3 June 2010

Nigeria: How Policemen Asked for Money to Investigate Robbery

Lagos — An Ikeja High Court was Thursday,told how two policemen demanded money from a community to investigate an alleged armed robbery case.

The revelation was made by Chief Adeniyi Adewusi, a leader of a vigilance group in Arida, Ikotun, a Lagos suburb. He told the presiding Judge, Justice S. A. Onigbanjo that two police officers from the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, demanded money before they could go on with the investigation.

Two suspects, Chibuzor Mgbeowuna, 26, and Niyi Odumayo, 25, are standing trial before Justice Onigbanjo over alleged robbery and assault on three victims who were robbed on February 5, 2009.

Testifying in the trial, Adewusi said the policemen demanded for money to get their complaint investigated. He gave the names of the policemen as Corporal Friday and Supol Rasheed.

In his evidence, he said: "They demanded money before they could go on with the investigation. I recorded the conversation I had with them. I reported the matter to Col. Dosunmu whose house was also robbed on the night. He forwarded the report to the Police Commissioner.

"Two detectives came from Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS to take my statement on the matter. The two police officers who demanded money were subsequently taken to SARS and detained.

"I got several threats. There was even an attempt to kidnap my children. My family said I should hands-off this matter. I heard nothing more till I was invited to testify," he said.

Recounting how the two suspects were arrested, he said, on February 5, 2009 at about 8.15pm , they heard gunshots in Ajilore street . He received distress calls. Before they got to the victim's house, the robbers had fled. But they saw a shell of a bullet on the ground. A woman was assaulted by the robbers, he said.

Soon after, he heard another gunshot at a street nearby, followed by distress calls. On getting to the scene, a lady said her phone and N25,000 had been snatched, and that one of the robbers, who wore a black shirt with white stripes, pointed a gun at her head.

The first victim also gave a similar description, as well as a third victim who claimed she was robbed the same night in the same community.

One of the suspects, Odumayo, fitted the description. The vigilante men laid in wait at his home, where he was arrested when he arrived. The other accused person was later apprehended.

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