Edwin Etieyibo, a professor and Nigerian businessman living abroad, has told FIJ how officials of the Lagos State Police Command Crack Squad in Ikeja sought a N1 million bribe from him before charging his case in court.
Etieyibo stated that he reported a case of fraud and obtaining by false pretences perpetrated against him by Mr. Abisoye Akinpade, to the Crack Squad in August.
He said Akinpade defrauded him of N18.45 million for the purchase of a forklift, a Ford car, trucks from Germany, and money lent to him to clear debt and get a ticket to Germany.
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In June 2021, Etieyibo, his nephew and niece, together with Akinpade, who was introduced to him by his niece, planned to launch a logistics company for equipment. And Akinpade, then in Nigeria, was entrusted with delivering the vehicles.
But after more than a year of putting up with Akinpade’s excuses and waiting for him to deliver the vehicles, Etieyibo decided to report the issue to the police on the advice of his friend, Ejike Nwabueze.
PAY BEFORE SERVICE
Etieyibo, through Nwabueze, reported Akinpade to the Lagos State Police Command’s Crack Squad in Ikeja. He was, however, asked to pay N1 million before they would take up his case.
Etieyibo informed them that he did not have even N500,000, but they refused to lower their demand.
He informed them that he could only afford N350,000 at this time. They requested that, and asked him to pay the N150,000 balance afterwards.
Etieyibo said after he made payment to Nwabueze, and Nwabueze confirmed that he had made payment to the officers, he sent a receipt of payment to Peter Omofuagbe, the officer in charge of his case.
Etieyibo sent N350,000 to Nwabueze, who transferred the money to the officers using a POS machine provided by them. A balance of N150,000 was later given to Nwabueze, and it was also transferred to the officers using a POS machine.
Etieyibo was directed to write a petition and submit it to the command. He did this swiftly because he wanted procedures to be sped up. But even after Etieyibo’s lawyer in Lagos wrote and presented the petition, there was no progress in Etieyibo’s lawsuit against Akinpade.
Etieyibo said that after repeatedly pressing Omofuagbe, they eventually brought Akinpade to the police station on Monday night, August 15, where he was kept till the next day and then given bail without Etieyibo’s knowledge.
Since submitting his petition, Etieyibo has been on the police’s tail to take his case to court. But they continued delaying and excusing Akinpade. Omofuagbe first informed them that Akinpade was in Ibadan, and then that he was unwell.
Despite the fact that none of those issues were a barrier to submitting the petition to the court, they were framed as such.
Etieyibo said that it was at this point that he requested Omofuagbe’s telephone number from Nwabueze, who had been the one communicating with Omofuagbe.
The case was eventually taken to court after even more pressure, but Omofuagbe instead returned with a motion of notice from Akinpade to the command and Etieyibo citing human rights violations.
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FIJ phoned Ugowe Igbinazaka Joel, commander of the Command Crack Squad, Ikeja, for comments. The commander stated that he was aware of Mr. Etieyibo’s petition and Akinpade’s motion of notice, but was just now learning of the demands made on Etieyibo by his officers. He promised to look into it and get back to us.
Minutes later, he called FIJ and said that he had spoken with Omofuagbe, the officer in charge of the case, and that Omofuagbe said Akinpade had filed a motion against both the command and Etieyibo, as well as invoices for payment of the trucks in his name.
He also said he would see both parties to ensure the issue is resolved.
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