THE internet has gone abuzz with the ‘unlawful’ detention of a member of the House of Representatives, Shina Peller by the Nigerian Police.
On Monday, an associate of the lawmaker, Akin Alabi, representing Egbeda/Ona Ara federal constituency in Oyo State, disclosed the situation in a series of tweets.
Peller, an APC lawmaker representing lseyin/ltesiwaju/ Kajola/lwajowa federal constituency in Oyo State was arrested by the police on Monday when he approached the Maroko police station to bail his customers who were illegally arrested, Alabi narrated.
Alabi said the lawmaker was detained and demanded a payment of N100, 000 bribes, saying, “Why on earth do you need to pay the police a bribe after your car has already been seized?.
“We are on our way to Panti. First of all, the cars of the customers were towed and seized for violating traffic. FINE. But they were arrested and told to pay N100,000 bribe.
“You arrest those parked on the road. Someone goes to bail the people arrested. You arrest the person too.
“Now they are trying to swing the narrative by lying that he tried to invade the police station. Lies. He went to bail those that were arrested. He was arrested. CP even boasted that he has a score to settle with him. Madness!,” Alabi lamented.
“Police brutality knows no status,” he said.
The spokesperson to the lawmaker, Kola Popoola in a statement called for the immediate release of the Pelle.
The statement read in part, “Hon. Shina Peller was at Moroko police station to bail some of Club Quilox’s customers who had allegedly parked on the road during a show at the club.
“Prior to the kickoff of the 36hours non-stop show which usually holds every year at Quilox, Peller had informed the concerned Lagos traffic authorities to avoid unnecessary traffic gridlock.
“On getting to Moroko police station, the police started harassing Peller and even went as far as seizing all his phones for no reason.
“The continuous harassment and unjust detain of a member of House of Representatives, Hon. Peller, by the police, calls for urgent attention of the media and the commissioner of Police.
The Lagos Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana in a statement, forwarded to The ICIR, said the lawmaker was arrested alongside five thugs for invading Maroko Police Station.
Peller was said to own a clubhouse called Quilox Club in Lagos. The club according to the Police had caused undue obstruction and hardship for commuters, who found it relatively difficult to go about their activities at the early hours of the day.
“On 23rd December 2019 at about 8.30 am, traffic was observed to have built upon the road. Police again traced the cause to the club. The club activities mostly last up to 9 am from the night and affecting the free flow of traffic in the area,” the paper said.
According to the statement, security operatives around the club on Sunday sent a traffic report to Maroko Police Station on a gridlock as a result of indiscriminate parking on the major road by customers of Quilox Club, 183 Ozumba Mbadiwe, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The police said the DPO Maroko had approached the lawmaker afterwards on the need to ensure his customers do not block the major road to mitigate the hardship the obstruction is causing other road users.
“Police eventually cleared the traffic and the honourable member promised to keep the road free of traffic,” the paper said.
However, the police noted that the situation got worse on Monday as commuters had to resort to trekking, but was later resolved after much efforts by security operatives of Maroko Division led by the DPO.
“Three vehicles parked on the major highway by some customers of the club, which actually caused the obstruction, were removed and taken to the station. The Club owner mobilised over 50 thugs around 11 am and invaded the police station to forcibly move the vehicles away.
“The police officers on duty at the station sent a distress message to the headquarters calling for reinforcement. Police teams from neighbouring divisions and Area J Command, led by the Area Commander were deployed to reinforce the station.
“The honourable member and five thugs were arrested while others scaled through the fence and escaped. The Commissioner of Police Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu has ordered the immediate transfer of the case to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba for in-depth investigation,” the police said.
However, with claims that the club was sealed and activities abrupted, the police say such development was beyond its jurisdiction but the state government.
“I can’t speak on that, that can be clarified by the Lagos State government not the police. You can ask further questions. They regulate the clubs and all in the state,” Elkana said in a phone conversation with The ICIR.