The Lagos State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps says 12 officials involved in the alleged torture and robbery of two employees of an oil company in the state have been suspended and taken into custody.
The command said the suspension took effect from Thursday, May 11, 2017, adding that a panel had been set up to investigate the conduct of the operatives.
It was also learnt that the victims – a tanker driver, Lawal Amobi, and the company manager, Tolu Oyinloye – had been invited to appear before the panel.
PUNCH Metro had reported that the officials had flagged down a diesel-laden tanker driven by Amobi around 6pm last Friday along Wilmer Road, Ajegunle, asking him to produce his waybill and operating licence issued by the Department of Petroleum Resources.
The driver said he produced the waybill, but the latter of was not with him.
On the insistence of the officials to see the licence, he called the manager, who brought a photocopy.
It was said that the men, apart from inflicting injuries on Amobi’s face and back, robbed him of two phones and a sum of N35,000, while the manager was dispossessed of N70,000, a wristwatch and an Infinix phone.
PUNCH Metro also reported that the officials shot at the victims while they were trying to escape after being beaten up for refusing to pay a N5,000 bribe.
Amobi had said, “The manager begged them with N500. They collected the money and entered into their van with the waybill and the photocopy of the DPR licence. We told them that there was still diesel in the truck and we had to tender the waybill if any other security agent stopped us. They just zoomed off in their van with number plate, CD 167 A01.
“As we followed the van, they suddenly parked on the Mile 2 Bridge and came down from the vehicle. They attacked me with blows, boots and the butts of their rifles. They vowed to kill us. One of them collected a Techno phone I was using to make calls, while another dipped his hand into my pocket, took my second phone, iPhone 4, and the N32,000 on me,” Amobi had said.
It was also reported that another team of the corps assaulted another tanker driver, identified as Abolore Ajiroba, on the day, while the incident was reported at the Trinity Police Division.
The spokesperson for the NSCDC, Lagos State Command, Kehinde Bada, said the two teams comprised 12 officials. She said they had been suspended and detained, adding that a disciplinary panel had been set up to investigate the matter.
She said, “The teams involved have been identified and a panel has been set up. The two victims (Amobi and Oyinloye) have been invited. All the 12 officials involved have been placed on suspension effective from today (Thursday) and their suspension letters have been given to them while investigation is still ongoing. They are presently in the cell.”
Oyinloye confirmed to PUNCH Metro that he and Amobi had gone to the command to write their statements as regards the incident.
“But the command did not say anything about the items and money that those officials stole from us. They were all shocked when they saw the extent of injuries inflicted on the driver and they apologised to us,” he added.