'Corrupt' Lagos police officer appears before panel, faces immediate suspension for alleged extortion

'Corrupt' Lagos police officer appears before panel, faces immediate suspension for alleged extortion

- The divisional police officer in charge of the Pen Cinema Division, Yaba in Lagos, Harrison Nwabuisi, has been accused of bribery and extortion

- Nwabusi reportedly raided some residents in the area, arrested 37 of them and demanded bail of N15,000 from each of them

- When notified about the development, Edgal Imohimi, the Lagos state commissioner of police, ordered the suspension of Nwabusi

The State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Yaba in Lagos, has started investigation into the allegation of bribery levied against a suspended divisional police officer in charge of the Pen Cinema Division, Harrison Nwabuisi.

Punch reported that Nwabusi and other policemen allegedly involved in the crime were scheduled for an identification parade before some residents of Alimi Ogunyemi Street, Ijaiye, who accused them of extortion.

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It was gathered that Nwabuisi denied collecting money for bail, while the residents alleged that they paid money to a police sergeant who handed over the money to him.

Earlier, Nwabuisi, who is a superintendent of police, led a team to the area on Wednesday, August 22, and arrested about 37 residents, took them to the station and demanded N15,000 from each of them

The senior police officer, in collaboration with a police sergeant, identified as Bigi, reportedly collected N30,000 from three of the arrested residents.

Upon being notified about the development, Edgal Imohimi, the Lagos state commissioner of police, ordered the suspension of Nwabusi and appointed some officers to investigate the allegations, with Yetunde Longe, the deputy commissioner of police in charge of the SCIID, leading the team.

One of the witnesses, Ibrahim Aranjure, said he was contacted by the Longe on Monday, August 27, adding that he went to the SCIID along with three other witnesses.

Ibrahim, whose brother, Sheriff, and two others were arrested during the raid, claimed that he paid N30,000 for their bail.

He state: “The DCP treated us well and we were not harassed by anyone. When we arrived at the SCIID around 11am, all the policemen that were part of the raid that night were brought before us and we identified three of them, including Bigi, who took N30,000 from me. The DPO was also there.

“We were taken to an office to make statements. Later, we were taken to the office of the DCP, where we had a face-to-face encounter with the DPO and Bigi.

“They both denied collecting any money from us. I was, however, able to establish that I gave Bigi the money and he passed it to the DPO, who put the money in his pocket. The DPO asked how N30,000 would enter his pocket and I wanted to argue with him, but the DCP intervened.

“I was the only witness who saw him collect the money because I paid. One other person, who followed us, also confirmed that Bigi collected money that night. The man said he (Bigi) rejected electronic transfer, saying he wanted cash.”

The DPO alleged that Ibrahim was sponsored by The PUNCH, citing a 2017 report on the notoriety of the police station.

The report, titled Notorious police station where no one is innocent, had detailed the ordeals of some residents who alleged that they were being harassed by policemen at the station who extorted money from them.

“The DPO said The PUNCH sponsored me in a desperate attempt to nail him. I insisted that I was not sponsored by anyone. I told the DPO that he collected the money in my presence, but he denied it.

“When the DCP asked him that when the suspects were released, who brought them out, he could not answer. She also asked him some other technical questions, which I think he did not answer well,” Ibrahim further said.

Some other residents who were arrested on the night of the incident did not get to the station after paying their way out.

Another witness, Nnaemeka Ogu, who responded to The PUNCH’s report of the raid on Twitter, claimed that he paid N4,000 for his worker.

Ogu stated: “Had to pay N4,000 for bail the same night at the Area G Police Station for the release of my worker who was raided at Ogba bus stop. That was the only reason he was not moved to Pen Cinema Police Station.”

One unnamed Instagram subscriber also claimed he had been extorted in a similar fashion. He stated: “Pen Cinema Police Station is a …, if you stay around the Ogba area, I am sure you won’t escape them. That was how I was arrested on a Friday by this people and I was given two choices: bail yourself with N10,000 or be detained till Monday. I bailed myself with N8,000 after a lot of begging.”

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The state police public relations officer, CSP Chike Oti, said investigation was ongoing into the case.

Meanwhile, Lagosians have praised Imohimi for his immediacy of response to allegations against men and personnel of the command. On several social media platforms, they wished police commissioners in other states would follow his legacy to reform the police.

Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that the police command in Lagos on Friday, July 6, finally arrested some of its officers who were involved in the assault of a young lawyer, identified as Olakunle Karimu, for demanding his salary from his boss, Oluyomi Olawore, who was also a legal practitioner.

The said police personnel who were arrested for their unprofessional misconduct, were attached to the Lion Building division of the command in the state. The incident was captured in a video footage.

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Source: Naija.ng

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