Catching The Kito: The Case With The Police So Far

Catching The Kito: The Case With The Police So Far

Following the capture of the notorious kito criminal gang in Lekki on Sunday (March 17), which led to their arrest and detention at the Ikeja Police Command, there have been developments to the case.

Amidst the concerns that the police might try to treat the case in a way that sees the culprits eventually released and fears running rampant that they might, on the other hand, try to use the culprits to further target members of the gay community, a torrent of complaints were made to a number of Lagos-based human rights organisations, chief among them being Center for Population Health Initiative (CPHI), Improved Sexual Health and Rights Advocacy Initiative (ISHRAI), and Minority Watch.

This led to some lawyers and paralegals from these organizations coming together to go see the investigating team in charge of the case on Thursday (March 21).

We were able to speak to the group after their day at the police station and learned the following updates:

Firstly, the police informed the group that they took the suspects to a Magistrates’ Court where they applied for a remand order to enable them detain the suspects beyond the constitutional limit. The order was granted.

The police also revealed that a member of the criminal gsng that was csught on Sunday was a lawyer; they withheld his name and identity from the group, but said that he was the only one of the eight who was granted bail. Reportedly, this does not mean he will not be charged to court when the time comes. There is however the possibility that he won’t be charged, but considering that he’s a lawyer caught being involved in criminal activities, he could get charged, just so he can be prevented from further practising law.

Also, the lawyers and paralegals were supposed to go to the station on Thursday with some of the victims of the kito gang, so they can identify their attackers through a police identification parade, write statements about how their rights were violated by the kito gang, and provide any evidence they have against them, such as bank statements etc. Unfortunately though, none of the victims they’d made the arrangement with showed up at the station.

Speaking to the investigative team on what charges the suspects might get, they were informed that they’d likely be charged with kidnapping, extortion and blackmail. Kidnapping, I’m told, results in life imprisonment, if convicted. To this effect, the suspects have reportedly already started lawyering up. The human rights group did not have any opportunity to meet any of these lawyers.

While the group was having a conversation with the police team handling the matter, family members of one of the kito guys (his father and sister) came to see their criminal family member. The kito scum was produced and made to narrate the story of his crimes to his father and sister. He told them he was in police detention because he sets gay men up and robs them of their money. The police told his father that his son is looking at life imprisonment for his crimes. The father, the daughter and the kito scum broke down in tears.

It would seem that the scum had earlier promised to send 300 thousand naira to his father for house rent. However, out of the (at least) 17 million naira that he and his gang confessed to making in their exploits since January, he was only able to send 50 thousand naira to his father; the father acknowledged receiving only 50 thousand naira. And so, the police is now considering charging him for receiving money that is proceeds of a crime.

The police said that they are still open to hearing from more victims. The more, the better. However, the lawyers from the hunan rights organizations were more inclined toward the matter getting charged to court as soon as possible, seeing as they appear to have enough evidence with which to prosecute. They believe the charges can be amended in future to accommodate more victims who may find the courage to report what the kito gang did to them, even after these current charges have been filed.

The reluctance of victims coming forward is understandable, considering the rumour that the police arrested a community member who went to the police station, simply because one of the kito scum identified him as a homosexual. When we asked the human rights team about this, they said they didn’t know to talk to the police about it. But on their next visit, they’ll bring it up. It is imperative that the focus of this case/investigation rest solely on the crimes of abduction, assault and robbery committed by these people against members of the Nigerian society, and not on who is a homosexual and who is not.

The investigative team gave the human rights team their word that they will inform them at least two days ahead of whenever the suspects are to be charged to court. The lawyers plan on holding brief for all the victims, who will be known in court as nominal complainants. They also intend to keep in touch with the police, and as said before, plan to visit the station again.

And when they do, we’ll keep you updated on whatever they learn.

Previous KITO IS THE MENACE THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

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3 Comments

  1. Colossus
    March 23, 12:49 Reply

    Good one. I do hope this reaches its satisfying and most assured conclusion. Penalty for crimes committed.

  2. bamidele
    March 23, 16:25 Reply

    So far, the development looks good. Kudos to all efforts and kudos to KD.

  3. Jo
    March 25, 17:39 Reply

    Great work! Thank you for keeping us updated KD.

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