4 STORIES ON NIGERIAN POLICE BRUTALITY AND POLICE ROBBERY OF INNOCENT CITIZENS

May 10, 2017by Tope Fasua0

STORY 1

SARS officers rob UNILAG student of school fees

Published May 10, 2017

An undergraduate of the Institute of Continuing Education , University of Lagos , Akoka , identified simply as Adetokunbo, has alleged that some operatives of the Special Anti -Robbery Squad, Lagos State Police Command, attacked him and robbed him of his school fees in the Okota area of the state.

Adetokunbo, a 200- level student of Philosophy , told PUNCH Metro on Tuesday that the four policemen accused him of being a Yahoo boy ( Internet fraudster ) because he was seen with an iPhone .

He added that the men, who had earlier arrested two other suspects that were in a car, drove them around Lagos roads.

The victim said the men later took the two other suspects to an Automated Teller Machine , where they were forced to withdraw N 100, 000 each before they were dropped off at the Oworonshoki area of the state.

He said he was released on the Third Mainland Bridge after his N 70, 000 school fees was forcefully taken from him .

The victim said he was not pained by the torture , but the fact that he would have to defer his schooling as he could not raise the money again .

He said , “ I am a clothier, but I am also undergoing part time studies at UNILAG. I am in 200 level. To raise part of my school fees , which was already due , I had to sell some of my property .

“ I had gone to deliver some clothes to a customer in Okota sometime in April and was returning on a motorcycle around 3pm, when I observed that there was panic in the area . The motorcycle rider that took me almost threw me into a gutter.

“ I was still chiding him when the operatives approached me and said I was a Yahoo boy. They held me by the trousers as I protested and struggled with them , asking for my offence . I pushed one of them away. They all descended on me and started hitting me.

“ They put me in handcuffs and threw me inside their car . The beating was much . They were slapping me from different sides. I told them to check my ID card or allow me to make a call. They didn ’ t listen to me or even check my phone. They asked who my father was that made me use an iPhone , which they could not afford . ”

Adetokunbo said he observed there were two other men in the car, adding that he gathered that they had just obtained their visas with a plan to travel abroad when they were arrested.

He said the two men , who were also accused of being Internet fraudsters , were searched by the officials and their ATM cards seized.

He said the operatives , who had police-crested guns and handcuffs, tore his shorts while attempting to search his back pocket where he had his wallet.

“ They took N 70, 000 from me and took the other guys to the ATM to withdraw money, which I gathered was N 100, 000 each . They released them at Oworonsoki .

“ My pain in all of these was not even the beating , but the fact that I had to defer my education because of the money they collected from me, ” he said .

PUNCH Metro gathered that the police authorities had already contacted Adetokunbo, inviting him for a meeting.

He , however , said although he could identify the officers , he was afraid for his life.

“ While I was in the car with them , they pointed a gun to my head and said they could waste me and nothing would happen . I am afraid for my life, but I want those men brought to book . The police can find them in the Gowon Estate , Egbeda, and Okota , Isolo, areas of the state, ” he added .

When contacted , the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous -Cole , said the police had started looking into the case

STORY 2

A Lagos medical practitioner, who identified himself only as Dr Itan, has accused policemen from the Area M command of stealing N45,000 from him.

The victim, who works with a private hospital in the Iyana Ipaja area of the state, said he was returning from an emergency around 1am, accompanied by his wife, when he was stopped by a police team.

He said his explanations on where he was coming from was rebuffed by the men, who demanded N100,000 from him failing which he would be charged with robbery.

Itan said after being detained for about three hours, the policemen led his wife to the nearest Automated Teller Machine, where she was forced to withdraw N45,000 for them.

The doctor said four other motorists, who were also stopped, were forced to part with various sums of money.

He said, “I live in Ikeja, while the hospital where I work is at Iyana Ipaja. I was at home on April 9 when a nurse called me that we had a patient that had problem passing urine. The man was in pain and I recommended some drugs.

“But the nurse called back that the situation was getting critical and I decided to drive down. I got to the hospital with my wife; and by some minutes past 1am, we were done.

“I was driving back when I sighted a road block by a police team at Moshalashi Roundabout, Iyana Ipaja. I saw different Rapid Response Squad vehicles at the junction. They asked me to park and I did.

“They asked why I was wandering at that time of the night and I told them that I was a medical doctor and I had an emergency which I had to respond to. I showed them my identity card and complimentary cards. The policemen checked my vehicle documents and driving licence, which were complete.

“But one of the policemen said anybody could be a doctor during the day and a robber at night. I told them that if they had issues with where I was coming from, they could follow me back to the hospital. But they refused.”

Itan said four other vehicles were stopped on the road, adding that the policemen said they got a tip-off on a robbery operation in the area and they were all suspects.

He noted that before they were driven to the Area Command, the policemen asked him to pay N100,000.

“They said as a doctor I didn’t need to get myself embarrassed and that I could just settle them and leave. Since I didn’t have any money, I did not pay anything.

