Extortion: How WhatsApp Message Helped Police To Nab Six Offenders

Nkerewum Cosmas

In continuation of the current efforts of the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to flush out unethical officers giving the Nigeria Police Force a bad image, approval has been given for the dismissal of three policemen attached to Area ‘N’ Command Ijede-Ikorodu under the Lagos State Command.

Making this known in a statement made available to Thisage was the Commander in charge of the Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU), Assistant Commissioner of Police,  ACP, Abayomi  Shogunle.

He gave names of the affected policemen as Inspector Okelue Nkemeonye with force number AP.No 136005, Sergent Braimoh Sunday F/No. 355897 and Sergeant Yusuf Olukoga F/No. 359928.

Shogunle said their dismissal was based on an Orderly Room trial at the Zone Two Command Headquarters, Onikan, Lagos in which the adjudicating officer found the men guilty on two charges of offence against discipline as provided for in paragraphs C (ii) Corrupt Practices and E (iii) Discreditable Conduct of the First Schedule of Police Act and Regulations Cap. p19 law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

According to him, a petition was sent on the 21st June, 2017 to the Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) from a complainant via WhatsApp number 0805 700 0003 which states thus:

“My name is (withheld), I went to the bank this morning to deposit money to a company’s account (name withheld) but there was no network so I deposited the money into my personal account to do the transfer to the account later.

“When I came out of the bank, I saw a car packed full of some SARS policemen wearing black cloth with anti-robbery squad written at the back. I was told to enter the vehicle with a gun pointed at me. They collected my mobile phone and asked me what I do for a living. I told them that I had just finished my youth service and I am leaving with my brother. I pointed my brother shop for them to stop by and see him because he was the one that sent me to the bank, they refused to wait and they did not allow me to pick my calls and call out.

“I received an alert on my phone with the money I went to deposit. They searched my phone on seeing the alert and started saying that I am a yahoo boy, telling me that I would pay them 1million Naira. One of them slapped me, they drove us around places in Ikorodu, Ijede, Gberigbe, Ibeshe, Igbe, Ikpakodo, Itaelewa, Agric and First Gate, harassing people, moving them in the car and collecting huge amount from them.

“They collected N50, 000.00 from me but I noticed that at each junctions that we reached people were hailing there leader by his nickname (OJ. Ojewunmi).

“And one by name Austin slapped me. They picked me up around 9am and dropped me at 6pm in the evening after collecting money from me. They even use my account to collect money from the guys that I met in the car and used my ATM to withdraw from them”

Sogunle said; “Upon the receipt of the complaint, a case with Tracking Number PCRRU637624 was registered and acknowledgment of complaint sent to the complainant. PCRRU Investigation team was dispatched to Ikorodu where all the three dismissed policemen including AP No. 98199. ASP Bayo Obadia who led the team were apprehended.

“ PCRRU preliminary investigation reveals that all the allegations contained in the WhatsApp message actually happened.

“Also the four police officers that were armed on the day of the incident falsely paraded themselves as operatives of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) despite not being posted to SARS by police authorities.

“Investigation also shows that the officers extorted a total sum of N200,000 from the young men who they tagged “Yahoo Yahoo Boys”, the money was forcefully taken from them via N90,000 ATM withdrawal and N110,000 mobile bank money transfer to a third party account provided by the policemen.

“All the extorted N200,000 was recovered by the PCRRU Investigators.

“All the arrested officers, witnesses and recovered exhibits including the N200,000 cash and printed bank statement of account were handed over to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2 Lagos for further detailed investigation and necessary disciplinary measures.

“The approval of the punishment of dismissal from service as recommended by the Adjudicating officer is part of the outcome of the disciplinary measures.

“ In the case of ASP Bayo Obadiah who led the team of the infamous men on this unacceptable conduct, an Official Query was issued to him by the AIG Zone 2 Lagos, both his reply and Query has been forwarded to the office of the Force Secretary, Force Headquarters, Abuja from where it would be proceeded to the Police Service Commission as required by Police Regulations.

“The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris NPM, mni has commended the complainant for coming forward to report the incident to PCRRU. The IGP has also said that all allegations of professional misconduct reported against any police officer would be treated in line with relevant laws and in keeping to the “Change Begins With Me Champaign” of the Federal Government.

“Members of the public are encouraged to report cases of police misconduct to the PCRRU for resolution as IGP Ibrahim K. Idris led administration is bent on ensuring a more public friendly and corrupt free police force in Nigeria. PCRRU is available 24/7 via phone call: 08057000001, 08057000002| SMS/Whatsapp: 08057000003| BBM: 58A2B5DE|Twitter: @policeNG_PCRRU| Facebook: www.facebook.com/PolicePCRRU| Email: complaint@npf.gov.ng ORPolicePCRRU@gmail.com” the statement stated

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