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Family asks NYSC, police to intensify search for missing corps member

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The family of a serving member of the National Youth Service Corps in Lagos State, Abdulrafiu Imam, has asked the NYSC and the police to intensify the search for him .
Imam , a graduate of Mathematics from the Federal University of Technology , Minna, Niger State, went missing on December 24 , 2018 , after he left the apartment he shared with a friend at the Military Barracks Yaba .

Imam’ s sister , Kehinde Lawal , told our correspondent that his roommate, who was not around when he left the house , told the family that Imam had shown signs of depression lately because of a sprained .

She said , “ I don ’ t know what led to his disappearance , because we don’ t stay together; he stays in Lagos , while I stay in Ibadan. All we know is that we had been trying to reach him on his phone days before Christmas and his number indicated that it was switched off , and this got us worried .

“ His roommate told us that he went to the Redemption Camp and by the time he came back , he saw my brother ’ s phone , wallet and clothes in the room and concluded that he had gone out to buy something .

“ But his roommate became apprehensive after waiting for two days without seeing Imam . One of my brother ’ s friends , who had been calling his phone without luck , called the roommate , who told him he had not seen Imam for some days and that is how we have been looking for him since then .

“ His roommate told us that Rafiu ( Imam ) had been depressed lately and we did not know anything about it . He did not inform us . Rafiu sprained his shoulder sometime ago and his roommate said anytime he looked at it , it made him sad .

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“ He sprained the shoulder last year while he was staying with one of our aunts . He left the house for some days and when he came back , he had a sprained shoulder . He was taken to a local bone setter and his shoulder was dislocated completely so that the bone could be set , but it was not done properly. ”

Lawal added , “ When he came to my place in Ibadan before going for the NYSC programme in Lagos , I saw the arm and where the ball and socket ought to be was not where it was . I took him to the University College Hospital in Ibadan, but the resident doctors were on strike and I told him to go to the hospital as soon as he got to Lagos .

“ He was told at the hospital that he required surgery to reconstruct the shoulder and that this would cost a lot of money , but I promised him that I would pay for the surgery whenever I got the money ; I never knew that the condition of his shoulder could get him depressed ; his roommate never informed us about his depression . ”

Our correspondent learnt that Imam’ s disappearance was reported at the Lagos Island Police Station .

Lawal urged anybody with useful information on Imam’ s whereabouts to report to the nearest police station .

Imam ’ s uncle , Abdulsalami Ishaq , said the family had visited all possible places that he might be .

Ishaq stated , “ We reported the case at the Sabo Police Station and they sent a signal to their control room and all police stations in Lagos State were radioed . We the family members, have personally visited 15 detention centres , general and teaching hospitals and morgues , all to no avail .

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“ We visited the NYSC secretariat and we met the assistant director , who promised to send a letter to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police , and subsequent follow -up showed that they have done that because when we called them , they said they had submitted the letter to the CP .

“ Having exhausted all options , we visited the motor parks today ( Thursday ) , because Imam could have decided to visit his sister without telling her or his friend that stays in Osogbo . We visited the parks where Ibadan and Osogbo bond passengers usually board vehicles , but they said they didn ’ t record any accident during the festive season . We went to the Federal Road Safety Corps centre at the Sagamu interchange and they told us that the only accident that happened during the festive season was on December 29 , 2018 , and there was no death recorded . ”

Ishaq urged the NYSC to do more in finding Imam than what it was doing currently.

When contacted on the telephone , the Lagos State Coordinator of the NYSC , Prince Mohammed Momoh , refused to make any comment on Imam’ s disappearance .

“ I don’ t do newspaper interviews ; I don’ t answer questions on the phone ; if you want to interview me , come to my office . If you want any information , come to the secretariat , ” he said . The spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command , Chike Oti , said the command was intensifying the search for Imam , adding that he would soon be reunited with his family .

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