Police officers arrested Roqeeb Adeshina as he returned from a bank around Abesan, Lagos, on Monday.
The officers, who are attached to Area P Police Command, stopped Roqeeb on a bike.
“I was coming from the bank on Monday morning when I met them around Ipaja. This was the GT Bank branch after Gate. I was on a bike. They stopped the bike and told me to get down. My phone was switched off. They asked for it. I handed the phone over to them,” he said.
“The police officers had a power bank with them. They charged the phone and got into the police van. I could not leave my phone with them. I got into the van and followed them to the station.”
N50,000 FOR BAIL
When they arrived at the police station, Roqeeb was detained. The officers alleged that he was a fraudster after going through his phone. But rather than confirm their suspicion, the police officers pressed Roqeeb for bail. He was asked to pay ₦50,000.
“When I got to the police station in Abesan, the officers took me into custody. They told me that I needed ₦50,000 for bail. I told them that I wanted to call my brother,” Roqeeb said.
“They said I was chatting with someone who mentioned ‘client’. One of my friends is a ‘yahoo’ boy. He said he wanted to contact a client with my phone and I said no.
After payment and negotiations with his brothers, Roqeeb’s bail was settled. “They collected ₦2,000 from me. After my brothers came, they later settled it.”
OLDER BROTHER’S ORDEAL WITH POLICE
Abbas Adeshina, Roqeeb’s older brother, had also been detained by officers attached to the same station.
“I was arrested recently. This was last month. I was driving but my driver’s license had expired so I was stopped for the licence,” Abbas said.
“The police asked that we go to the station. On getting there, the officer was not talking about the driver’s licence anymore. He was saying that I should give him my phone. The officers collected my phone forcefully. They started going through my bank account, pictures, personal mail, and call log.
“The officers were trying to tell me that I was into internet fraud, but I was not. They continued to insist on this without proof. Later on, information got to the area commander and I was released. I was detained for almost five hours. They were trying to collect money from me.”
Abbas was released on the orders of the area commander. Abbas told FIJ that this was not his first encounter with officers of the Nigeria Police Force.
“I have had too many experiences with them since 2020. I was illegally arrested by officers of the Nigeria Police in Ibadan and at Abattoir. I was detained by officers at Meiran Police Station too. They broke my phone there. A lot of things have happened with these police officers,” Abbas told FIJ.
“SOME OFFICERS HAVE BEEN FOUND TO ABUSE THE LAW”
When contacted, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, the Lagos police spokesperson, said bail is not to be monetized by police officers.
“According to the Criminal Procedure Act, police officers are empowered to arrest a person when there is reasonable suspicion of criminal activities. Upon preliminary investigation, if officers do not find anything incriminating, we are duty-bound to let the person go,” Hundeyin said.
“If the officer is convinced that more can be uncovered with more time and thorough investigation, the person may be released on bail. Bail is a provision of the law which requires a surety.
“The provision of the law does not say that bail has anything to do with money. Some officers have been found to abuse the law by monetizing bail.
“It is wrong to grant bail with a surety and ask for money. We encourage people to report such officers to us. We shall take disciplinary actions against them.”
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