“They took us to the Area M Police Command on Idimu Road. But instead of driving into the station, they asked us all to park our vehicles at a car wash beside the command.

“I asked them to take me to the Area Commander, adding that I was ready to be investigated. But they only demanded my car key and kept silent,” he added.

The victim said some of the other motorists started paying some money to the policemen and were released.

He said later, a Deputy Superintendent of Police approached him and after he identified himself as a medical doctor, the DSP asked the policemen to search his vehicle.

Nothing incriminating was said to have been found in the car.

“He then held my pouch, which contained my driving licence, passport, hospital ID card and the ID card of another hospital where I was formerly working.

“He asked what I was doing with two ID cards of different hospitals, and I explained to him. I also told him it was not a crime if I had ID cards of two hospitals if I was working in one and consulting for the other. He became angry.

“When it was getting to about 4am and I didn’t bulge, one of them came to me and said I was not supposed to follow them to the area command in the first place and that since they had brought me there, they might have to charge me with robbery. I told him there was nothing I could do because I didn’t have any money on me.

“At that point, they volunteered to follow my wife to the Automated Teller Machine to withdraw some money. I told them I didn’t have N100,000. But the policeman said I cannot give them small money because all of them, including the DSP, will share it.

“Later, they decided to collect N45,000. They drove my wife to the ATM where she made the withdrawal before we were eventually released,” Itan added.

Itan said the policemen advised him to always move in an ambulance whenever there was an emergency or in the alternative he should tell his hospital to write the area command.

While expressing sadness over the incident, he said he reported his ordeal to the management of his hospital, but was advised to let go.

“The hospital said it was what they did every time and I was surprised because I was new in the place. They said since they were in that environment and they always had to respond to emergencies from time to time, they didn’t want to be victimised.

“But I want those policemen punished for the act. The police authorities should go after them; they are always at that junction, robbing innocent motorists,” he added.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, urged the doctor to approach the command for redress, saying the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, would not condone such act.

He said, “Please, ask him if he copied the tag number or name of any of those policemen and if he can identify them. The CP has ordered that once we get any report like that, we should get the culprits apprehended to face the wrath of the law. We will not condone such. Tell him to come to the command on Tuesday (today).”

In his reaction, the doctor said he could recognise the policemen, adding that he wrote down the name and number of one of them

STORY 3

Police officer shot and killed a petty trader identified as Kudirat Adebayo as the office reportedly was chasing suspected “Yahoo boys,” a term that refers to Internet scam artists. Eyewitnesses said the officers then left the woman’s corpse on the spot.

The tragic incident happened yesterday near a railway line at Onipanu bus stop. Our correspondent, who spoke to several eyewitnesses, said the victim, Ms. Adebayo, was at her makeshift shed frying the yams she sold for a living when the bullet hit her.

One eyewitness told our correspondent that three policemen were trying to arrest two men on a bike whom they suspected to be fraudsters. As the officers argued with the suspects, one of them freed himself from an officer’s grip and took to his heels. The police officer gave chase, and then started shooting, the source said.

Another eyewitness named Adenike Fatai told Saharareporters that a team of officers from the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) had their van parked close to the scene of the shooting, but did not intervene.

“The RRS squad looked on while the incident happened,” said the source. According to her, another man on a bike who informed one of the police officers that a woman had been shot, the police aimed a gun at the man’s leg and shot, injuring him.

The son of the deceased, Ayomide Adebayo, expressed dismay about the way the Olosan Police division treated his mother’s corpse. He alleged that the police took his mother’s corpse to the Mainland Hospital morgue, but did not instruct that her remains be preserved.

Mr. Adebayo said when he expressed his displeasure to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) at Olosan police station, he was told that some other officers had collected N50,000 to pay for his mother’s embalmment.

“The Olosan police officers brought my mother to the morgue and abandoned her. The attendants at the hospital told us they only paid N5, 000 to keep her in the morgue,” said the deceased woman’s son.

He explained that only a man named Seye Oladejo had come to the aid of the late woman’s family.

Mr. Adebayo told our correspondent that three of the police officers had been arrested and detained, adding that the officer whose bullet killed his mother was on the run.

“I was not at the scene when my mother was killed, but people who were there have told me that none of the three officers in detention was the one who shot her,” said Mr. Adekunle.

He added that the police were, in fact, disputing that it was one of their officers who shot his mother. He said, “Until they remove the bullet from her head and check it, they won’t accept that it was their officer that shot my mother.”

However, eyewitnesses at the scene insisted that the petty trader was felled by a stray bullet shot by one of the police officers.

Residents in the area of the tragedy told a correspondent of Saharareporters that the police had made a habit of randomly picking up people in the area and accusing them of being fraudsters.

“Once you dress well on this street, you are not safe. The police can arrest you and accuse you of being a yahoo boy. They pick people on the road as they like,” said a middle aged man.

