*Accuses policemen of going beyond the schedule of duty to harass hapless Lagosians
*Group writes, IGP, PSC, NHRC, others to call errant police officers to order
A civil rights group, the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ) has accused some men of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) of conducting illegal activities with a view to extort some residents of Lagos State of huge sums of money in the aftermath of the recently held nationwide #endsars agitation.
Specifically, CHRSJ accused some personnel attached to the Lagos State Command of the force of going outside their areas of jurisdiction to arrest some unsuspecting members of the society on frivolous issues with a view to forcefully extorting some huge amount of money from them.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Saturday, the Executive Chairman of CHRSJ, Comrade Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman stated that the trend has become so worrisome and that the group has written to relevant authorities with a with a view to bringing errant personnel of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) to book.
According to the statement, which was distributed to the media, men of the police force located in Lagos State has not learnt any lesson from the recently held #endsars agitation “as they have even become more daring and unprofessional in their conduct while going about their duties which stipulates that they ensure the protection of lives and property of Nigerians.”
Sulaiman listed some formations in the Lagos State Command that are notorious for violating the fundamental rights of Nigerians in the state to include, Iba Police Station, FESTAC Police Station, State Criminal Investigating Department (SCID) Panti, Yaba, the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi as the major culprits.
The group listed others to include, Area B Police Command, Apapa, Amukoko Divisional headquarters, Bode Thomas Police Station, Ojodu Police Station, Meiran Police Station, Alabo Police Station, Ayobo Police Station, Area B Police Command, Isokoko Police Station, Oko Oba Police Station, Abattoir Police Station, Elere Police Station, Pen Cinema Police Station, Mosefejo Police Station, Ile-Epo Police Station, Bolade Police Station, Surulere (Aguda) Police Station.
Others include Area P Police Command, Alimosho, Area H Police Command, Ojota and a host of others too numerous to mention.
The group accused men of the Iba Police Station of undertaking what it termed kidnapping methods against its hapless victims by going outside their areas of jurisdiction to arrest and extort Lagosians of their hard-earned money in a situation that has nothing to do with their work schedule.
“Their recent activities of these men involved one Pa. Victor Adeniyi (+2347068744483), a farmer who was engaged in a business deal with a friend, one Emmanuel (+2348167544725) who requested him to buy some poultry items amounting to N700,000 for him (Emmanuel).
“The deal was that Victor would nurture the poultry, which he did but the problem arose when Pa. Victor could not access his farm due to the crisis between Hausas and Yorubas at Fagba area of the state. Many of the chicken died in the process. This brought some issues that resulted in some disputes between the two.” The statement reads.
The group stated that Emmanuel was later to use the influence of a friend attached to Iba Police Station, one police officer Kolawole Oyekanmi (+2348034287811) to arrest of Victor at his office, 309, Old Abeokuta Road, Opposite Abattoir Police Station, Oko Oba, Agege, Lagos on Wednesday, 30thof December till Saturday, 2nd of January, 2021,” a clear four-day spell in police custody for a 67-year-old man.”
The group in the statement added that Pa, Victor eventually secured his release from custody through bail with the sum of N15,000 paid by one Pa J.K Agbeye (+247064206543) who acted as his surety in the case.
“Pa. Victor was compelled under duress to pay the money to the police officer, Kolawole Oyekanmi on Saturday 30th of January, 2021 (which is today), a non-working day. What we find very appalling is that they have been harassing the hapless man and his surety, Pa. J.K Agbeye to pay the money.
“What we find objectionable is that Oyekanmi promised and vowed to send Pa. Victor and his surety to jail should they fail to pay the money on or before Monday, 1st of February, 2021. To us, this is a civil matter which could be settled by the two parties without the intervention of the police.” Sulaiman on behalf of the group wrote.
The group stated that most police stations in the state are fond of issuing frivolous invitations to the residents of the state on flimsy issues. He also accused men of the SCID through one Assistant Police Commissioner, Oketunji Sola who acting on the prompting of the then Deputy Police Commissioner of Police, Mrs Yetunde Longe has been harassing one Madam Jumoke Yusuf.
According to the group, the letter dated 6th of October, 2020 with reference number: 3000/LSX/MT.2/TF/VOL.10/79 written to Yusuf. “Perusing through the letter, we discovered that the letter did not state in specific terms, the purpose of the invitation and that the letter was full of errors.
“This unit is notorious for illegal activities. The other time, they conspired with one Chief Oshodi and one Pastor Alabi to dispossess one 73-year-old widow, Alhaja Aishat Alasela of her property located at 8, Bakare Opeisa Street, Papa Ashafa, Agege, Lagos.
“Alhaja Alasela was later saved by the swift intervention of our group through a petition dated Monday 3rd of August, 2020 address to relevant police authorities and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).” He wrote.
He stated that a petition dated Monday, 19th, October 2020 on behalf of another victim, Mrs Jumoke Yusuf urged the police authorities to beam their searchlight on the nefarious activities of their men working in the Lagos State Police Command.
“The case of Mrs Yusuf is even pathetic as the policemen attached to FESTAC Police Station extorted the sum of N200,000 from her through a policewoman officer named simply as Yusuf (+2348026846490) who collected the money from her surety before she could left off the hook after having been detained from Wednesday 5th of August to Thursday night 6th of August, 2020.” He said.
The group stated that the two victims, Victor Adeniyi and Mrs Jumoke Yusuf have insisted that policemen ought not to turn themselves to the court of law or debt collecting outlets, adding that the relevant authorities must probe the listed police stations to curb their activities.
“We are of the view that the activities of men attached to these stations run fowl of all the extant laws governing their rules of engagement. We are calling for a thorough probe because we have since discovered the antics of these men when they kidnapped one Mr Usman Toheeb Owonifari and his wife, Kaosara at Amumoko Police Station in 2017 as well as one Ajala Micheal Oluwaseun (+2348135080208 & +2348080190108) in January 2020.” He said.
According to CHRSJ, Ajala was taken from Ikeja, specifically at Awolowo Way, only to be detained at Bode Thomas Police Station in Surulere area of the state by one police Inspector Nasir (+2348034254018).
The group concluded that should the police authorities fail to act on the latest issues involving Victor and Mr Jumoke Yusuf, “we will not hesitate to enforce their fundamental rights against the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) using Section (35), Sub-section (6 ) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”
Comrade Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman,
Executive Chairman, Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ)
Attached documents made available to 9News Nigeria :