Three police officers attached to Area ‘N’ Command Ijede-Ikorodu under the Lagos State Command have been dismissed from the service by the police authorities for unlawful arrest and extortion.
A statement by Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) issued on Monday revealed that the affected officers, Okelue Nkemeonye, an Inspector; Braimoh Sunday, a Sergeant; and Yusuf Olukoga, also a Sergeant, were dismissed after Orderly Room trial at the Zone Two Command Headquarters, Onikan-Yaba, Lagos, which found them guilty on two charges of offence against discipline as provided 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.
The sacked police men met their Waterloo when on June 21 when the PCRRU received a complaint via WhatsApp number 0805 700 0003 alleging that the men paraded themselves as men of Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) and arrested him on allegation that he was a ‘Yahoo Yahoo Boy’ after depositing a sum of N1million into his account in a bank.
The complainant said after arresting him and others, the policemen collected N200,000 from them before they were released later in the day.
“They collected N50, 000.00 from me but I notice that each junctions that we reached people were hailing their leader by his nickname (OJ. Ojewunmi). And one by name Austin slapped me,” the complainant said.
“They picked me up around 9am and dropped me 6pm in the evening after collecting money from me. They even used my account to collect money from the guys that I met in the car and used my ATM to withdraw from them.” .
The police authorities said the complaint was registered and the case was investigated, noting that preliminary investigation revealed that all the allegations contained in the WhatsApp message were true.
“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,” the statement revealed.
“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 forced 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.”