The residents said the police officers involved in the tragic scuffle that killed Ms. Adebayo were notorious for harassing passersby.

“These three policemen always come to this street. They harass people and collect N100 from bike men. That is the only thing they do here,” one of the residents said.

Another woman who sells akara close to the scene of the shooting said the street used to be violent because of incessant clashes between two factions of “area boys,” but added that the fights has since stopped.

Members of the late Ms. Adebayo’s family said they would like to bury her as soon as possible. However, they stated that the complicated process of getting an autopsy and removing the bullet lodged in the woman’s head might delay the burial arrangements.

STORY 4

*As CP queries DPO, orders arrest of team members; Killer cop charged for murder By Evelyn Usman & Ebere Aham LAGOS—A police corporal attached to Isheri-Oshun Division in Lagos, Wednesday night, fired a shot at a moving tricycle along Isheri/ Ijegun road, killing the wife of the operator, Idongesit Ekpo, on the spot. Doctors at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, are however, battling to save the life of the operator, Godwin Ekpo, who was reportedly also hit by a bullet. Consequently, visibly angry Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, has ordered the immediate arrest of members of the team on duty that night. The arrested team members include Sergeant Benson Ahambo, Corporal Augustine Telenundu, Corporal Onu Samuel and Corporal Musefun Aremu. DPO queried Owoseni has also queried the Divisional Police Officer in-charge of the division for allowing his men to operate without a properly labelled Police vehicle.

Information at Vanguard’s disposal had it that the tricycle operator was returning from church with his wife and four children between the ages of 1 and 12 in the tricycle, popularly known as Keke Marwa, when the police corporal flagged him down. PROTEST: Tricycle operators protesting alleged killing of wife of their colleegue by a policeman in Isheri-Oshun area of Lagos. It was also gathered that tricycle operators usually gave the policemen between N50 and N100 in the morning and also at night. But Ekpo was said to have refused to stop to give the policeman money, arguing that the passengers were his family members. Eye witnesses alleged that the corporal fired some shots into the moving tricycle, thereby forcing it to a halt.

The bullet was said to have shattered Mrs Ekpo’s skull while her husband was hit in the jaw. At that moment, Ekpo reportedly managed to come down and raised the alarm when he discovered his wife in the pool of her blood. On noticing the magnitude of his action, the corporal reportedly alerted his team members and they all fled the scene. CP reacts Reacting to the incident, the police commissioner said:

“The command has quickly responded to the incident. The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, Mr Johnson Kokumo, has been with the tricycle operator in the hospital. ‘’We will do everything within our capacity to ensure that the children and their father are well taken care of at the moment. “In furtherance of the Inspector General of Police’s stance that the Nigeria Police will not encourage or tolerate any act of barbarism, lawlessness, misuse of fire arms, the corporal that is involved has immediately been taken into custody this morning( yesterday) with necessary disciplinary measures completed.

‘’He has been charged for murder and will be taken to court tomorrow (today). The DPO has also been issued a query for disobeying the IGP’s instruction that policemen should go about their duty in properly labelled vehicles and be properly dressed. ‘’We have also extended disciplinary measures on the team leader and other policemen with the corporal.” Tricycle operators protest Meanwhile, tricycle operators took to the streets yesterday to protest the shooting and excesses of policemen attached to Isheri- Oshun station. The operators, who called on the Police high command to address the issue before it got out of hand, alleged that policemen from the division used the stretch of that road as haven for extortion. One of them who simply gave his name as Mukaila, said: “Policemen from Isheri-Oshun Division are making life unbearable for us. We pay N100 in the morning, N50 in the afternoon and N100 at night.

‘’If we fail to give them the money, they will seize your keke and dare us to go and call the CP. That is what they do to Okada riders too. ‘’If you challenge them, they will seize your keke and threaten to shoot you. At times, they will even shoot to put fear into us. It is unfortunate that our colleague’s wife was killed in a reckless manner.” CP visits scene The command boss also visited Area ‘M’, command, Idimu, which oversees Isheri-Osun Division and, thereafter, proceeded to Ijegun where the protesters had gathered and appealed to them to be calm, assuring that justice would be done. A female human rights activist, Chinazo Ifechie, who was among the protesters expressed disdain over the manner the DPO at Isheri-Oshun handled the matter. She told the CP: “ When I got to the station, the policemen beat me up and seized my phone and camera right in the presence of the DPO. As I speak, my phone is still with them.” Immediately, the CP left for Isheri-Oshun Division where he addressed the policemen and also ordered the release of the activist’s phone.

A relative of the operator, Elizabeth Iniebong, told Vanguard that her brother, Ekpo, was given the tricycle on hired purchase just last month, after staying at home without a job. ‘’Even the wife just recovered from an ailment. They also packed into the area recently. I don’t know why this is happening to us now,” she lamented. As at yesterday, the children;,Mary, 12; Blessing, 9; Abraham, 7; and 11-month-old Elijah were at the Area ‘M’ command under police protection.

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