Thirty-three-year-old Bright Izedomni almost choked on emotion as he recalled and narrated his ordeal in the hands of policemen and women at the Ajiwe Police Station under the Lagos State Police Command last year December. The Uber driver trembled in remembered fear as the words tumbled out of his memory, finding release from his mouth. This was an ordeal Izedomni has kept buried for months inside of him, leading to him quitting his job as a Uber driver and running away from Lagos.
He narrated his encounter with a millionaire, Ikechukwu David Onwukwe; his wife, Mrs. Adeola Onwukwe; and the Police at Ajiwe Police Station and how fear had become his constant companion. He looked unkempt, hungry, and harried. He has been in hiding and looking over his shoulders for weeks and months. He trusts nobody and worries that Ikechukwu will unleash the police or his boys on him.
Tears shimmered in Izedomni’s eyes. And even as he fought them to stay put, they defeated him and streamed down his cheeks. He sniffed and wiped his eyes with the sleeve of his shirt.
He said: “I have never been so afraid in my life. Policemen and women tortured me with a cutlass, bottle and batons. I was slapped repeatedly and punched. They tied my hands and legs behind me and used the cutlass to beat me. The pain was unbearable for me.
“This happened in December, but till now I’m still having back pain and pains in different parts of my body. And while torturing me, the police kept shouting at me to confess that I had sex with Adeola and video-recorded everything.
“I cried and screamed in pain. I wrote a statement, and they wrote another statement, appended my name to it, saying all sorts of lies against me. It was when I saw the indicting statement written by the police that I decided to admit to the lies. I lied that I had an affair with Mrs. Adeola. I didn’t want to die. I needed to leave that police station.”
Izedomni is the Uber driver accused by Ikechukwu, a multimillionaire of having an affair with his wife, Adeola. However, the case between Adeola and Ikechukwu is the custody of their four children. Ikechukwu took the children and relocated with them to Owerri in Imo State without recourse to the Child Rights Law and without his wife’s consent.
According to Adeola, there was no sexual relationship between her and Izedomni. It will be recalled that Adeola repeatedly stated she never had a sexual relationship with Izedomni and had even demanded that her husband and his lawyer, Chimezie Onwuama, provide the evidence they claimed to have of the affair. How the fight for custody of four children between Ikechukwu and Adeola became a case of extramarital liaison is yet unclear.
Izedomni, petrified out of his wits, had bravely stepped out of his hiding to tell his side of the story to our reporter. He came out of hiding after finding out that members of the Advocates for Children and Vulnerable Persons Network have stepped into the matter, fighting for justice for Adeola. He also demanded justice, further asking for protection.
This was even as he admitted to making sexual advances at Adeola, but she had told him that she was a married woman and has had five children. He had immediately stopped making further moves.
Recalling how he met Adeola, Izedomni said it was at Shoprite in the Sangotedo area of Lekki, Lagos State in December 2022. It was at midnight. And he noticed her walking dejectedly. He followed her, wondering where she was going at that hour. She initially ignored him, but later responded that she was going to church.
He recounted: “I asked her why she didn’t take an Uber. I am an Uber driver and most of us drivers used to park at that Shoprite for passengers. She said that she didn’t like driving far distances. I quickly sensed I could make money and told her that she could hire me to drive her anywhere. It was a good business sense. We exchanged phone numbers and we started having conversations.
“She would later tell me that she was going to church that night to pray because her husband secretly married another woman and had a child without telling her. She said that they started their relationship in a one-room apartment before the man started making money. The thought of her husband marrying another woman was just too much for her to handle.”
Izedomni said the first time Adeola called him to come and pick her at home, she did not allow him into her house. She asked him to wait at the estate gate. He said that the house was close to the gate and he noticed that the fence was low, thus was able to notice that the house had CCTV everywhere.
He said: “On that first day, she instructed me to take her to Alagbon Police in Obalende, where her husband’s brother’s wife was detained. The woman’s husband was wanted for defrauding a company and when police couldn’t get him, they arrested his wife.
“She was detained. Ikechukwu then sent N500,000 to Adeola to get the woman out of police detention. Adeola told me all this, but when we got there, it didn’t work out because there was no available guarantor. On that day, she paid me N15,000. And because she used to call me for car hire, I discovered that Mrs. Adeola’s movements were usually to hospital, Ajah Market and Shoprite.”
One day, Adeola felt she needed further prayers and a cleric intervention in her wobbling marriage. She asked Izedomni if he knew of any powerful pastor. He called a friend, who then linked Adeola to a woman attending a Celestial Church of Christ.
Izedomni, who said that he did not know what Adeola discussed with the woman after connecting them through his friend, further explained that soon, he received a call from his best friend asking him to come and take him to Ikeja. He drove down to meet his friend at an agreed venue.
He did not know that Police tracked his phone, got his friend’s phone number, and then arrested him. He would be used as bait to catch him.
