Posted by News Express | 7 September 2016 | 2,117 times
Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has ordered the immediate redeployment of some police officers attached to the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences Unit.
The Governor on Tuesday sent a formal request to the State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, asking for the redeployment of the policemen out of the unit and out of the state.
The request came in the wake of last Friday’s raids in different parts of Lagos by officers of the taskforce, leading to a rough treatment and arrest of innocent citizens.
In one of the raids TV360 witnessed, the policemen attached to the Taskforce stormed a club around the Ikeja, GRA area and arrested 10 students of the University of Lagos and other institutions.
The students had come to attend the birthday party of their friend.
Even a pregnant woman, who was also attending the birthday, was arrested.
The girls were just alighting from several taxis right in front of the club when the policemen swooped on them and hauled them into their Black Maria van.
They drew their weapons at those who protested their action, threatening to shoot.
They eventually made away with the girls and drove them in the van to other parts of the city on the Island, where they carried out similar raids.
The policemen eventually returned to their base at Alausa in Ikeja around 3am.
The management of the club at Ikeja, where the first set of girls were arrested, later made arrangements and went to the Taskforce office about thirty minutes later with the hope of securing the release of the girls.
But the policemen refused to budge.
Not even the pleas of a retired commissioner of police, who had also come to help secure the release of the girls, could make any difference.
A senior officer at the Taskforce, one ASP Salami, said the Governor of Lagos State authorised the raid.
He told everyone to leave and come back in the morning. He was very hostile and rude.
Even when the retired Commissioner of Police told him the girls were not prostitutes but had come to the club to celebrate their birthday, ASP Salami refused to listen.
At some point, he walked the retired Commissioner and others out of the Taskforce premises.
At about 8am on Saturday, some staff of the club returned to the Taskforce office to secure the release of the girls.
This time, the policemen told them bluntly they must pay N10,000 for the release of each of the girls.
The policemen threatened that if the money wasn’t paid, the girls would be sent to a detention centre in Badagry.
It’s also important to mention here that apart from the girls they arrested at the club, there were also many other people the Police had arrested that Friday night, including some young men, at their facility at Alausa.
And the N10,000 ‘bail’ they demanded applied to everyone. The staff of the club eventually parted with the money and secured the release of the girls.
Speaking to TV360, some of the girls narrated how some of the policemen fondled with parts of their bodies.
In a statement issued on Tuesday by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, an angry Governor Ambode said the action of the men of the Task Force is unacceptable demanding the immediate redeployment of several of the taskforce officers from the unit and possibly from the state.
The Governor says the redeployment has become necessary in order to checkmate the reoccurrence of such illegal raids and indiscriminate arrest of citizens who were out to have fun on Friday night.
According to Ayorinde, preliminary investigation showed that the unauthorized raid was carried out with the knowledge of the second in command to the Chairman of the Taskforce, SP Taiwo Adeoluwa but without the approval of the Chairman, SP. Saheed Olayinka Egbeyemi.
“The conduct of the affected officers is not in tandem with the vision of Lagos State Government and is therefore condemnable. Their conduct is also unbecoming of officers who are expected to protect the citizenry and ensure that citizens and visitors find every part of the State safe and conducive enough not only on Friday nights but every day.”
The commissioner added that Governor Ambode’s massive investments in security and Light Up Lagos Project was meant to create a 24-7 economy that encourages businesses to thrive.
He said the government would not fold its arms and watch any overzealous officer derail the vision of the administration.
The State Government also expressed a heartfelt apology to those affected by the incident.
Ayorinde said that government would not condone any act(s) of high-handedness, extortion and disregard for human rights on the side of any of its law enforcement agencies and any public official as the State has sworn to protect and guarantee the rights of its citizens.
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