The policemen attached to the Isheri Police Station, in the Olowora area of Lagos State, have been slammed with an accusation.
They are accused of illegally enforcing the state ban on motorcycles in a border community in Ogun State.
A motorcycle operator, Adekunle Kristisanwo, said the policemen arrested him and seized his motorcycle at New Garage, Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State, on Monday, December 5, 2022, after he dropped off a passenger.
Kristisanwo, who lives in the Obafemi Owode area of Ogun State, said he was thereafter detained at the station.
The 50-year-old branch pastor of a popular Pentecostal church lamented that the policemen made him sleep in a cell until N20,000 was paid for bail.
He said, “I dropped a passenger at a bus stop and a police officer, Patrick Stephen, approached me to arrest me. Since I knew I did not do anything wrong, I asked him which police station he was attached to. Instead of him answering me, he beckoned on his colleagues. So, they all rushed towards me and told me to get down from the bike. I told them they were arresting me in Ogun State. As I challenged them, his superior asked what right I had to challenge them. That was how they seized my bike and arrested me. I was detained till the next day. It was my lawyer that came to bail me the following day, as I was asked to pay the sum of N20,000.”
The cleric said the bail sum was paid to one Inspector Mercy, the Investigating Police Officer in charge of the case.
Kristisanwo said the policemen refused to release the motorcycle, which was his only source of livelihood.
“After the police refused to release the bike, my lawyer called the DPO on Monday, December 19, 2022, and that was when he said it had been taken to the task force office at Oshodi. I went to the task force office and they told me not to mention anything that had to do with motorcycles.
“This is injustice! I have personally warned commercial motorcyclists operating in Lagos not to move close to the boundary because I do not do that too. We only stop at New Garage in Ogun State. Please help me, I must not suffer in vain.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, urged Kristisanwo to report to the Divisional Police Officer.
He said, “The affected man should report to the DPO in the area so that he can do something about it. And if the victim knows the identity of any of the police officers or the station they came from that will help me to carry out an investigation, I will gladly do that.”
The spokesperson for the Lagos State Environment and Special Offences Enforcement Unit (task force), Gbadeyanka Raheem, said the police were in the best position to clarify the incident.
He said, “The task force did not impound the motorcycle. If a police division impounds a motorcycle, they bring it to the mobile court to determine if the bike could be released or not. We did not impound the motorcycle. Our jurisdiction lies within Lagos State and not Ogun State.”