The Lagos State Police Command on Tuesday arrested five operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad who allegedly demanded bribe from a Nigerian writer forcing him to hide in a bank toilet.
A statement by the state Police Public Relations Officer, Chike Oti, said the officials were attached to the Ipakodo base of SARS and not the Ikeja unit as the police earlier claimed.
Mr. Ibe-Anyanwu, a businessman who also runs a company called PLANEX, also allegedly had his company documents seized by the rogue officers.
The writer was at a Zenith Bank branch at Ago -Palace Way , Okota, for a business transaction when he was approached by one of the officers who took him to where their vehicle was.
He explained that after searching his car and business documents, the officers labelled him a fraudster and ordered him to enter the vehicle and take them to his office in Ikoyi.
All pleas made by the writer were turned down, including a call placed to the police spokesperson in the state.
The writer said he later sneaked into the toilet of the bank on the pretext of going to withdraw money for the officers where he made a Facebook update narrating his ordeals.
The update sparked outrage online, with many calling for the police authorities’ immediate intervention.
He would later be free from the antics of his tormentors hours after the Facebook update when some police officers arrived the scene on the order of the PPRO and the rogue officers fled the scene.
The state Commissioner of Police , Edgal Imohimi, immediately ordered that the police officers be identified, arrested and prosecuted.
In his immediate reaction, the police spokesperson said that preliminary investigation showed that the team was led by one Inspector Jude Akhoyemta of SARS, Ikeja.
But on Tuesday Mr. Oti absolved Mr. Akhoyemta of complicity in the crime, saying the culprits were from the Ipakodo base of SARS.
The culprits, he said in a statement, are two inspectors, Taiwo Omojope and Arigidi Ebibor, and three sergeants, Rotimi Adesoba, Olalekan Olakunle and Friday Oni .
“In line with the directive of the Commissioner of Police , the command wishes to inform the public that further enquiry into the allegation of harassment of one Immanuel Ibe – Anyanwu by SARS operatives at Ago- Palace Way , Okota, has revealed the true identities of the policemen involved in the highly regrettable incident,” the statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES noted.
“The men , numbering five, are from the Ipakodo base of the Special Anti -Robbery Squad and not the Ikeja unit as previously reported.”
He noted that they are currently undergoing interrogation at the command ’s X-Squad Section and will be marched before an adjudicating officer at the Police Provost Department for the commencement of their orderly room trial.
“Meanwhile, Inspector Jude Akhoyemta earlier mentioned in the matter was found to be Innocent,” the spokesperson said.