Operatives of the Police Rapid Response Complaints Unit (PCRRU) have arrested a Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARs) personnel, Inspector Charles Omotosho for alleged extortion.
Following the arrest, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris has ordered that the officer face orderly room trial and the consequences of his action.
This was confirmed by in a statement by the Officer in Charge PCRRU, Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP Abayomi Shogunle, who said, “On 16th May, 2018, the Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) received a complaint from a citizen via Twitter [@ife_luv12] that a Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Operative forced her to make a bank transfer of Five Thousand Naira (N5, 000) to the said SARS operative’s bank account following an arrest for no just cause.
“PCRRU immediately registered the case (Tracking Number PCRRU316356) and initiated an investigation.
“The officer was promptly identified to be Inspector Charles Omotosho attached to Federal SARS, Ikorodu, Lagos State.
“He was immediately removed from front-line police duties and taken into custody. “In the course of preliminary investigation, a copy of the officer’s statement of the bank account was obtained and the entry of the said transfer discovered therein.
“It has also been established that there was a contact between the officer’s patrol team and the complainant and others at Ikorodu as contained in the complaint.
“The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, has directed the Assistant Inspector-General of Police Zone 2 Command Lagos to carry out a detailed investigation and commence immediate necessary disciplinary action against Inspector Charles Omotosho as provided for in the Police Act and Regulations Cap. P19. Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
“PCRRU has handed the erring officer to the AIG Zone 2 Command Lagos together with a print out of his statement of bank account for necessary action; the outcome would be made public soonest.
Members of the public that are not happy with any encounter with the police are once again advised not to resolve to self-help but should lodge a complaint at PCRRU which is available 24/7 via any of the following channels; Calls Only: 0805 700 0001, 0805 700 0002 | SMS and WhatsApp Only: 0805 700 0003 BBM: 58A2B5DE | Twitter: @PoliceNG_PCRRU |Facebook: www.facebook.com/PolicePCRRU Email: email@example.com OR PolicePCRRU@gmail.com | Website: www.npf.gov.ng/complaint.
Ifeoluwa Adegoke a digital marketer had raised alarm on social media on Thursday after sharing her encounter with some operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
According to a report by Punch, Adegoke said she was forced to part with N5,000 to save her life and that of her colleagues, who were accosted by the policemen around 1.20pm while going for a photo shoot.
The victim, who shared a snapshot evidence of the fund transfer and the photo of one of the policemen, alleged that the operatives threatened to kill them.
“With my encounter today, it is safe to say SARS men are armed robbers. I was going for a photo shoot in Ikorodu today (Wednesday) and armed robbers SARS pulled us over and made us pay for no reason, threatening that they were gonna waste our lives. I made a transfer so they can be traced,” she wrote on her Twitter page.
The tweet went viral as some Nigerians, who lived in the Ikorodu area, identified one of the policemen, Inspector Omotosho Olushola Charles, as a habitual extortionist.
They alleged that Charles had forced them at different times to part with various sums of money without committing any offence.
She said, “My colleagues and I left Surulere for Ikorodu, where we were to do a photo shoot. We were four in the car and I was the only female.
“When we got to Ikorodu, the SARS operatives, who were in a vehicle, asked our driver to stop; they were five in their bus – all fully armed.
“They said we were suspected criminals and asked us to come down. They asked the driver to come down too. They checked the car, took our phones and went through them. When they did not find anything, they said we were thieves and cult members.
“When I challenged them that we did nothing wrong, one of them said he would slap me. I told my colleagues to keep calm because I knew it would be stupid for us to argue with armed policemen. I told my colleagues that they would demand money from us in the end.”
She explained that after the search did not yield any fruit, the officials demanded N100,000.
Adegoke said she took the operatives through her social media account to show them that they were managing to survive.
“But they said they did not care. I told the inspector that since we were not the kind of people they were looking for and since they did not find anything incriminating on us, they should just release us.
“They said they were going to release us because we were not the kind of people they were looking for; but they won’t release us for free. They started cocking their guns to threaten us; they said they would shoot us.
“I approached one of them and begged that we did not have the N100,000 because we were only young people searching for our daily bread. I told him that I had just N5,000 in my account and he should allow me to transfer it to them,” she added.
She noted that the men refused to accede to her request, just as she remained adamant so as to have evidence of the extortion.
The social media enthusiast said after some murmurs of disapproval, the operatives agreed.
“After we did the transfer, they did not allow us to go until they got a credit alert on their mobile phone. The policeman who released his account number told the others that he was with his ATM card and he would withdraw the money for them to share.”
“When we left, I traced the name and discovered that his bank account name, Omotosho Olushola Charles, is the same he uses for his Facebook account. That was how I got his picture,” she added.
The victim, who demanded that the policemen should be rounded up and prosecuted, said she and her colleagues could have been killed if they did not have any money on them.
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