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CP Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu

03.01.2022 news Brooks Estate, Lagos Police at Loggerheads Over ‘Humiliation’ of CP Odumosu

Published 3rd Jan, 2022

By Daniel Ojukwu

Hakeem Odumosu, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, on Saturday, detained one Adebola Fatiregun, a widowed resident of Brooks Estate, Magodo, Isheri in Lagos, and her three children, consequently sparking a war of words between the Lagos State Police and the estate.

According to Magodo Brooks Residents Association (MABRA), Odumosu visited the estate on Saturday for a new year celebration, but was stopped by the estate security who routinely asked where he was headed.

Angered by this procedure, he ordered the arrest of four security personnel. When Fatiregun learnt of this, she challenged Odumosu, who then ordered that she be arrested alongside her three children.

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Reacting to the claims, Odumosu, through Adekunle Ajisebutu, the Lagos State Police Command spokesman, described the efforts of the estate security as “deliberate humiliation,” and said Fatiregun and her children were arrested for “inciting violence and conduct likely to cause a breach of peace.”

But MABRA, in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, refuted the CP’s denial, saying the arrest of estate security personnel caused traffick gridlock as other residents were unable to gain entry or leave the estate, leading to Fatiregun’s reaction.

“The Executives of MABRA will like to apologise to all residents who were delayed in the traffic jam caused by the social visit of the commissioner of police, Hakeem Odumosu on the 1st of January, 2022 to our estate,” the statement read.

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“At about 6pm yesterday evening, Odumosu entered our estate to attend a social event at the instance of one of our residents. 

“It was quite a busy day in the estate yesterday as many residents had ongoing social events. 

“The estate security operatives on duty, having not had prior knowledge of Mr. Odumosu’s visit and in a bid to assist him with directions to the house of his host, sought to ascertain the particular resident he was visiting.

“The commissioner interpreted this act as an insult on his person and ordered the immediate arrest of all the security operatives on duty even after gaining access into the Estate to attend the party.

“A resident who happens to be a widow that was passing by with her three children was also ordered to be arrested alongside her 3 children by the commissioner of police. Her offense was that she tried to intervene to understand the situation.

“The Executives, represented by the vice-chairman and the publicity secretary, after being briefed of the situation, proceeded to the party to apologise on behalf of the security operatives for any disrespect caused to the commissioner and plead for the release of the resident, her three children and the security operatives. These pleas fell on deaf ears.

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“At this point, the executives, members of the estate security committee, the estate CSO and some residents had converged at the estate gate to plead with the commissioner on his way out with the hope that his anger would have subsided after enjoying the party.

“To our amazement, the commissioner came down from the car on his way out, said he was insulted by our estate and further instructed that the remaining security operatives who replaced the arrested ones should also be arrested.

“This resulted in complete shutdown of the estate as no one could go in or come out as our estate gate is automated and the operatives with the access token were all arrested with the token. This further resulted in the traffic jam that occurred on CMD Road for over 4hrs.

“Pleas from different angles were made to the Commissioner with no yield until about 11pm when he finally gave in. The estate was finally able to bail the security operatives who were already put in cell, the resident with her children who were put behind the counter at about 11:30pm.”

The Police, in a press statement by Adekunle Ajisebutu, had narrated their account of events thus: The attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to news making the rounds on social media, alleging that the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, locked down the Brooks Estate, Magodo, Isheri during his visit to the Estate yesterday.

“The purveyors of this news are those whose intention is to make a mountain out of a molehill, and are out to blackmail the Commissioner of Police for some personal reasons.

“This rejoinder is not intended to join issues with the mischief makers peddling the news, but to unclad the truth in the interest of members of the public who might be tempted to believe the story.

“CP Hakeem Odumosu who was recently promoted to the enviable rank of Assistant Inspector-General of Police due to his hard work and commitment to duty, visited the public Estate yesterday, 1st January, 2022 to meet a strategic partner at a function after going round, visiting some places in the state to ensure safety of Lagosians.

“The Commissioner of Police was accompanied by his armed security details and was driven in his official car bearing an official number plate and a pennant, including all the paraphernalia of office.

“On reaching the Estate gate, he was properly introduced notwithstanding the visible security details in uniform including a dispatch rider in his convoy, yet he was prevented from entering the Estate by some overzealous private security guards.

“All appeals to the security men to allow the CP go to see someone at a function where an urgent matter bordering on security was to be discussed, fell on deaf ears even when they had foreknowledge of his coming.

“In spite of this deliberate humiliation, the senior police officer remained calm. When it became obvious that the security men were going overboard, the CP after about 30 minutes humiliation, ordered the arrest of four of the security men, leaving one. However, in order not to make the Estate porous, the Commissioner of Police immediately posted well-armed policemen at the gate to support the security man left behind.

“A few minutes later, a female resident of the Estate later identified as Adebola Fatiregun who didn’t witness the incident but heard of it, stormed the gate in anger, inciting other residents against the Commissioner of Police and his aides. She was also arrested for inciting violence and conduct likely to cause a breach of peace.

“All those arrested were taken to the Isheri Police Division where they made statements. They were subsequently released few minutes after, following intervention of notable individuals.

“At no time did the Commissioner of Police shut or lock down the Estate. The police boss could not have done that for whatever reason, knowing that the Estate is a residential one.

“Some residents of the Estate in solidarity for the arrested security men, deliberately closed the gate, thereby creating a temporary gridlock. This they did after the CP had left, perhaps to blackmail him and make him release the security men.

“It should be stated here that, the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides for freedom of movement. The police in particular are statutorily permitted to enter any public place at any time. The Brooks Estate is a public place and the roads leading into it are highways and as such, no one has the power to prevent police officers in uniform from entering the Estate or any such public places.

“The internal security arrangements of the estates and other public places nonetheless, the statutory powers of the police to have unfettered access to public places must be acknowledged and respected.

“Therefore, managements or authorities of estates in the state are advised to constantly brief their private security guards in this regard. Any restriction deliberately put in the way of the police in any of the estates will not be tolerated. Offenders will be dealt with according to the law, just as the police will not condone any form of embarrassment and recklessness.”

Published 3rd Jan, 2022

By Daniel Ojukwu

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