…petitions IGP Usman Baba over N2m bribe
By Okosun Dennis
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba has been petitioned by a Lagos Lawyer and Human Rights Activist, Chief Gabriel Giwa-Amu, over what he described as alleged “corruption, extortion and false allegation” by operatives of the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Alagbon Close, Lagos.
According to him in a petition to the IGP and made available to our correspondent in Lagos said that five of his clients who work for Rockston Dredging & Allied Works Limited were falsely accused and detained by the police unlawfully.
His clients Amadi Williams, ONUKWUBE Emmanuel, Wankansai (Chinese Zhujuntan (Chinese), and Eloyi Joshua were rough handled before being hodded into the police bus and driven to Alagbon close despite having their lawyers standing in for them.
He averred that “the Chinese presently in the custody of your men at AIG’s Office FCID, Alagbon are in Nigeria lawfully and were brought in pursuant to the Exchange of Economic Plan for the growth of Nigeria valued at over $150,000,000.00 (One hundred and Fifty Million Dollars) only which is has been badly damaged by virtue of the illegal arrest of the Chinese,” he stated in the petition.
It was learnt that the Police had gone to the company with a list of wanted persons but discovered that none of the persons in their wanted list was among those that they eventually arrested.
Giwa-Amu disclosed in his petition that the Police Inspector that led the team, one Inspector Lucas demanded N2 million for their bail. But when he stood his ground not to offer any bribe, the police detained his clients in their cell for no offence.
Explaining what led to their arrest, Giwa Amu explained that his clients were arrested over a land matter which was already before a court of competent jurisdiction and was nonplussed why the police should be involved in a civil matter.
Explaining further in his petition to the IGP dated: October 25, 2021 with the title: RE: CORRUPTION, EXTORTION, CONSPIRACY TO SET UP FALSE ALLEGATION AGAINST ROCKSTON DREDGING & ALLIED WORKS LTD; pointed out that, “On the 22nd day of October 2021 Inspector Lucas (08037201206) with a Team of 5 mobile Policemen violently raided ILEMERE COMMUNITY, in Ibeshe in Ikorodu Local Govt., Area of Lagos State alleging to be on Police investigation.
“That the said Inspector Lucas went on the dredging site of our Client, at Ilemere with a list of purported “Suspects’ and when none of the persons wanted was on the said list, Inspector Lucas and his team proceeded to arrest innocent workers on the ROCKSTON DREDGING site including Messrs WANGKANSAI and ZHUJUNTAN both Chinese nationals who cannot speak English.
“That upon hearing of the illegal arrest of innocent staff of our Client Company, our Client instructed us as its Solicitors to proceed to engage the said Inspector Lucas who was still in Ikorodu at the time.
“That our office, with Chief A. G. Giwa-Amu, leading Barr. Monday Uleyo and Barr. Amodu Joseph as lawyers met with Inspector Lucas and his team at the Nigeria Police Station, Ipakodo, near Nigerian Ports Authority, Ikorodu, Lagos State.
“That our Chief A. G. Giwa-Amu was in the company of Mr. Thompson and was shown a list of “Wanted Persons,” That our Chief A. G. Giwa-Amu pointedly told Inspector Lucas that none of the persons on the list was amongst those “arrested” and they should be released.
Chief Giwa-Amu, who heads Chacole and Darda Chambers further reiterated “That the said Inspector Lucas told him in the presence of Mr. Thompson; Barrister Monday Uleyo, Barrister John Amodu that he, Inspector Lucas, will not release any of the arrested persons though their names were not on his list of suspects, because he, Inspector Lucas must make “returns” to his boss, the Assistant Inspector General of Police who in his words “is going to be the substantive IGP very soon…. you people need to meet him… he is the future IGP.…”
“That our Chief A. G. Giwa-Amu purportedly told Inspector Lucas that his actions in arresting innocent persons were designed to set false allegation to enable him (Inspector Lucas) extort money from the Chinese Nationals and other Nigerian Citizens, unlawfully arrested and detained.
