Jimoh Opeifa, a Nigerian police officer attached to the Ikeja office of Hakeem Odumosu, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, has insisted on collecting a N150,000 bribe to release one of the five young Nigerians arrested during a raid at Ologolo bus-stop at Ajah area of Lagos state, FIJ can confirm.
On May 1, Ibrahim Taiwo, a painting apprentice and manual labourer, landed in the hands of the police officers from Ajah who were in search of suspected cultists who had attacked Ajah area a few days back. All the arrested youth were later transferred to the police headquarters at PWD, Ikeja.
After spending 12 days in detention, two policemen — Opeifa and his superior, Moses Adebayo — brought the detainee to his uncle, Peter Oyediran, to verify all what he had told them in their detention.
“When they brought him that day, Opeifa told me that they only brought him because they had studied and found him innocent,” said Peter.
“The policeman said he had never done something like that before, that is following suspects to their homes, but he just wanted to be sure he was an orphan as he claimed and indeed has families that can stand for him to settle his bail instead of arraigning him in court.”
But Opeifa began to demand bribes when Taiwo’s half-brother, Michael Oyediran, returned to the station to free him last week.
According to Michael, Opeifa initially demanded N200,000 but later negotiated to N150,000.
“I have been trying to raise the money but I’ve only managed to get N50,000 so far,” said Michael.
“When I returned to him on Monday with N50,000 he still insisted on collecting N150,000 otherwise I won’t be able to see him until Thursday.”
FIJ has not been able to confirm if other detainees are also having similar experiences but Michael’s access to his detained brother has been reduced.
Adebayo quickly extricated himself from the case when FIJ reached out to him for reaction.
“I’m not the IPO of the case,” he said. “I only followed my colleague to the boy’s family because my house is around there.”
Opeifa, on the other hand, declined to speak over the phone, He instead tried to convince FIJ to visit the police headquarters in Ikeja for him to “give facts about the case”.
Be the first to receive special investigative reports and features in your inbox.