The Nigeria Police have announced the dismissal of four officers for extortion.
The four officers served with the Ogun State Command and included one inspector, one sergeant, and two corporals.
According to a police bulletin obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, the affected officials were attached to the Ijebu-Ode Division of the Ogun State Command.
The police said the dismissal was in line with the fight against corruption.
The dismissed officials were named as Mufutau Olaosun, an inspector; Adebayo Temitope, a sergeant; Bakare Taiwo, a corporal; and Adesoye Ayokunlehin, a corporal.
The police said the suspects were charged, tried and found guilty in an orderly room conducted at the Area Command Headquarters, Ijebu-Ode for two offences.
The case against the culprits, according to the bulletin, was that on June 12, 2017 the Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) received a complaint via its WhatsApp number 0805 700 0003.
“Good morning sir, My name is (Withheld), living in ijebu ode, on Wednesday afternoon I went to withdraw money from the bank and am been sent by my boss when going back to the office some policeman car just double cross me and collect my phone telling I stole the phone I should follow the to the station and they took me to igbeba police station here in ijebu asked me to do frog jump from outside to a room, which I did to afford being beating,” the complainant said.
“After gotten there they started calling me a internet fraudster which I told them am not that am an (withheld) and they started beating slapping me and forcing me to write a statement which they are the one telling me what to write and after that they collected 50,000 from me (from my boss money which I went to withdraw before ealizing me.
“Sir that’s my story. All this are not good and policeman are meant to protect us but this nowadays police officer have turn this to another thing by using their power to ride civilians, maltreating and harassing civilian. The officers name who headed the squad are been called which I overhead are name: one is Omo Alaja while the second is called AY but don’t know the name of the other 2 officer. Please sir you have to stop this kind of officer because they are taking this to far,” the complainant said.
The bulletin added that complaint was immediately registered and investigated.
“The policemen were identified and it was discovered that they apprehended the complainant on 7th June, 2017 without any reasonable cause and extorted the sum of Fifty Thousand Naira (N50,000) ‘Bail Money,” the police said.
“The extorted N50,000 was subsequently recovered from these unethical policemen who were armed in plain clothes on the day of the incident.
“Necessary disciplinary measures were initiated against the erring policemen, they were found guilty as charged in an Orderly Room trial after the presentation of witnesses and exhibits. Punishment of dismissal from service was recommended by the Adjudicating officer and proceedings reviewed by the relevant Nigeria Police Force (NPF) authorities.
“The punishment of dismissal from service has been upheld with immediate effect and all NPF uniforms and accoutrements including warrant cards (ID cards) issued to the men have been retrieved with all dismissal procedures completed,” the bulletin stated.
The police added that the complainant was also handed back his N50,000 with an apology a day after he lodged the complaint. He was quoted as saying, “Great job you people are doing right there, thank you for the prompt response.”
Extortion by police officers is common across Nigeria despite the effort of the police to eradicate the menace.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how two police traffic wardens were dismissed in June for extorting N15,000 from a motorist.
The police asked Nigerians to report cases of extortion and other misconduct to the PCRRU via the following channels: “Phone Calls Only: 08057000001, 08057000002 | SMS/WhatsApp Only: 08057000003.”