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N50,000 BAIL: Committee Ends Probe, Policemen To Refund Money

The committee set up by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, to investigate allegations of misconduct and sexual molestation by some policemen attached to the Anti-Kidnap and Anti-Cultism Squad of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, has ended its sittings.

A report of deliberations and recommendations of the panel is expected to be submitted to the CP next week.

It was gathered that the committee members swore not to disclose the content of the report.

However, PUNCH Metro learnt that the policemen were indicted on the allegations of ethical misconduct and sexual molestation.

The committee was said to have recommended that the cops, who took money for bail, be ordered to return the money to the victims.

The Officer-in-Charge of the team, Akinade Adejobi, who claimed that he was not on seat for the four days that the victims were detained, was reportedly indicted for supervisory negligence.

PUNCH Metro had reported that a mother of two, Blessing Taiwo, was accused by her boss, Abiola Osagie, of stealing $50,000.

Osagie, who is the Managing Director of the Ikoyi, Lagos office of AfricInvest, a multinational consulting and equity firm, had alleged that she left the money in the office before going on a trip for a few weeks.

She said by the time she returned, the money had disappeared, adding that 43-year-old Blessing had explanations to make concerning the missing money.

The Abeokuta, Ogun State indigene, was said to have been arrested by policemen from the Ikoyi division, alongside Osagie’s driver, Mr. Oluwaseun Sodiya, who was said to have been paid N10,000 to clean up the office during his boss absence.

The matter was later transferred from the police station to the SCIID, Yaba, from where it was referred to the Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Cultism Squad, Surulere.

PUNCH Metro reported that the suspects were detained for a few days as the OC, Adejobi, allegedly refused to grant them bail.

When they were eventually given administrative bail, Blessing’s family paid N50,000 of the N70,000 charged for her freedom, while the driver’s family paid N29,000.

Blessing’s sister, Florence, alleged that she (Florence) was always harassed by the policemen anytime she took food to her sister in the cell, adding that the policemen touched her private parts and breasts.

The driver’s wife, Oluwanifemi, also alleged that she was sexually assaulted, saying one of the policemen caressed her and demanded a rendezvous with her despite knowing that she was married.

The state CP, Imohimi, after removing Adejobi as the head of the police unit, set up a committee to investigate the allegations.

He also returned the case to the Ikoyi Police Station, noting that there was no reason for a case of theft to be transferred to the Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Cultism Squad.

The committee, which started its meeting last Thursday, concluded after seven days.

A source said, “The committee has ended its meeting and the report has been drafted. The report is being edited so that any important detail that is left out by the secretary will be included. The CP should get the report anytime from now.”

When our correspondent asked for the details of the report, the source said the committee members had sworn not to reveal its content until it gets to the CP.

However, another source, who was privy to the report, said the CP gave the committee three major tasks, namely: determine whether the case was properly transferred from the Ikoyi division to the Anti-Kidnap and Anti-Cultism Squad of the SCIID; determine whether there was evidence of sexual assault; determine whether allegations of bail money were true.

She said, “On the first task, we discovered that it was not the duty of the anti-kidnap section to investigate a case of stealing. However, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, SCIID, Yaba, Bolaji Salami, said he transferred the case there because they needed to track phone calls and only the section had the instrument for such investigation. So, the issue of transfer was rested.

“Also, we found evidence that the women were indeed sexual assaulted. Third, we saw that money exchanged hands. We recommended that the policemen should be disciplined in accordance with police regulations. There were officers who behaved exceptionally well and we recommended them for commendation.”

When our correspondent asked about Adejobi’s fate, the source said the committee discovered that he was not around during the victims’ travails.

He explained that the Chief Superintendent of Police was, however, indicted for negligence and dereliction of duty.

“He was not directly responsible for all the misconducts, but he didn’t provide appropriate supervision. That is the only area where he was found guilty. The policemen were asked to refund the money; it was an act of extortion for which we asked that they be punished,” he added.

The Chairman of the committee and Commander of the Rapid Response Squad, Olatunji Disu, was not reachable as of the time of filing this report.

PUNCH.

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