CITIZENS COMPASS – THE Lagos State Environmental and Special Offenses Unit (Taskforce) on Tuesday, Juky 18, 2023, debunked extorting N55,000 from a 77-year-old retiree, Dotun Falu.
The operatives gave the clarification in a statement, signed by its spokesperson, Gbadeyan Abdulraheem who stated categorically that neither the Taskforce nor its operatives could be linked to the extortion carried out by some unscrupulous individuals parading themselves as officials of the Lagos State Taskforce.
This statement came as a response to some online reporrs on Tuesday stating that the officials of the Agency had swindled the retiree of the sum of N55,000 for a traffic offense.
The Chairman of the Agency, CSP Shola Jejeloye stated that the actions in question are the handy work of mischief makers who have been on the radar of the Agency and would be made to answer for their crimes in the nearest future.
The statement psrtly reads, *This is not the first time we are being accused of actions like this which turn out to be false but the handiwork of enemies of a serene, habitable and secure environment and impostors who are hell bent on dragging our name in the mud. We have been on the trail of these set of people scattered across the metropolis, impersonating officials of Taskforce in order to extort innocent Lagosians. We have put mechanisms in place to put a stop to it permanently.
“There is no Taskforce office in Okota and as at the time of the extortion our men were busy in other locations.
” CSP Jejeloye disclosed that the manner in which the operatives apprehended and extorted the victim goes against the tenets and modus operandi of the Lagos State Taskforce.
” He stated that once an offender is apprehended, the vehicle is impounded and taken down to the Taskforce Yard in Alausa, while the offender is charged to the Court which is terminal end of all traffic enforcement.
“We operate according to global best practices that’s why we do not apprehend without the Agency’s branded vehicle being visible on the scene.
“Our men are well kitted with visible emblems and unique identification numbers inscribed on the front and back of their tactical jackets for easy identification. Vehicles are taken down to Taskforce Yard in Alausa when impounded while the offender is asked to come to the Mobile court at our Headquarters” Jejeloye stated.
“The Chairman disclosed that he has reached out to the news outlet to provide the details of the victim and also ask him to come down to the Headquarters of the Agency for further investigations into the incident. He appealed to Lagosians to look out for branded vehicles, branded tactical jackets with identification numbers and ID cards when being apprehended by so-called Taskforce officials.”
He however vowed to apprehend anyone whose actions might mar the good image of the Agency which has been built over the years.
The Chairman urged members of the fourth estate of the realm to carry out due diligence before the publication of their story in order to put forward a balanced story to the public.
Reports had it that Falua alleged that the extortion took place in Okota, Isolo Local Council Development Area of the State.
According to the reporrs, the retiree from Ekiti State said the men extorted N55,000 from him on Monday while on his way from the Airport Road where he visited a family friend.
He said that while he was on his way back from the visit, he stopped at a shop along Ajao Road, leading to Canoe Bus Stop to purchase an item when a man who claimed to be a taskforce official forced his way into the car.
He said, “I went to Redstar Express, off Airport Road to see a family friend. After we finished the discussion, he offered his driver to take me back home.
“On our way back, we just stopped at a shop along Ajao Road leading to Canoe Bus Stop with the driver in the car and the car engine still on, incidentally the owner of the shop was not in and I did not even close the door of the car.
“In a jiffy, someone opened the front door and jumped in, claiming he was a task force official. He said he wanted to warn us that we should have not parked there.
“We explained to him that we are not parking and not in any way blocking traffic. There was even no traffic at that time around 2pm.”
According to Falua, the official who did not give his name asked that he should be dropped off.
He alleged that the man kept directing the driver until they got to the Okota Taskforce Office where some other thugs harassed and extorted them.
On getting there, some thugs swarmed us and forcefully ceased the car key. They stressed that unless we paid N55,000, they would not release the car.
“I told them the car was not mine, we even pleaded, but to no avail, until we transferred N55,000 plus the Point of Sale charges to an agent.”
Falua lamented that he had to call the owner of the car who paid the money for no offence.
He requested that the case be investigated and the money refunded.