A Divisional Police Officer (DPO) has been accused of extortion in Lagos State.
According to Vanguard, controversy is raging over the recent arrest of eight Point of Sale, POS, operators by policemen attached to Akinpelu divisional, Lagos State Command following a video that went viral where the suspects made startling allegations against the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the station and her men.
The operators alleged that they were arrested and extorted by officers at the station on the instruction of their female DPO after they were hauled to the station, detained and thereafter forced to cough out N10,000 each before they were granted bail and their machines released.
In the viral video, Adesina Ogunlana, Chairman of Radical Agenda Movement of Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, was seen with the arrested POS operators after they were released from detention.
According to Ogunlana, on July 3, the DPO of Akinpelu police station, Bolade Oshodi, Lagos, at 10 00 am raided the stalls and shops of about eight POS operators. They were taken to her station where they were detained.
“The DPO reportedly told her captives that “there is now a memo from the office of the IGP that it is illegal to run any POS business in the vicinity of a police station. When asked to produce the memo, the DPO declined.
“The arrested detainees were reportedly told to bail themselves out of detention with N10,000 each, while they should come back on Monday to effect the ’bail’ of their seized machines.
Seven of the operators complied while the 8th operator, Sunkanmi Abu, refused to cooperate with the DPO.
Some of them are enablers of extortion — Police spokesperson
But reacting to the allegation, spokesman of Lagos State police command, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, explained that it was observed over time that some roving POS operators specialise in hanging around police stations.
Investigations, according to him, revealed that they target customers and innocent Nigerians being extorted by some recalcitrant police officers.
“Their presence around the stations has made the extortion game a lot easier. While the Force continually purges itself of these bad officers, it has become imperative that the activities of POS operators around police stations be regulated.
“Some of them have been identified to be enablers of extortion. This regulation is in line with our mandate of not just detecting but also preventing crime. To this end, anyone found to have knowingly enabled extortion will be treated as an accomplice.”
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