He said: “When I got there, my friend entered the car and just as I was about to drive off, he said I should wait, that his brother was coming. That was how three men entered the car, saying that the car was a stolen one. I told them that it was a lie! I had been driving that car for long and it belonged to a company.
“I didn’t know they were policemen. They were not in uniform. They could have been thieves or kidnappers. I started shouting thief! Thief! One of them brought out his identity card, saying that they were policemen from Ajiwe Police Station. I wondered why policemen from Ajiwe Police Station came all the way to Ibeju Lekki to make frivolous allegations. It was Rapid Response Squad operatives that were driving past that intervened and asked me to go with the policemen to Ajiwe,
“When we got there, they took me to the back of the station and started hitting me with sticks. One of them told me that I was arrested because I slept with someone’s wife. I said it was not true. They asked me if I knew Chief David, and I said no. They asked if I knew Mrs. Adeola, I said yes.”
Izedomni said that he was tortured for days. He was arrested on December 18, 2022 and was not allowed to go home until December 24, 2022. The long detention of Izedomni without charging him to court and without a detention warrant are also against the law.
Izedomni recalled that the policemen and women used to bring him out to torture him. The police collected his car documents and his phone and refused to allow him to make a call to anyone.
He said that after days of being in detention, Ikechukwu finally came to Ajiwe Police Station. Izedomni felt that the police detained him for that long because they were waiting for the arrival of Ikechukwu.
He stated: “There’s a small room the police used to keep me. On the day Ikechukwu arrived, he came to ask me if I was Bright. I said yes. He punched me in my mouth in the presence of one of my Investigating Police Officers and blood started gushing out. Yes, I have two IPOs. One is called Inspector Abiola Williams, the other is called Alhaja. Those women used to beat and slap me.
“There is a policeman, who is a tracker. When Ikechukwu came, they brought Adeola. Ikechukwu collected Adeola’s phone and mine and handed them over to the tracker. Adeola’s husband slapped her in the presence of the police, and nothing was done about the abuse.
“Ikechukwu came back to me. He said: ‘My brother you see at this police station, I’m spending naira. When we get to court, I will spend dollars.’ There was a man that was detained in the cell with me, someone came to visit him. He told me that he saw Ikechukwu throwing money around at the police people.
“This detainee told me to do anything to ensure I leave that police station immediately, that they had ‘finished my matter.’ The family of Adeola and of Ikechukwu came to see the Divisional Police Officer of Ajiwe Police Station. Adeola’s family members were mostly women, while Ikechukwu’s family were men.”
Izedomni was brought out of the cell and taken to the DPO’s office, where the confab was being held. He was made to stand right in front of the DPO’s desk, with his case file opened on the desk.
He glanced at the file and discovered that someone had rewritten his statement, putting lies as confessions that did not emanate from him. The DPO then asked the gathered people to tell their stories. Kemi, Adeola’s elder sister, decided to go first.
Izedomni added: “But the DPO shouted at her and ordered her to go out, that she was too forward. Right there in the DPO’s office, my IPOs and the tracker started slapping and hitting me, telling me to confess. The slaps were coming from different directions, and they were video recording me.
“When I saw the statement with my name, but not my words, I knew I was in deeper trouble. It was then and there I decided to lie that I had a sexual affair with Mrs. Adeola. I even lied that it was once, and they kept video recording me. Ikechukwu made more accusations against me, saying that he sent Adeola N5 million and she used it to buy a Toyota Camry car for me.
“He also accused me that I used to enter his wife’s bedroom. His house has CCTV everywhere, let him and the police bring the CCTV to prove I was ever there.
“I was still in detention when policemen went to Ikechukwu’s house, used Adeola’s car to pack her things out of her matrimonial home, and brought them to the station. Police also made me sign an undertaken.”
Izedomni said that after his release, Ikechukwu called him, asking for receipts of the hotels he and Adeola used to go to have sexual liaisons, adding: “I asked him what hotel receipts. I told him that I didn’t have time for his nonsense. He now said he would give me N2 million if I cooperated. I told him I was not interested. My wife and pastor bailed me with N40,000 and it was money I wanted to use to buy Christmas wear for my child.
“When Ikechukwu came to the station, about 10 young men came with him. They were his boys, and they all wore white. It was scary. He has boys everywhere. I don’t think I am safe, so I returned the car I was using for Uber because the police snapped it and its plate number. They could snatch it on the road. Anything was possible.
“I destroyed my SIM card and ran away from Lagos because Ikechukwu and Police have my house address. I ran away because I didn’t and couldn’t have a rest of my mind. Everything and every noise startle me. Incidentally, I was not the only driver arrested because of Adeola. There are two other drivers that were arrested before me.
“The funny thing is that one of my IPOs said that Ikechukwu still owed them money. Ikechukwu told me at the Police station that for years he has been looking for a way to divorce Adeola. Presently I am jobless, and my wife is pregnant. I don’t even know how we will manage with the coming baby.”
Izedomni had to borrow money for transportation fare from people in the Oshodi area in order to go back to where he had been hiding outside of Lagos State.