“That Inspector Lucas and the team of Mobile Policemen forcefully and roughly took the persons arrested into a waiting Faragon Volkwagen Transit Bus, and took them to his office at “PA to the AIG Alagbon Office”, headed by Police Detective (ASP) Yusuf and ACP Danko of the Office of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police Alagbon, Ikoyi Lagos (FCID Annex); ASP Yusuf and ACP Danko”
The lawyer lamented that despite the assurances from the police to release his clients “before the detention warrant was signed and our Clients taken into custody, we sought audience with ACP Danko and ASP Yusuf who both gave us assurances that the persons arrested would be released since “they were not the suspects wanted by the Police,” they still clandestinely went ahead to detain them.
“We did not know that there was a grand and wide conspiracy to detain our Clients at the behest of one Afusat Falana who lives in the same neighborhood as Inspector Lucas and had procured Inspector Lucas to carry on GRAVE INFRINGEMENTS on the FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS OF FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT of our Client and cause UNLAWFUL AND CRIMINAL DETENTION of these persons.
Buttressing his allegation, “the said Inspector Lucas openly demand from our Chief A.G Giwa-Amu in the presence of Bar. Uleyo and Bar. Joseph Amodu, of Counsel, the sum of N2,000,000 (Two Million Niara) to effect the release of the person arrested illegally who were not even suspects wanted for police investigation.
To that, he explained in the petition, “our office bluntly refused to pay any money for bail, pursuant to which the persons unlawfully arrested were taken to the Police cell and detained after the detention warrant had been signed through the office of ASP Yusuf (07066590980) and ACP Danko (07066990190)
To compound the ordeals of his clients, some of whom don’t “speak English,” Inspector Lucas took statements of the persons wrongly arrested except the Chinese who could not speak English and said he (Inspector Lucas) would not get an interpreter for them and refused to accept the interpreter provided for by our office.
“That in spite of the fact that we provided Two professional interpreters, the said Inspector Lucas refused to accept them and insisted on the detaining all the innocent persons he, Inspector Lucas, had illegally arrested.
Expressing his angst against the cruelty of police actions observed that it was most “disgusting and disappointing the manner ACP Danko and ASP Yusuf feigned helplessness whilst Inspector Lucas carried out his nefarious activities, even when the matter was in their Department and Section.
Adding that “Inspector Lucas claimed that he and his team had earlier served Letters of Invitation on the persons arrested and they did not appear to honour the said Letters of Invitation which is a lie, as the persons arrested were not suspects both in the petition on the subject matter of investigating or any other matter closely connected or relating to Police Investigation.
“That the said Chinese Nationals are in Nigeria in partnership with Rockston Dredging & Allied Works Ltd and are not staff of the company.
“That Inspector Lucas carried out all known illegality to detain our Clients while seeking bribe for bail.”
According to the lawyer in his prayers stated succinctly in the petition to the IGP, “urged him (IGP) to use your good office to cause a detail investigation of issues raised in this petition with a view to bringing the erring officers to Justice while praying for the immediate release of our Client in Police Custody.”
Although the police authorities were initially mute about speaking on the matter, however, the police spokesman at Alagbon, CSP Oluniyi Ogundeyi, said that the people arrested at the site were suspected persons wanted by the police for encroaching into someone else’s land.
“It was a case of conspiracy, conduct likely to cause a breach of peace, and unlawful use of armed men, which was reported through an approved petition, the suspects were invited but refused to honour the invite until some of them were arrested while the rest bolted.
“However the arrested suspects were duly released on 15th October 2021 on the instruction and directive of the AIG without any demand from anyone. I, therefore wish to advise that you disregard the contents of the allegations against the alleged operative, as the petition is perceived to divert the attention of the investigators from the perfect investigation of the case.”
However, the suspects have been released from police custody, the Chambers confirmed.