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  • News - South West - Lagos
  • Updated: April 22, 2024

N5m bribe: Group petitions IGP, Lagos CP over alleged refusal to release panel beater

N5m bribe: Group petitions IGP, Lagos CP over alleged refusa

A human rights group, Save the Poor and Needy Charity Initiative (SPANCI) has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun and the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Kayode Fayoade over the refusal of FESTAC police officers to release a penalbeater, Afees Tijani for failure to pay N5m bribe. 

SPANCI in the petition alleged that a panel beater identified as Afees Tijani in Ogere in Ogun State was wrongfully arrested by policemen from Area E FESTAC Town. 

The panel beater was arrested on Friday, April 19, 2024, and has not been released as of the time of filing this report on Monday. 

The group in the petition, a copy of which was made available to journalists on Monday, said that the policemen among whom Emmanuel Aboli allegedly framed the panelbeater as a criminal because he told them he refused and rejected to work on a suspected stolen vehicle because it is a new one. 

The group noted that the policemen have arrested some people in connection with the stolen vehicle but refused to release the panel beater over failure to pay a N5m bribe. 

SPANCI President, Comrade Yemi Ezekiel Bello then appealed to IGP, CP, Lagos state directorate for citizens rights, the attorney general and commissioner for Justice Lagos state to intervene. 

"We are hereby appealing to the above stakeholders in the justice system to save Tijani Afees from some men of Area E FESTAC town police who deliberately hid their identity, but Truecaller identified one as Emmanuel Aboli because of their unprofessional conduct and wickedness. 

"These officers may have conspired to fix Afees a panel beater at Ogere as a criminal because he told them he refused and rejected to work on a suspected stolen vehicle because it is new according to our client Mr Afees' father. The investigating police officers who have already apprehended the offenders who allegedly stole the vehicle arrested Afees who knew nothing about the crime and took him away from Ogere to Area E Festac town. 

"The Ogere panel beaters association appealed to the police against such injustice but were told to bring 5 million naira for Afees' exoneration. At this point, they consulted his father Mr Abdul Rahman Tijani who requested the number of the Area E Festac town Lagos police officers.

"He called the said officer who requested 5 million naira and negotiated for 2 million naira, then requested the account details and the officer sent it.  Kindly find below the phone numbers of the officer and the account details.

"080609879695 which Truecaller identified as Emmanuel Aboli police inspector and 08068557851. The Acct no 8254854986 Monies point Amara venture 11. There is audio evidence where the hidden officer requested the 5 million and later told them to pay 2 million or else they would arraign Afees on Monday, April 22, 2024, and send him to jail from there.

"Also that of Ogere panel beaters association chairman who initially appealed to the police officer to leave the innocent boy according to our client Mr Abdul Rahman Mahmoud Tijani who is Mr Afees Tijani's father.

"But to our surprise today, we complained to the Lagos police public complaints department who did a very good job we were told the IPO said only one person was arrested with Afees and that the stolen vehicle is now in Kano.

"Our belief is that the police officers maliciously arrested Afees for money's sake and not because he committed the crime and the act of the police is misconduct and abuse of office and power and that arresting and detaining innocent Afees from Friday 19, April 2024 is a clear act of denial of right to his personal liberty, denial of fair hearing, degrading and dehumanizing treatment according to section 35, 36 and 34 of the 1999 constitution as amended. 

"We humbly request Justice for Tijani Afees and his immediate release from this unlawful detention and thorough investigation about the said matter to ascertain if truly Afees is culpable so that the offender will not go unpunished and innocent will not be punished as the offender."

All efforts made by our correspondent to get a reaction from the Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police command, Benjamin Hundeyin proved to be abortive as he directed our correspondent to the Police complaint desk.

The police officer who spoke with our correspondent through the number given to our correspondent by Hundeyin said that the matter is being investigated. 

She said, "Good afternoon and welcome to the Lagos complaint response unit. They are already on the matter. They have already taken the case up. 

"They will do something about the matter. I am a desk officer. Don't worry, something will be done about the matter sir."

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