“I have no place to go. I do not know anywhere. I do not know anybody. I lost my accommodation and all that I possessed long ago. It will take miracle to talk about what next for a man who is clutching to the wing of death,” he had said.