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01.07.2022 Featured Osun Police Extort N960,000 From Phone Vendor, Customer After ‘Pinning Phone Theft on Them’

Published 1st Jul, 2022

By Daniel Ojukwu

Oluwadamilola Babatunde, a Lagos State resident and gadget salesman, has told FIJ how policemen in Osun State extorted N960,000 from him and his customer.

Babatunde accused Sola Afolabi, a police officer attached to the Dugbe Police Station in Osogbo, Osun State, of collecting the sum from him and Francis Akuenu, his friend, between May and June.

He said his ordeal began on May 21, when policemen from the Ikeja police post invited him for questioning concerning a phone he had earlier sold to a customer.

The police accused him of selling a stolen phone, and to defend himself, he showed them a receipt confirming he had bought the phone from Akuenu before selling it to his customer. They arrested him nonetheless.

READ ALSO: For Refusing to be Searched by Unidentified Police Officers, Lagos Welder Spends 11 Years in Prison

“The police insinuated the phone was stolen,” Babatunde told FIJ. “I showed them proof of payment for the phone, but they requested that I be taken to the Area Command in Ikeja.

“I was arrested that day without a warrant shown. On May 22, I was moved along with Akuenu to Osun State. He also had a receipt as he too had bought it from someone before selling to me.

“When we got to Osun, the police in the state said we had to pay the bills incurred. They said the phone was stolen during a burglary incident, and I insisted I knew nothing about it.

“They detained my customer, Akuenu and I, and said we had to pay for three phones stolen during the said burglary.”

READ ALSO: Police in Osun Shoot Journalist, Two Others During Youth Protest

Babatunde said Afolabi asked him and his customer to pay N650,000. They were to pay N325,000 immediately and N325,000 two weeks after their arrest, if the police failed to find the actual culprit(s).

He said they paid Afolabi N325,000 in cash and made a transfer of N355,000 on June 4. The officer also made him pay N10,000 to his personal account, and demanded that he and Akuenu facilitate the arrest of the culprit by paying for logistics cost.

Babatunde's conversation with Afolabi
Babatunde's conversation with Afolabi
Babatunde’s conversation with Afolabi

“The police did not want us to send the money directly to them, so they made us transfer it to a PoS operator, and they added other charges,” Babatunde explained. “Three days after they accused us of stealing and we paid for the phones, they arrested Ifesanwo Bukola, a lady they said was the actual culprit.

“Since then, we have been demanding our money, but the police said they will only give us N150,000. They said Bukola gave them N300,000 and they had taken N50,000 from her as bail, as well as N100,000 for her transportation from Lagos.

READ ALSO: Osun Police Arrest FUTA Students Travelling to Lagos, Extort N45,000 From Them

“We incurred a total cost of N960,000. Aside the N650,000 the police collected for the phones we did not steal, we had to buy a new iPhone XS Max for my customer at N200,000 cost. My customer also paid N100,000 bail, and Afolabi still collected N10,000 from us.”

In a telephone interview, Yemisi Opalola, Public Relations Officer of the Osun State Police Command, told FIJ that she would take action and ensure the money was refunded to the victims.

Published 1st Jul, 2022

By Daniel Ojukwu

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