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Three cops face sack over escape of robbers from custody 

Dismissed officers (standing right) during their trial

• Three others dismissed for extorting N200,000
For allowing two robbery suspects who removed the roof of the police station cell where they were kept in custody to escape, three policemen attached to Isheri Oshun police station on duty may be sacked.

Their fate would depend on the outcome of the ongoing police orderly room trial against them. The policemen attached to the Lagos State Command, were on duty that Sunday night when the suspects removed the roof of the cell and escaped.

It was gathered that three Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) of the ranks of sergeants and constable, were handed over the suspects by the officers who had effected their arrest.

The suspects were arrested for stealing and were locked up in the cell pending the outcome of investigation that would lead to their being charged to court.

However, despite police presence in the station, the duo removed the roof of the cell and escaped at night. When the officers on duty woke up the next morning and went to check up on the suspects, they met an empty cell with the roof damaged and removed.

When the information of their escape filtered out, residents were angry, given that they were the ones that helped the police to arrest the suspects.

Blaming the police for gross incompetence and putting the community in grave danger, the residents, it was gathered, were initially spoiling for war until top hierarchy of the division waded in.

To douse the tension, the Divisional Police Officer, SP Camelius Emodi, quickly rallied his men and went in pursuit of the suspects and with the help of intelligence were able to allegedly re-arrest them.

The team was said to have arrested one Bashiru Rabiu, who was allegedly involved in the cell break and he has been charged to the Isolo Magistrate court for willful damage and escape from lawful custody under the criminal code.

However, the suspect has since denied involvement in the crime, alleging that he was randomly picked up by the police team who were on the trail of suspects who actually escaped from the cell.

Already, an orderly room trial for the three policemen has been constituted at the Area M Command led by the Area Commander, Austin Akika, an Assistant Commissioner of Police.

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Olarinde Famous-Cole, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, who confirmed the incident, however clarified that the suspects were arrested for stealing and not armed robbery.

Meanwhile, three policemen attached to Ijede Division in Ikorodu, have been dismissed from the police for allegedly arresting and extorting their victims of N200,000.

Inspector Okelue Nkemeonye (136005), Sergeant Braimoh Sunday (355897) and Sergeant Yusuf Olukoga (359928) were sacked from the police yesterday after an Orderly Room Trial held at the Zone II Headquarters in Onikan found them guilty of the allegations against them.

According to the Police Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU), the dismissed Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) were found guilty of corrupt practices and discreditable conducts under the First Schedule of the Police Act, Cap P19, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

Officer in charge of PCRRU, Abayomi Shogunle, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in a statement yesterday, said the officers committed the offence on June 21.

He said a complainant had contacted the unit and reported that the policemen picked him up at a bank he went to deposit money. Since the network was down, the victim, whose name was not given, said he paid the money into his own account in the hope that he would transfer it to the company it was meant for later on.

Upon leaving the bank, he was accosted by armed policemen wearing Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) vests and they told him to enter their car while pointing their gun at him.

The victim said his mobile phone was collected from him, the policemen asked what he does for a living and he told them he just completed his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

He said he told the policemen he was living with his brother and that he was the one who sent him to the bank. He also showed them his brother’s shop while they were driving by so they could stop and make enquiries but they refused. He was not allowed to take his calls nor make phone calls.

The victim said he received an alert on his phone, which was the money he deposited in his account, adding that the policemen started accusing him of being a fraudster and demanding N1 million bribe from him.

“One of them slapped me. They drove us around places in Ikorodu, Ijede, Gberigbe, Ibeshe, Igbe, Ipakodo, Itaelewa, Agric and First Gate, harassing people, moving them in the car and collecting huge amount from them.

“They collected N50,000 from me. I noticed that at each junction that we reached people were hailing their leader by his nickname (OJ. Ojewunmi). And one by name Austin slapped me.

“They picked me up around 9a.m. and dropped me 6p.m. 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 them,” the complainant alleged.

Upon receipt of the complaint, Shogunle said an investigation team was dispatched to Ikorodu and it was discovered that the policemen were not attached to FSARS. He said the dismissed policemen and one Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Bayo Obadia, with force number 98199, who led the rogue team, were arrested.

“PCRRU preliminary investigation revealed that all the allegations contained in the WhatsApp message actually happened. 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 showed that the officers extorted a total sum of N200,000 from the young men who they tagged “Yahoo Boys.” The money was forced from them (victims) 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.”



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