Chris Oluwaseun, a business development manager, has narrated the anomalies he witnessed at B Division Police Station in the Adewole area of Ilorin, Kwara State.
Oluwaseun told FIJ that he was arrested on April 14 after having a disagreement with his wife. He said he was detained for four days by officers at the station for refusing to write a statement without legal support, and that he saw officers devise various means to extort money from young men through night raids.
“I was in detention for four nights. Every night, between 11pm and 1am, police officers brought young men into the cell,” Oluwaseun said.
“Some of the men said they were arrested where they were buying food. Some others said they were coming from prayers when they were arrested. They arrested some at a joint where they were buying alcohol. The law that forbids people from buying alcohol is if you are less than 18.
“Every morning, they brought them out of the cell to write statements, after which they start contacting their family members. They took nothing less than N10,000 from each person.
“If your family members didn’t come or pay, you would be there for as long as possible. And you would not be charged to court.”
Oluwaseun said senior officers also participated in the police extortion scheme.
“When they brought them out to get their statements, they asked them who led the raid in which they were arrested. The DPO and two senior officers were the ones who led the raids,” he said.
“If you were arrested by the other senior officers, you would pay N10,000 before regaining freedom. If arrested by the DPO, you would pay nothing less than N15,000 to N20,000. She is more powerful than the others.”
When asked if he could identify any of the officers, Oluwaseun said, “I only know the DPO as Alhaja Munirat. There is another officer called SOJ. She uses him for her dirty jobs. Those familiar with that police station know this SOJ very well.”
When FIJ contacted Okasanmi Ajayi, Kwara State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), he said:
“The command has not received any negative report about the raiding by policemen, except that some arrested suspects claimed to be innocent. Such persons are promptly released if their claims of innocence are established through proper identification without demand or receipt of bribe.
“All the same, the command will look into this allegation and if proven to be genuine, such police officers would be sanctioned.”
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