Ad­ver­tis­ing agent ac­cuses po­lice of pro­tect­ing rob­bery sus­pects

The Punch - - METRO - Oluwatosin Omo­juyigbe

AN ad­ver­tis­ing agent, Olalekan Olak­i­tan, has ac­cused the Nige­ria Po­lice Force of pro­tect­ing some rob­bery sus­pects, who at­tacked him in the Iyana-ilogbo area of Ogun State.

Olak­i­tan al­leged that he was at­tacked at gun­point and dis­pos­sessed of his valu­ables by four men on Au­gust 21, 2018, around Iyana-ilogbo, while on his way home.

Ac­cord­ing to him, op­er­a­tives of the Fed­eral Spe­cial An­tirob­bery Squad were alerted to the in­ci­dent but be­fore they could get to the scene, the sus­pects had fled.

Our cor­re­spon­dent learnt that the vic­tim, who was hos­pi­talised af­ter the in­ci­dent, re­ported the mat­ter through a pe­ti­tion dated Au­gust 24, 2018, to the Zonal In­ter­ven­tion Squad, Zone 2 Com­mand, Obada-oko, Ogun State, and the pe­ti­tion was re­ceived by the com­mand on Au­gust 30, 2018.

It was gath­ered that upon the re­ceipt of the pe­ti­tion, the com­mand com­menced an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the in­ci­dent and the sus­pects were ar­rested with the pump ac­tion ri­fle they al­legedly used to rob the vic­tim.

How­ever, Olak­i­tan al­leged that while the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was on­go­ing, fam­ily mem­bers of the sus­pects and a re­tired Di­vi­sional Po­lice Of­fi­cer, who claimed to have sold the gun to the sus­pects, mounted pres­sure on him to drop the case.

The vic­tim, who noted that the pres­sure from the sus­pects’ fam­i­lies turned to threats to his life and fam­ily, said he told the in­ves­ti­gat­ing po­lice of­fi­cer to re­lease the sus­pects on bail pend­ing when he would be dis­charged from hos­pi­tal.

He added that upon their re­lease, the sus­pects teamed up with some po­lice per­son­nel at the state com­mand head­quar­ters, Elew­eran, Abeokuta, to com­pro­mise the in­ves­ti­ga­tion by ac­cus­ing him of im­per­son­ation.

Olak­i­tan stated, “I was com­ing back from Abuja on Septem­ber 17, 2018, and while I went to turn around Iyanailogb­o, I was ac­costed by four non-uni­formed po­lice­men, who said they were from the Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, Ogun State Com­mand, and when I asked what the mat­ter was, they said a pe­ti­tion was writ­ten against me and that I needed to follow them to the com­mand.

“I fol­lowed them and I in­formed my wife that I would be go­ing to the com­mand, but when we got to Ifo, the po­lice­men said I should give them all my phones and I told them that I could not, but they force­fully took my two phones from me and switched them off.

“When we got to their of­fice around 7.30pm, I was asked what I was do­ing for a liv­ing and I told them that I am a me­dia prac­ti­tioner and they al­leged that I im­per­son­ated some­one to re­quest money from an­other per­son, and when I asked for the per­son and the pe­ti­tion writ­ten against me, the po­lice­men said I should not worry about any pe­ti­tion, but I should just write a state­ment that I col­lected money from some­one.

“When I asked for the name of the per­son that I sup­pos­edly col­lected money from, they men­tioned the name of one of the sus­pects who robbed me and I told the po­lice­men that the man was an armed rob­ber and that if I did not see the pe­ti­tion against me, I would not write any state­ment, but I was tor­tured and asked to write the state­ment.

“I was made to write a state­ment but when they dis­cov­ered that I was re­fer­ring to the gun used to rob me in my state­ment, the po­lice­men ha­rassed me and locked me up in the cell. The next day, one CSP Adesina said they should bring me and when I got to him, he said I was im­per­son­at­ing the po­lice and I asked for the ev­i­dence, but the of­fi­cer asked if I did not know that it was one of them that gave the sus­pects the gun and I told him that I did not know and that they did not have the right to trans­fer their gun to any­body.

“On Septem­ber 19, 2018, the po­lice­men went to Obada to con­firm if they col­lected a gun from the sus­pects and when we got there, they asked the po­lice­men in Obada if they knew me and those ones said they knew me and that I came to re­port a case of armed rob­bery to them. I was taken back to Elew­eran that day and I was re­leased the next day.

“On Oc­to­ber 10, 2018, I was called to Elew­eran and when

I got there, I was told that I would be taken to court and when I asked on what ba­sis, I was told that I im­per­son­ated some­one and when we got to court on Oc­to­ber 11, 2018, I was ar­raigned, but I was later dis­charged and ac­quit­ted.”

Olak­i­tan added that while the case was on­go­ing in court, he pe­ti­tioned the of­fice of the In­spec­tor-gen­eral of Po­lice, the Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sion and the of­fice of the Force Pub­lic Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer, adding that the of­fice of the FPRO re­sponded and promised to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter.

The vic­tim fur­ther al­leged that when one In­spec­tor Atama Fran­cis from the force head­quar­ters con­tacted him on the mat­ter, re­quested money be­fore in­ves­ti­ga­tion could com­mence.

He added, “In­spec­tor Atama and other of­fi­cers came to Ogun State to ar­rest the sus­pects and took them to Abuja, but be­fore I could get there, they had re­leased them.

“It was then I re­alised that the po­lice were work­ing in the sus­pects’ favour, be­cause it in­volved one of them and since then, noth­ing has been done about the mat­ter and if I try to bring it up, the po­lice­men will tell me that I am wag­ing a war against the pow­er­ful.

“I want the IG to or­der an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mat­ter and let the gun be pro­vided; I want to know the per­son I sup­pos­edly im­per­son­ated for which I was taken to court. I want to see the pe­ti­tion writ­ten against me. I want the mat­ter to be in­ves­ti­gated, but what they are telling me is that I should not pass my bound­ary, be­cause the sus­pects are work­ing for highly placed peo­ple in the coun­try.”

The Force Pub­lic Re­la­tion sof­fi­cer, Frank Uba, when con­tacted by PUNCH Metro, stated that in­ves­ti­ga­tion had com­menced into the mat­ter.

He said, “We have com­menced in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mat­ter; there has been a lot of con­flict­ing in­for­ma­tion at our dis­posal, which re­ally slowed down the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, be­cause we heard that the case was in court and we later found out that it was not in court; but I can con­firm that a de­tailed in­ves­ti­ga­tion has com­menced.

“I can­not speak on the au­then­tic­ity of the claims of the vic­tim for now, but ev­ery an­gle to the mat­ter will be in­ves­ti­gated.”

• Olak­i­tan

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