Lawyer petitions IGP over planned extortion by FCID operatives, police debunk claim
A rights lawyer, Gabriel Giwa-Amu, has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba, over alleged corruption, extortion and false allegation by operatives of the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Alagbon Close, Lagos.
Giwa-Amu, who gave a copy of the petition to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday, alleged that five of his client’s workers were falsely accused and detained by the operatives.
His client is Rockston Dredging & Allied Works Ltd.
Police said, however, that those arrested were wanted persons arrested legally and had been released on bail.
Giwa-Amu had stated in his petition that those arrested were Amadi Williams, Onukwube Emmanuel, and Eloyi Joshua.
Others were Wangkansai and Zhujuntan, Chinese nationals.
The lawyer claimed that the operatives, led by one Insp. Lucas demanded N2 million for their bail, stressing that when he refused to pay the money, the five persons were taken into custody.
The lawyer said the five employees of his client were arrested over a land matter which was already before a court and wondered why the police should be involved in a civil matter.
“On Oct. 22, Insp Lucas, with a team of five `mobile policemen’ violently raided Ilemere Community in Ibeshe in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State purportedly on police investigation.
“Insp Lucas went to the dredging site of our client at Ilemere with a list of `suspects’ and when none of the persons on the site was on the said list, Insp Lucas and his team proceeded to arrest those found on site.
“Upon hearing of the illegal arrest of innocent employees of our client company, our client instructed us as its solicitors to proceed to engage Insp Lucas who was still in Ikorodu at the time,” he stated.
Giwa-Amu further alleged that himself and two of his colleagues met with Insp Lucas and his team at the Nigeria Police Station, Ipakodo, near Nigerian Ports Authority office in Ikorodu.
He stated that Lucas showed him the list of wanted persons, and he pointedly told the inspector that none of the persons on the list was among those “arrested’’ and that they should be released.
The lawyer alleged that Insp Lucas told him in the presence of three others that he would not release any of the arrested persons, though their names were not on his list of suspects.
Giwa-Amu said that the Inspector claimed he must make “returns” to his boss, an Assistant Inspector-General of Police.
He stated that he told Inspector Lucas that his action in arresting innocent persons was designed to set false allegation to enable him (Insp Lucas) to extort money from those arrested.
The lawyer said that Insp Lucas and the team allegedly forcefully and roughly took the persons arrested into a waiting bus and took them to Alagbon.
“In spite of having provided responsible and respectable sureties, the said Insp Lucas, aided and abetted by an Assistant Commissioner of Police and an Assistant Superintendent of Police detained those arrested in unlawful custody.
“The Chinese in the custody of your men at Alagbon are in Nigeria lawfully and were brought under the Exchange of Economic Plan for the growth of Nigeria valued at more than 150 million dollars.
“We urge you to use your good office to cause a detailed 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’s employees.
Contacted, police spokesman at Alagbon, CSP Oluniyi Ogundeyi, told NAN that the people arrested at the site were suspected persons wanted by the police for encroaching into someone else’s land.
Ogundeyi said there was a petition against the suspects, stressing that the Inspector-General of Police ordered that they should be released on bail after profiling and that they should vacate the land.
“The suspects were granted bail on Monday, Oct. 25 at noon without anybody asking for anything.
“I think the essence of the petition is in anticipation that police might not release the suspects on Monday just to divert police attention from the investigation.
“Immediately they were released, they went to remove their equipment from the land they encroached upon. That is the fact,’’ CSP Ogundeyi said. (NAN)