Group Urges Lagos CP To Investigate Anti-Kidnap Squad Commander Over Allegation Of Bride, Sexual Molestation


LAGOS SEPTEMBER 2ND (NEWSRANGERS)-Group under the aegis of Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) has appealed to Lagos Police Commissioner, Mr Imohimi Edgal to Order a prompt and impartial investigation of criminal allegations levelled against the Officer in Charge (OC) of Anti-Kidnapping Squad, Lagos State Police Command, Mr. Adejobi and other unscrupulous officers under him.
NOPRIN which is made up of network of 49 civil society organizations spread across Nigeria and committed to promoting police accountability and respect for human rights in statement signed by It National Coordinator, Okechukwu Nwanguma made available to NEWSRANGERS.COM said it has received some shocking information concerning alleged criminal, unprofessional and discreditable conduct by Mr. Adejobi and other officers under him and hereby requests him to order a prompt, impartial and full investigation with a view to ensuring that they are brought to book if found to be culpable.
The statement explained, “That on August 31, 2017, Juliana Francis, Crime Editor at New Telegraph Newspapers, Lagos State received a call from her colleague, Juliana Taiwo Obalonye also a journalist with The Sun Newspapers who informed her that her sister, Blessing, a single mother of two, had been arrested and detained since August 29, on the allegation that she stole the sum of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) belonging to her colleague, Mrs Abiola Ojo Osagie with whom she had worked for 10 years.
“That Mrs. Abiola Osagie claimed that she left the $50,000 in a bag in her office and travelled for three weeks. That when Mrs. Abiola Osagie returned, she didn’t check the bag for some days and when she eventually checked, she discovered that the money was gone and she immediately accused Blessing because she had a key to the office and was in charge of delegating people to sweep that office.
“That Mrs. Abiola Osagie reported the matter at Ikoyi Police Station and Blessing was arrested on August 29. The Investigating Police Officer (IPO) was Tope. That after investigation, which included a search on Blessing’s home and a check on her bank account, the DPO advised that Blessing should be allowed to go. That not satisfied with the DPO’s investigation and advice, Mrs. Abiola Osagie allegedly asked the DPO to ‘make Blessing confess’ to the crime, but the DPO made it clear to her that torture is not part of investigation in his station.
“That Mrs. Abiola Osagie then took the matter to the Anti-Kidnapping and Cultism Unit of the Lagos State Police Command under the charge of Mr. Adejobi with one Igbin as IPO.
That the OC Anti Kidnapping Section ordered that Blessing be locked up among suspected cultists and kidnappers. That Blessing spent most of her hours in the cell crying, with her children left in the care of neighbours. That the OC Anti-Kidnapping Unit stated that Blessing was culpable and refused entreaties to grant her bail or charge her to court.
“That the OC persistently ignored requests and pleas from Blessing’s relatives as well as interventions by journalists and other concerned individuals, to grant Blessing bail or charge her to court. That not even a request by one of Blessing’s father’s friends and colleagues, a retired SSS operative could persuade the OC, Anti-Kidnapping Squad, Mr. Adejobi to grant her bail or charge her to court. That a journalist with The Sun Newspaper, Mr Christopher Oji called Adejobi, making the same request. But Oji reported that “He insulted me.” That an Area Commander also called the OC, yet he refused to budge.
“That it was at this point that Juliana Frances called the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Olarinde Famous-Cole, who told her that he had spoken about the case with Adejobi, but he still refused to yield. That Juliana Frances then called Adejobi’s elder brother, Mr Muyiwa Adejobi, a senior police officer, to speak with his brother and prevail on him to either grant Blessing bail or charge her to court; that the elder Adejobi spoke with the OC, but the OC told him that investigation showed that Blessing was culpable. That Juliana Francis later called the second in command to the OC, Mr. Oni requesting that Blessing be granted bail, but he said he was going to speak with his boss, Adejobi.
“That members of Blessing’s family were at the station till 10pm on Thursday, praying and hoping that Adejobi would change his mind and grant Blessing bail. That her family members said that they were particularly worried over the amount of Indian hemp policemen at the Anti-Kidnapping Unit were smoking at that late hour.
“That on September 1, Blessing’s family was asked to go and look for two people with valid passports, N2million in bank account, property that has Change of Ownership (CofO) to take Blessing on bail. The policemen also demanded N70, 000 as part of the conditions for bail.
“That Blessing’s sister, Folake said they had to run around to raise the money but were only able to raise N50, 000 and the OC refused to grant her bail, insisting that the money must be complete. That after much pleading, the OC eventually ‘granted Blessing bail’, but held unto her mobile phone and said they would only release the phone on September 5, if she comes with the balance of N20, 000.
“That while this whole thing was going on, Juliana Frances quickly sent a text to the new Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Imohimi Edgal, alerting him of the case. The CP replied around 9pm, promising to intervene.
“That Juliana Taiwo, Blessing’s sister made the further shocking revelation that their younger sister, Florence, who was taking food to Blessing while in custody, said that each time she went to the station to give her food, a policeman (instead of a police woman) would ‘search’ her. They would ask her to strip naked and would be fumbling her breasts and putting their hands inside her private part. It was a different policeman that groped her each time.
“That she was crying while revealing this to her sister, explaining that she didn’t want to reveal this until her sister, Blessing was released from custody. That one of those policemen who subjected Florence to sexual abuse and degrading treatment has the temerity to be still calling her, asking her to meet him somewhere.”
Reacting to the aforementioned allegations, NOPRIN stated that its amazed at the impunity with which the OC Anti Kidnapping assumed the role of investigator, prosecutor and executioner, adding that his action had shown obvious interest and bias in the case.
The group observed that the conduct of the OC manifests notoriety for corruption, abuse of police power and a bad influence on other officers under him.
The group averred tha if the OC could continue to unjustifiably detain Blessing beyond the duration permitted by law without showing any evidence of her culpability, and refusing all entreaties to either grant her bail or charge her to court, is a clear demonstration of abuse of police powers and violation of the victim’s constitutional rights further elaborated by the Lagos State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2011.
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According to NOPRIN, “In the first place, a case of stealing ought not to be taken to or investigated by the Anti-Kidnapping Unit but because the complainant and the OC probably have some personal things in common, the OC decided to do her illegal biddings, which the DPO at Ikoyi professionally refused to do.
“Police officers who sexually abuse female detainees or women who come in contact with them should not be allowed to remain in the police force. It is an egregious abuse that should be treated with great seriousness.”
Consequently, NOPRIN is calling for a prompt investigation of these acts of misconduct and infractions of the law by the OC Ant kidnapping and some officers under him- as clearly stated in this petition, addng that all the police officers responsible for the dastardly acts should be subjected to appropriate disciplinary measures.
The group equally enjoined Lagos police boss to ensure that the police accords adequate remedies, including a written apology to the victim, just asit stated that will follow up on the case to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to account and the victim’s fundamental rights fully enforced.

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Posted by on Sep 2 2017. Filed under State. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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