Human Rights group, CHRSJ raises alarm over illegal arrest, detention, extortion of innocent citizens by operatives of SCID in Panti

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Human rights group raises alarm over illegal arrest, detention, extortion of innocent citizens by operatives of SCID in Panti

CHRSJ has raised alarm over the illegal arrest, detention, extortion of innocent citizens by operatives of SCID in Panti, seeking the intervention of the Presidency, IGP, PSC, NHRC, Lagos attorney general to curb the menace.

A civil rights organization, the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ) has raised an alarm on the latest modus operandi being utilized by operatives of the police force attached to the State Criminal Investigative Department (SCID) in Panti Yaba, Lagos.

Specifically, CHRISJ is accusing operatives of the department of using underhand tactics to extract money from hapless victims, saying that the practise has become so rampant in the aftermath of the recently held #endsars agitation.

In a statement signed by the Executive Chairman of CHRSJ, Adeniyi A. Sulaiman in Lagos on Friday, the group is however calling on relevant authorities to beam their searchlights on the operations of the department, saying a lot of bad eggs need to be weeded out of the system.

“We have in the past raised a series of alarms regarding the conduct and operational procedures of the SCID and we will never get tired of doing so. We are unhappy to note that rather than turn a new leaf, these operatives are even becoming more daring and wicked by the day,” the group wrote.

Panti Police
A man being searched by a police officer

According to CHRSJ, the method being utilized by operatives of the department is usually to move around their area of operation and
source phone numbers of hapless residents of the state with a view to lure them to their offices where they are levied with several
allegations that can never be substantiated.

“The leadership of the department usually dispatch their operatives out to source for numbers of innocent victims wherever they find them. They will now call them on the TRUECALLER platform to be able to know their names.

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“From there on, they will then generate spurious petitions, which would be written by some faceless individuals. This would then form
the basis for the invitation of the innocent citizens who would come forward to their station,” CHRSJ wrote.

The group added that the invited citizens would then be asked to wait endlessly without seeing the petition against them or those making complaints against them, adding that “From there, the police officers would ask for some specific amount to be paid before securing their freedom.

“These police officers usually demand an atrocious amount of money ranging from N150,000 upward depending on the calibre, status and pedigree of the so-called accused. As I speak to you now, there are so many innocent people languishing in the cells of the department, which we want the authorities to look at.” The group stated.

He expressed regrets that the situation would have changed since the arrival of the new deputy commissioner of police, Mr Fayoade Adegoke but it seems to be getting worse by the day.

The group highlighted the plights of one Mrs Abiola Sowemimo-Fagbola (+234 7068135895 & + 234 9085169323) and her husband, Mr Kayode Fagbola (+234 8140920009) whose shop address is at 36, Ayige Street, Off Agege-Ipaja Road, Funlayo Bus Stop, Orile Agege, Lagos.

According to CHRSJ, Sowemimo -Fagbola and her spouse were lured by one Inspector Ade (+234 8023707977) into the station by an invitation dated 17th, March 2021 signed by the head of the department, Mr Fayoade M. Adegoke.

In the badly written letter containing a series of alterations, the Fagbolas were asked to report to one ASP Bello (+234 8081101869) who
is said to be the O/C ‘D9’ to answer to the fictitious petitions against them.

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“This is not the first time that we will be accusing this department of being very tardy in their operations. We have complained about a
series of letters that are containing a series of alterations and errors.” The group said.

The group referred to another victim which had been highlighted before to further buttress the evils being carried out in the department,
especially the one dated 8th October 2020 addressed to one Madam Jumoke Yusuf of Road 84, Betta Shop, Mobil Road junction, Opposite, Foye Pharmacy, Gedegede, Ajah, Lagos signed by ACP Oketunju Lawrence Sola. In the letter, reference number CR: 3000/LSX/MT.2/TF/VOL.10/79 the victim was asked to see one OC Monitor 2 (instead of OC Monitoring).

The errors contained in the letter were highlighted as follows; “You are implored to interview the deputy commissioner of police, State
Investigation Department, Yaba, Lagos on 8th October 2020 at 1000 am (sic) O/C Monitor 2”. This means that they just used the letter headed paper of the police to write this incoherent letter.”

He stated that CHRSJ has continued to beam its searchlight on the activities of the department for since October 10, 2018 when the
so-called “O/C SEB” issued a purported invitation letter to one Mr Opeyemi Ibiloye (+234 8032181710 & +234 8058381759) and one Mr.
Ajiboye Olalekan (+234 8033678795 & +234 8052487503).

“The department through one operative called Alexandra (+2348023172972) and another one called Dawodu (+234 8033819485) have been harassing and threatening them till Monday, October 22, 2018 before a petition from our sister organization landed against the officer who later backed out.

“This is what we did against a former deputy commissioner of the same SCID, Madam Yetunde Longe, one Ola Adefarasin (+234 9091221315), Reuben (+234 7014257498) and CSP Oke and one officer in charge of D7 Department while they were employed by one Pastor Alabi David (+2348028915915), Tunji and one Wole Oshodi (+234 7037436950).

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“I was also issued an unprofessional invitation letter in their bid to dispossess a 73-year-old widow, Alhaja Aishat Alasela of 8, Bakare
Opeisa Street, Papa Ashafa Agege but the move was thwarted by our sister organization, Save Lagos Group (SLG).

The group called on the Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General of Lagos State, Mr. Moyosore Jubril Onigbanjo to ensure that he
exercises his duties as enshrined in the Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJ) as contained in Chapter A3, Part 1, Section (10) Sub-
Section (3) & Section (20) Sub-Section (1) of Lagos Law 2015 (as amended).

CHRSJ urged other relevant stakeholders such as the Police Service Commission (PSC), Inspector General of Police (IGP), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Presidency and the Commissioner of Police in charge of Lagos State to act swiftly in a bid to curb this menace.

The antics and procedures being employed by police personnel in this department are absolutely contrary to the Criminal Code CAP “C38”, of Laws of Federation, EFCC Act with Cases & Materials, ICPC & Money Laundering Act, Police Act, Robbery and Firearms Act, Prisoners’ Reform & Coronas Law Regulations, Law Enforcement & Human Rights in Nigeria Law, NHRC Act, FOI Act, Terrorism Act, Police College & Training Regulation Act, Law of Evidence Act, Administrative of Criminal Justice (ACJ), Criminal Procedure Act (CPA), Universal Declaration on Human Rights Law, United Nations Covenant on Human Rights Law, Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

Others are the African Unity Convention’s Act, United Nations Chatter, NWLR, Human & Peoples Rights Law, African Chatter and the apex law of the federation, that is the 1999 Federal Republic of Nigerian Constitution (as amended).

Signed:

Comrade Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman,
(Revolutionary Alfa),
Executive Chairman, Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ)
+234 8038591504/+234 8022697573.

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