The Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA) wish to throw light on the above subject matter and as well correct the ongoing wrong information of “Somolu police supporting crime”.
HURMA wish to inform the general public that contrary to the rumor spreading across Shomolu community area over some recently arrested false police officers around Onipan/Palmgroove bus-stop and later moved to the Onipan Division of the Nigerian Police Force where some officers in the station are alleged trying to shield the arrested police officers, on the comradeship ground of espirit-de-corp. HURMA is on top of the matter and hereby assured the general public that the matter is receiving due attention by the police.
On Monday 23rd of July 2018, a member of HURMA Shomolu unit, Comrade Soji, was bold enough to challenge some people in police uniform who parked their vehicle, a SUZUKI EVERY minibus painted in Lagos color with Reg No: FST – 576XW, at a junction between palm groove and Onipanu bus stop, on why they were stoping people and vehicles to forcefully collect money from them under the disguise of police on duty.
It was observed that those in police uniform among the men were not with names nor tag numbers on their uniform. After a hot challenge one of them said they came from Festac area.
Onipanu division that had always been wrongfully indicted for such act was contacted and officers therefrom moved the criminals to Onipanu police station.
HURMA office was later contacted by some residents that Onipanu Police officers turn people away and tell them that no fake officers were arrested because they have realised that some of the arrested criminals were actually police officers from another area, but on illegal duty which is sometimes understandably permitted in police work, especially when one is broke.
This led to the decision of our office to quickly form a five man committee, including the Executive Director, Comrade Buna Olaitan Isiak, to visit Onipanu police station so as to confirm the authenticity of the report and also ensure that matters are not swept under the carpet as reported in our office.
However on getting to the station, we were also given same response and asked to wait for the D.P.O.
HURMA Executive Director promptly send the following message to the C.P/ Rights group platform and this was promptly responded to with the effort of the administrator, Bar. Adeola Ilori among other committed officers onboard.
Meeting was arranged between the DPO and HURMA representatives which include Comrade Henry Etuk; Salam Sanni; Azeez Majekodunmi; Jide Omotosho and Monsur Akinremi.
The message read in part:
‘SHOMOLU ACTIVISTS EXPOSE ILLEGAL POLICE OFFICERS.
Some criminals in police disguise were arrested this morning, 23rd July, 2018, around Onipanu/ Palmgroove area in Lagos at about 8am. The illegal officers were caught while extorting money from vehicles and passersby. But where challenged by a member of the Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA) Shomolu Unit, who detected that the one in uniform had no name nor tag number on his uniform. This led to further challenge by concerned people around the area.
Onipanu Police Station was contacted and officers therefrom moved the suspects, some of whom had been beating while some escaped, to the Onipanu division of the Nigeria Police Force.
It is however disheartened to realise that some senior officers in the station are presently turning people that are interested in exposing the atrocity, back from the station and denied the arrest.
HURMA hereby call on the leadership of the NPF to ensure that this criminal act of bastardizing the police image is not sweat under the carpet.”
Our meeting with the DPO, CSP Sabo Tukura, later revealed that the above rumour was not true and that the suspects were actually being interrogated as appropriate.
The DPO’s response to our united platform reads in part:
“suspected fake police men and two civilian have been arrested at Onipanu police station for traffic robbery, while two others are at large,,Suspects,n exhibits re being transferred to F, SARS Ladipo for investigations. of course d culprits will be dealt with according to the law”.
While we await the outcome from the state PPRO, the Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA) hereby call on members of Somolu community to have confidence in the police and always be readily available to work with the leadership within their territory to expose bad elements soiling the good image of the NPF.
Comrade Buna Olaitan Isiak
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