Policemen from FCT Criminal Investigation Dept have allegedly threatened a surveyor, Bayo Benson, over a report by PUNCH, where he claimed some officers extorted money from him. Benson told our correspondent that one of the officers, Bimbo Oyewole, bombarded his phone with calls and threatened to deal with him.
PUNCH Metro had reported that the police arrested Benson on Friday, August 14, 2020, at Lakowe, in Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State. His house and office in Itamaga area of Ikorodu were also ransacked by the policemen, who claimed to be acting on a petition against a company he worked for. Benson, in an interview with our correspondent, had alleged that the policemen collected N300,000 from him before he was released, adding that his apprentice was also detained for recording their activities, while his cars and some documents were seized.
The victim said after the report was published, the Investigating Police Officer, Oyewole, who had not been taking his calls, started making threats against him. “After the publication came out on Friday, the IPO called me around 11am. He said I must write an apology in the newspaper that published my story or else they are going to deal with me. He called me back around 5pm that they were waiting for me at Area G, Ogba, and I told him I had not returned to Lagos and that I could send my lawyer to them the next day if they wanted to release my two vehicles and documents to me.
“I sent my lawyer to the police station the next day, but he was told they could not ask him what they wanted to ask me, and that I must come. I told them I could not come because that was the tactic they used when they wanted to detain my apprentice. When I told him I could not come, he started threatening my surety that if he did not bring me to the station, they would arrest him; but I told them that if they wanted to release my cars and documents, they should give them to my lawyers, and if they did not want to release them, they should charge me to court and I would appear.
“I have written a petition to the Inspector-General of Police to investigate the gross abuse of power by the policemen and order the release of my vehicles and documents.”
FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Anjuguri Manzah, said Benson was under investigation for malicious damage and attempted murder. He said, “The subject of the petition against the man in question is malicious damage and attempt to commit murder and when the command was carrying out investigation, he was mentioned by other persons arrested as the one that led the thugs who went to carry out the act. The vehicles impounded are the subject of the crime because they were used to convey the thugs to the location; one other vehicle impounded in his house has a siren that does not have a licence.
“On the issue of extortion, he has every right to approach the complaint unit or write to the Commissioner of Police for investigation.”