Four operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), attached to the Lagos State Police Command have been dismissed.Their dismissal followed an approval of the Assistant Inspector General (AIG), in charge of Zone 2, which comprises Lagos and Ogun states Police command, AIG Adamu Ibrahim, who upheld the recommendation of police disciplinary body, that recommended the dismissal of the four policemen. Dolapo Badmos, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Zone 2, who confirmed the dismissal, said the four policemen have been charged to court.
Badmos, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), said they were charged with offences of armed robbery, kidnapping, unlawful detention, intimidation and threatening violence being the report of the investigation carried out against them “when one Mr. Chukwudi Godwin Odionye popularly referred to as ‘Bishop’ submitted a petition against the four on May 2, 2018.” She said Chukwudi, in his petition, stated that on June 4, 2017, he was in his house around Alagbado Lagos when the four armed men stormed his house to arrest on allegation of performing ‘fake’ miracles.
Chukwudi stated that after his arrest, he was taken to one hotel at Agege, where he was detained and threatened to be killed if he failed to cooperate. He explained that on the following day June 5, 2017, he was taken to a bank where he was made to transfer N7 million to one of the operative’s account.CSP Badmos said that on receipt of the petition, the AIG ordered investigation into the case, adding that on the strength of the investigation, it was revealed that no proper police procedure for investigation was followed in Chukwudi’s arrest, and that the four SARS operatives actually abducted the man from his house and unlawfully detained him in the hotel for personal gain.
She gave the names of the affected police men as Sgt. Adeoye Adekunle, Sgt Adeniran Adebowale, Sgt Agbi Lucky and Sgt. Odighe Hehosa.The police image maker said they were found guilty during the orderly room trial for professional misconduct, corrupt practices and discreditable conduct and were dismissed and consequently charged to court.The PPRO, while parading the suspects reiterated the AIG’S directive, that the force will not tolerate any act of misconduct that undermines the value of international best practices of policing as she stated further that any police officer or men found guilty will not be spared.
Police arrest, detain five SARS operatives in Lagos
The Lagos State Police Command has arrested five operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad for allegedly harassing a businessman in the state for bribe after seizing his company documents.The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chike Oti, said the men were attached to the Ipakodo base of SARS.The culprits, according to him, are Inspector Taiwo Omojope, Inspector Arigidi Ebibor, Sergeant Rotimi Adesoba, Sergeant Olalekan Olakunle and Sergeant Friday Oni.it reported that the businessman, Immanuel Ibe-Anyanwu, had gone to a Zenith Bank branch at Ago-Palace Way, Okota, for a transaction when he was approached by one of the cops who took him to where their operational vehicle was parked.
The victim had alleged that after searching his car and perusing his documents without finding anything incriminating, the policemen ordered him to enter the vehicle and take them to his office in the Ikoyi area of the state.After some arguments, a resident was said to have mediated, urging the policemen to release the 37-year-old.The cops were alleged to have demanded money from him, as they turned down a telephone call from the police command headquarters.Ibe-Anyanwu was said to have sneaked into the toilet of the bank on the pretext of going to withdraw money for the cops.The policemen reportedly removed the number plate of his car after waiting for about two hours.The victim said he was forced to enter his car and speed off after bank workers asked him to leave the premises.
The state Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, was reported to have ordered that the policemen be identified and arrested.
The police spokesperson, Oti, had said preliminary investigation showed that the team was led by one Inspector Jude Akhoyemta of SARS, Ikeja.But on Tuesday, he absolved Akhoyemta of complicity in the crime, saying the culprits were from the Ipakodo base of SARSHe said, “In line with the directive of the Commissioner of Police, the command wishes to inform the public that further enquiry into the allegation of harassment of one Immanuel Ibe-Anyanwu by SARS operatives at Ago-Palace Way, Okota, has revealed the true identities of the policemen involved in the highly regrettable incident.“The men, numbering five, are from the Ipakodo base of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and not the Ikeja unit as previously reported.
The names of the policemen are Inspector Taiwo Omojope, Inspector Arigidi Ebibor, Sergeant Rotimi Adesoba, Sergeant Olalekan Olakunle and Sergeant Friday Oni.
“They are currently undergoing interrogation at the command’s X-Squad Section and will be marched before an adjudicating officer at the Police Provost Department for the commencement of their orderly room trial.” Meanwhile, a group, Network on Police Reform in Nigeria, has commended the police for swiftly acting on the allegations.The National Coordinator of the group, Okechukwu Nwanguma, in a statement on Tuesday, said, “…rights abuses breed public resentment for the police and corrode public trust and support.” He said with deterrent punishments, the police would regain the confidence of Nigerians.