A lawyer based in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has given details of how a policeman who was a member of a team was ordered to refund the sum of N190,000 forcefully collected from his son who was travelling with his friends to Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, after the intervention of the Inspector General of Police Monitoring Unit.
The Abuja-based human rights lawyer, Tolu Babaleye, who gave the graphic details of what transpired between his son and policemen attached to the Ekiti State Police Command on his Facebook wall on Wednesday, disclosed that the policemen forcefully collected the money through the Point of Sale (POS) agent in Ado Ekiti into the account of one of them.
According to him, the policemen who were conducting stop-and-search along the road in Ado Ekiti on Monday, November 22, stopped the vehicle conveying his son and his friends who were travelling to Ilorin and searched through their phones and bags.
He added that it was after the search that his son and others were delayed for some hours before they were taken to a nearby POS agent close to the command headquarters where his son was forced to withdraw N190,000 from his account into the account of one of the policemen.
However, Babaleye said after he was told of the incident, he put a call through to the Inspector General of Police’s Monitoring Unit which promptly intervened and made the policemen to refund the said N190,000 within 24 hours through one of them.
The IGP’s Monitoring Unit’s numbers he displayed on his Facebook wall
According to him: “Not up to 20 minutes that I made a call to the IGP’s Monitoring Unit, this meticulous officer called me back that the policeman who followed my son to the POS agent will call me to refund the money and that action would be taken.
“Not up to 15 minutes thereafter, the policeman called me to apologise and asked me to send account details for a refund. I berated him and lashed him with words and asked for the remaining policemen but he was just begging. The money was refunded this morning (Wednesday, November 24.)
Full text of his statement on his Facebook wall:
“I know a lot of people will be wondering why I am thanking the IGP despite the various security lacunae in Nigeria at the moment. Yes they are very correct but whenever any government agency scored a positive point, it is in my usual character to praise such agency of government.
“Also, it is part of me to berate and criticise any failure on the part of our government in Nigeria.
“Yesterday, some bad eggs in the Nigerian Police of Ekiti State Command harrased my son who was travelling along Ado Ekiti axis with his friends, searched their phones illegally and found nothing but still went ahead to beat them, detained two of them and took my first son to the POS opposite their headquarters to withdraw N190,000 from my son’s account.
“My son was forced to also pay N5,000 to the POS guy and out of the N5,000 in his pocket, these policemen still collected N3,000 and asked them to go with N2,000 as their transport fare.
“After my son was extorted, his friend were released from illegal detention of Nigerian Police at Ado Ekiti. My son and his friend were not allowed to make calls during their ordeal as their phones were seized but after they arrived safely at their destination, he called me on phone and narrated to me their ordeal.
“I was very angry and moved to rage on hearing this but just decided to keep my calm because of high blood pressure as I was thinking of what to do and where to start from.
“In the course of my thinking, I recalled that I did a cropping of the attached police numbers of the IGP Monitoring Unit just last week and kept in my phone gallery. Lo and behold, the picture of the IGP Monitoring Numbers that I kept just flashed my memory and I immediately went for the numbers.
“The first number that I dialled was immediately picked to my surprise by an officer who introduced himself as Mr. Tobelo Abenga. I was “disappointed” by the police in the way my phone was promptly picked up.
“I introduced myself to the officer and narrated what happened to my son and his friends in the hands of his men at Ado Ekiti and I gave the story as I was told by my son. The officer said he would get back to me and that I should keep my number on but I didn’t believe him because I thought he was just posting me as usual.
“Not up to 20 minutes, this officer called me back saying that the police who followed my son to the POS will call me to refund the money and that action would be taken. Not up to 15 minutes thereafter, the policeman called me to apologise and asked me to send account details for a refund.
“I berated him and lashed him with words and asked for his remaining partners in crime but he was just begging. The money was refunded this morning.
“I have decided not to mention the identities of these policemen for security reasons and for the fact that they are still being detained at Ekiti State Police Command as I write and confirmed to me by one of my lawyers that I sent to that office on invitation.
“I wish to express my profound gratitude to the Inspector General of Police, officers of his Monitoring Unit and DCP Marcus of Ekiti State Command who was a former DPO of Ishua and Oka Akoko for their prompt intervention in this matter.
“I wish to appreciate officer Tobelo Adenga who received my calls, called me back severally and set the law in motion. In reciprocity, I have conversed with my son and his friends, apologised to them and told them to put the incident behind them.”