By Ejike Ejike, Abuja
In continuation of the current efforts of the Inspector-General of Police to flush out corrupt officers giving the Nigeria Police Force a bad image, three policemen attached to Area ‘N’ Command Ijede-Ikorodu under the Lagos State Command have been dismissed for extortion and illegal arrest.
The dismissed policemen included AP. No 136005 Inspr. Okelue Nkemeonye, F/No. 355897 Sgt. Braimoh Sunday and F/No. 359928 Sgt. Yusuf Olukoga.
According to the head of Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) , ACP Abayomi Shogunle, their dismissal followed an Orderly Room trial at the Zone Two Command Headquarters, Onikan-Yaba, Lagos in which the men were found guilty by the adjudicating officer on two charges of offence against discipline as provided for in paragraphs C (ii) Corrupt Practices and E (iii) Discreditable Conduct of the First Schedule of Police Act and Regulations Cap. P19. Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
He further explained that “on the June 21, 2017 the Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) received a complaint via WhatsApp number 0805 700 0003 which states thus:
“My name is (withheld), I went to the bank this morning to deposit money to a company’s account (name withheld) but there was no network so I deposited the money into my personal account to do the transfer to the account later. When I came out of the bank, a car packed full of some SARS policemen wearing black cloth with anti-robbery squad written at the back. I was told to enter the vehicle with a gun pointed at me. They collected my mobile phone and asked me what I do for a living I told them that I had just finish my youth service and I am leaving with my brother and I pointed my brother shop for them to stop by and see him because he was the one that sent me to the bank, they refused to wait and they did not allow me to pick my calls and call out. I received an alert on my phone with the money I went to deposit they search my phone on seeing the alert they started roping that I am a yahoo boy telling me that I would pay them one million naira.
“One of them slapped me, they drove us around places in Ikorodu, Ijede, Gberigbe, Ibeshe, Igbe, Ikpakodo, Itaelewa, Agric and first gate harassing people, moving them in the car and collecting huge amount from them. They collected N50, 000.00 from me but I notice that each junctions that we reached people were hailing there leader by his nickname (OJ. Ojewunmi). And one by name Austin slapped me. They picked me up around 9am and dropped me 6pm in the evening after collecting money from me. They even use my account to collect money from the guys that I met in the car and used my ATM to withdraw from them.”
He also stated that “upon the receipt of the complaint, a case with tracking number PCRRU637624 was registered and acknowledgment of complaint sent to the complainant. PCRRU Investigation team was dispatched to Ikorodu where all the three dismissed policemen including AP No. 98199 ASP Bayo Obadia who led the team were apprehended. PCRRU preliminary investigation reveals that all the allegations contained in the WhatsApp message actually happened. Also the four police officers who were armed on the day of the incident falsely paraded themselves as operatives of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) despite not being posted to SARS by police authorities. Investigation also shows that the officers extorted a total sum of N200,000 from the young men who they tagged “Yahoo Yahoo Boys”, the money was force from them via N90,000 ATM withdrawal and N110,000 mobile bank money transfer to a third party account provided by the policemen. All the extorted N200,000 was recovered by the PCRRU Investigators.
“All the arrested officers, witnesses and recovered exhibits including the N200,000 cash and printed bank statement of account were handed over to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2 Lagos for further detailed investigation and necessary disciplinary measures. The approval of the punishment of dismissal from service as recommended by the Adjudicating officer is part of the outcome of the disciplinary measures. In the case of ASP Bayo Obadiah who led the team of the infamous men on this unacceptable conduct, an Official Query was issued to him by the AIG Zone 2 Lagos, both his reply and Query has been forwarded to the office of the Force Secretary, Force Headquarters, Abuja from where it would be proceeded to the Police Service Commission as required by Police Regulations.”