CITIZENS COMPASS – Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Idowu Omohunwa has reportedly removed the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Ogudu Police Division, CSP Celestina Kalu,
after four perssonel extorted a University student to the tune of N153,000.
The undergraduate, Emmanuel Nnawuihe, was extorted in Ojota area of the state at about 3.30pm on Saturday, June 3, 2023.
It was gathered that Nnawuihe was driving to a destination in the state when the policemen, who were on operational duty, flagged him down for a search around the under-bridge area of Ojota.
After obliging the policemen’s request, it was learnt that the policemen searched Nnawuihe’s vehicle and his mobile phone and found nothing incriminating.
Rather than allowing him to continue his journey, the policemen reportedly took him to a lonely spot around the under bridge where he was forced to open his mobile bank application.
Speaking with newsmen, a source said upon sighting that Nnawuihe had about N2m in his bank account, the four policemen allegedly threatened to harm him unless he agreed to transfer the money into an account owned by another person who was not at the scene.
The source said the undergraduate refused because he did nothing wrong and that the money does not belong to him but the policemen kept threatening him.
Observing that he could be harmed through the desperation of the policemen, the source said the undergraduate initiated a negotiation with them, adding that through the negotiation, the policemen settled for N153,000 and provided the account number where the money was paid into.
The source said, “The incident happened around 3.30pm on Saturday, June 3, 2023, but Nnawuihe transferred the money around 4.08pm. What exactly happened was that the policemen stopped his vehicle around Ojota, when they did not find anything incriminating on him, they took him to a location where he was threatened to part away with the N2m found in his bank account.
But he disagreed with them and they threatened to harm him till he agreed to pay them N153,000 after a series of negotiations. The policemen were the ones that provided the account number where the money was transferred into. It was after he transferred the money that the policemen released him.”
It was gathered that Nnawuihe, who was angered after being extorted by the policemen, informed the Lagos State Police Command and the state Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa, detailed policemen to track down the accused policemen and bring them in for questioning.
During the investigation, Nnawuihe was taken to the Ogudu Police Division where he identified the policemen and they were taken to the police headquarters in Ikeja where they were detained for further interrogation.
It was learnt that Nnawuihe also wrote an official statement to corroborate his claims and provided the receipt of the N153,000 transfer he made to the account provided by the accused policemen.
While assessing the receipt in possession of one of our correspondents, it was observed that the money was transferred into an account owned by one Edidiong Anthony Ekpo.
At press time, it was gathered that the money had been refunded to the undergraduate and the four policemen had been undergoing an orderly room trial.
It was also learnt that pending the outcome of the orderly room trial, the CP ordered the immediate removal of the Divisional Police Officer, Ogudu Division, CSP Celestina Kalu, over failure to supervise the perssonel linked to the extortion.
Contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the incident, noting that the command had commenced an investigation into the case.
He said, “The money (N153,000) has been refunded to the victim and the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Idowu Owohunwa, has ordered a probe of the allegation against the policemen who are currently in detention. The policemen are undergoing an orderly room trial. The redeployment of DPOs is routine.”
However, police extortion of motorists and residents has been on the increase in the state.
In a statement by Hundeyin on Saturday, April 16, 2023, Owohunwa ordered the immediate removal of the DPO of Okokomaiko, SP Emmanuel Edebagha, for also failing to supervise his men who were accused of extorting a trader in the Alaba International Market, Onyinyechi Anwusi, of N100,000.