Group raises alarm over ‘illegal arrest, detention, extortion of innocent citizens’ by Police operatives in Panti Yaba-Lagos

Posted by News Express | 29 March 2021 | 403 times

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A civil rights organization, the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ), has raised the alarm over what it described as the latest modus operandi being utilised by police operatives 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 extort money from hapless victims, adding that the practice 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 called on relevant authorities to beam their search lights 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.

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 lurin them to their (Police) 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 TRUECALLER platform to be able to know their names.

“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.

Alimi expressed regrets that the situation was expected to 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, and her husband, Mr. Kayode Fagbola, 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 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 who is said to be the O/C ‘D9’ to answer to the fictitious petitions against them.

“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.

CHRSJ referred to another victim which it 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).

He stated that CHRSJ has continued to beam its searchlight on the activities of the Department since October 10, 2018 when the “so-called” O/C SEB issued a purported invitation letter to one Mr. Opeyemi Ibiloye and one Mr. Ajiboye Olalekan.

“The Department through one operative called Alexandra and another one called Dawodu 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.

The group called on the Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General of Lagos State, Mr. Moyosore Jubril Onigbanjo, to ensure that he exercise 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.


Source: News Express

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