The Zone 2 Police Command, Onikan, Lagos have arrested a food seller in Ogijo, identified as Sunday Ogbonna, at Mosimi-Likosi area of Ogun State.
It was gathered that Sunday was taken to court after he allegedly refused to pay N100,000 bail sum demanded by some operatives of the zone.
It was gathered that Sunday was detained by the command’s Zonal Intervention Squad, Ladegboye Base, Ikorodu, on Sunday, 17 months after he was first arrested for buying a stolen goat by another set of policemen allegedly from the Lagos State Police Command.
It was learnt that an unidentified man had sold the goat to Sunday sometime in March 2016.
The following day, the policemen allegedly from Lagos command reportedly stormed Sunday’s shop and arrested him for buying a stolen goat.
Sunday’s wife, Calister Ogbonna, said her husband explained to the operatives that he was not aware that the goat was stolen.
She added that the policemen later collected almost N200,000 for bail and “to settle the case.”
Calister said, “We run three canteens in Ogijo and we buy goats on a daily basis. I was at the shop with my husband on that day when a man brought a goat to sell. Policemen came the next day and said my husband bought a stolen goat. They seized all the goats they saw outside the shop.
“They asked him to give them money to fuel their vehicle so they could leave him. They demanded N50,000. He begged them, but they beat him up and insisted that he must pay the money. My husband went inside to bring the money and a policeman followed him.
“He wanted to give the policeman N50,000 from a bag containing N130,000, but the policeman snatched the bag from him. I told the policeman that he had taken all the money we had and he eventually gave me N5,000 for the upkeep of my children until my husband would be back.
“He also gave me his phone number. They took him to their station in Ikorodu. I can’t remember the name of the station, but I know the place.
“The following day, I went to the station to secure his bail. They demanded another N60,000. After much pleading, they collected N40,000. We told them that we didn’t want embarrassment again and they promised to let go of the matter. We did not see any complainant and the seized goats were not returned.”
The policeman, who dropped his phone number to the woman, was later identified as Christopher. He was said to be presently serving in the Zonal Intervention Squad.
Calister’s said when she thought the dust had settled on the case, some operatives of the Zonal Intervention Squad invaded their residence in Oremeji Omoleye, Ogijo on October 1, 2017, to re-arrest Sunday.
She said the policemen scaled the gate to gain entry and went away with four goats on the premises.
She said, “My husband and I were in the church that morning. When I returned home, I learnt that some policemen came. Our second child said the policemen asked her to open the gate, but she refused because we had warned her and her siblings not to open the gate for strangers.
“She said one of the policemen scaled the fence and started shooting. They went away with a big goat and three small ones. I went to the shop and was told that the policemen came. They went away with a pot of soup.
“After some minutes, they returned the pot of soup and arrested me. They locked me up in a cell. My husband later came to their station. They released me and detained my husband. They brought out a man and asked my husband to identify him. He said he was the man who sold a goat to him in March 2016, which led to his arrest. They asked the man if he had seen my husband again after selling that goat, he said no.
“I challenged a policeman (Christopher) who was a member of the team that handled the matter in 2016, but he said I should be calm. He asked me to settle so my husband could be released. On Monday, I called my relative who is a policeman. He sent one Fola to me at the ZIS office. The woman met with the Investigating Police Officer in charge of the case, Tobi.
“After their discussion, the woman asked me to raise N20,000 so that we could leave the station. Fola left to see the IPO and she came back to tell me that the IPO declined the money, adding that he said N100,000 was even too small. I told her that we did not have such amount and she left in anger.”
The mother of six children stated that she approached the IPO, but he insisted that she should get money to secure Sunday’s bail.
She said Tobi scolded her for reporting the matter to human rights activists.
“He said he had received a lot of calls from people on the case. His boss asked me to get a surety for my husband’s bail. That evening, I got a surety, Mr. Ekpe. They delayed us till around 10pm. They said they had closed and asked us to come back by 10am today (Wednesday). When we got there, they said he had been arraigned before a magistrate’s court in Sagamu,” she added.
In the charge sheet, the police accused Sunday of receiving five “she-goats” valued at N75,000 which belonged to “a good citizen of Ogun State.”
Meanwhile, the National Coordinator of Network on Police Reform in Nigeria, Mr. Okechukwu Nwanguma, who intervened in the case, said he had petitioned the Officer-in-Charge of Zone 2, AIG Adamu Ibrahim, on the conduct of the officers.
He added, “The conduct of the officers is criminal and malicious. They are not interested in investigating crime, but simply hiding under the pretext of investigating crime to commit crime, intimidate and extort money from accused persons. Sensing that their real criminal intentions have been exposed, they thought of charging the man to court as a cover-up strategy.
“NOPRIN also calls on the IGP to look into this case of gross police misconduct and brazen corruption and to use the officers involved to demonstrate how serious he is with his anti-corruption campaigns.”
The spokesperson for the zone, SP Dolapo Badmus, said, “The case has been taken to court. There is no truth in the allegation.”
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )