Ayobo residents allege indiscriminate arrest for exposing trigger-happy policeman
Residents of Ayobo area of Lagos State have raised the alarm over serial arrests by officers of the Nigeria Police Force after a video of a policeman said to have killed a bus driver went viral online at the weekend.
On Friday, a video of how a policeman killed a bus driver for refusing to give bribe went viral. The police, however, denied the incident, claiming “a team of anti-crime policemen on routine patrol, led by Inspector Oloruntoba Gbenga, was attacked by a gang of youths suspected to be members of an unlawful society, led by one Lekan Isiaka.”
An eyewitness, who confirmed the incident, explained that the police were becoming unbearable because of the N100 they extort from commercial bus drivers. “They are always at the Estate junction, harassing motorcycles and bus drivers. I saw when the driver was shot and the conductor was challenging them after the policeman shot the driver. When the police team returned to Mosan with reinforcement alongside officials of the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC), a passer-by who was recording the incident was arrested, just as some phones were also seized because they didn’t want the video to get to the public.”
Residents of Ayobo have therefore raised the alarm that the police, furious at the emergence of the video online, were indiscriminately arresting members of the community, especially youths.
“The matter has graduated to another level now. The police are raiding and arresting our youths. They are doing this because they don’t know how the video went viral. They raid our community every time, arrest youths and go through their phones,” a resident who pleaded for anonymity said.
The community members urged the Inspector-General of Police to immediately order officers in the area to stop harassing residents and motorists. “We want the Inspector General of Police to call their officers in Ayobo area to order and command them to stop harassing our boys. They should also stop collecting bribes from motorists, because this has led to the death of drivers who have refused to give them bribe.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Lagos command, CSP Chike Oti, promised to get back with clarifications on the development, which was still expected as at press time.
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