There was pandemonium yesterday in churches in Anambra state where members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB who were marking their 16th anniversary clashed with the police. No fewer than 25 members of the MASSOB were arrested by the police and other security operatives at various churches in the state while one was shot.
At about 11am yesterday, Vanguard sighted unusual movements of about 38 Police, Army and Navy vehicles with one Personnel Armored Carrier parading in a long cue along Onitsha-Owerri Express way. All were heavily armed .
At St Charles Lwanga Catholic Church Okpoko,18 MASSOB members were said to have been arrested and one shot, while those that were not arrested continued with the thanks-giving church service. At Iba Pope Catholic Church, Awada, 11 members of MASSOB were equally reported to have been arrested by the police who were said to have laid ambush on the members of MASSOB who had gone to worship in their uniforms at the church.
Speaking on the arrest, the Anambra North Coordinator, Emmanuel Omenka said, “ those arrested were my members and they were more than 18. We are a non violent body and have come to thank God for our existence for 16 years when the police, army and other security operatives stormed the church and arrested some of us. “This anniversary is taking place all over the world and by the special grace of God, no amount of intimidation, arrest and detention will deter us from struggling to actualize a sovereign state of Biafra”, he said further.
Also at St Michael Catholic Church Nnewi, the Regional Administrator for Nnewi South, Tony Nwodo said, “they came here to this church and shot one of us and arrested three members.The Police are hunting us for nothing and even in a place of worship, they still attack us as we mark 16 years of our existence”.
Also at Awka, two were arrested according to the MASSOB former Deputy Director of Information, Mazi Chris Mocha who said that the group “is not deterred by such unreasonable arrest in church premises, something nobody will do in Mosques”.
As at the time of filing this report the arrest was still on going and Armour vehicles placed in various location.
A geophysicist at a company in the Lekki area of Lagos, Mr. Sunday Alabi, says his younger brother, Tope, and brother-in-law, Wale, narrowly escaped being killed by some overzealous policemen attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the state police command
He stated that the policemen, who arrested and tortured him and other victims on August 28, had raided their area, Atunise Street, Isheri-Olowora.
He said the policemen, numbered about six, shot sporadically into the air and threatened to gun them down.
Alabi added that they were later thrown into a cell in the command till the following day and were released after paying N20,000 bribe.
The geophysicist explained that trouble started around 8pm on the fateful Friday after he sent his brother-in-law to buy foodstuffs for the family’s breakfast the following day.
Alabi said he decided to send him on the errand because the following day, being the Saturday earmarked for environmental sanitation in the state, shops would not open till 10am after the exercise.
Our correspondent gathered that the cops, who were busy arresting passersby, nabbed Wale, who quickly sent a text to Alabi, informing him of his arrest.
Alabi said he dashed out to the scene, but the policemen ordered him to join Wale, who had been forced to sit on the floor.
He said his brother, Tope, and his sister, Gbemi, also came to the scene when he did not return home, adding that they were also arrested.
He said, “That day ─ August 28 ─ my wife, Wale, Tope and Gbemi were in the living room when I remembered that the following day was going to be an environmental sanitation day. I sent Wale to buy bread, noodles and eggs outside. No sooner had he left than I received a text message from him that he had been arrested.
“I told others about the message and I went to the place to see what I could do. On getting to the scene of the arrest, I tried to identify my brother-in-law, but the policemen descended on me and slapped me many times.
“Shortly after, my brother and my sister came looking for me; they were also arrested. They later allowed my sister to go, but ordered Wale, Tope and I into a Black Maria and took us to the Isheri Police Station, saying we were criminals. About 32 others were also arrested that day.
“My wife, a friend and the landlord came to the station to bail us, but they were not allowed in.
“Afterwards, they took to the police command headquarters in Ikeja. When we got to Ikeja, I saw one of them holding a gun and a bottle of gin. They threatened to shoot us.”
Recounting the dehumanising conditions to which he and his family members were subjected to by the police, Alabi urged the police authorities to investigate the case and discipline policemen found wanting.
He said, “We were about 58 in that cell and the toilet smelled so bad that I could not sleep till the following day. My wife, friends and the landlord association came to bail us on Saturday evening after we paid the policemen N20,000. One man, Ode, is the Investigating Police Officer.
“One of the reasons I decided to speak out on this matter is that they may implicate us in future because they took our photographs even though we did not commit any offence. Those policemen should be fished out and disciplined.”
Tope said the policemen could not state the offence they committed.
He said, “At the police command, a lawyer friend asked what our offence was, but they could not say anything. The psychological effect was even more than the assault because I never thought I would sleep inside the cell that night.”
Our correspondent was told that Wale had travelled when he visited the residence on Tuesday. Calls put across to his line indicated it was switched off.
A member of the landlord association in the community, who identified himself only as Jegede, said the policemen did not apply wisdom on the day.
He said, “The way the policemen treated the family was totally demeaning. They even went as far as collecting N20,000 before they were released. We are not saying the police should not raid, but they need to be meticulous so that innocent people are not paraded as criminals.”
The Lagos State Police spokesperson, DSP Patricia Amadin, said she had been trying to identify Ode, the IPO, to verify the incident and promised to get back to our correspondent.
Nigeria Policemen in south east seems to be different from THE ones in north because in south east they are lawless set of people.
I travelled on Friday to submit application at CBN in ebonyi state and came back that evening, on arrival I went to get my laptop
from a friend who was making use of it only for the person to tell me that he went to watch a football match in one of d
viewing centers within our vicinity around 7:34pm, SARS operatives came and raided everyboody that was sitting there,
they even went ahead to arrest travellers whose cars broke down very close to where we were watching the football match
only for them to ask that we have to bail ourselves with the sum of N10,500 each
Bidemi, an apprentice barber, was reportedly shot dead in the Oke-Ore, Atan-Ota area of the state by one Segun said to be one of the hoodlums loyal to one Alhaji Owoeye.
Bidemi’s father said his son’s freedom was around the corner when he was killed by the bandits allegedly accompanied by Afolabi-led team, who invaded the community around 10pm on Wednesday, August 19.
It was learnt that Owoeye was arrested later that day by some soldiers, who handed him over to the police.
The deceased’s father, Rotimi, said he wanted ASP Afolabi and others allegedly involved in the killing of his son to be brought to book.
He said, “It was Owoeye who hired the policemen, led by Supol Afolabi, from the Area Command to follow him and other land grabbers to our community. He is their chairman in the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area.
“Afolabi had called a landlady because of the notice pasted on her house. It was shortly after then that people rushed to tell me that Bidemi had been shot dead. How can a police officer be leading thugs to victimise residents? Owoeye is not an indigene of our community.
“I learnt that he had been arraigned in court. I urge the state judiciary not to compromise. The officer and other land grabbers at large should also be brought to book.
Bidemi’s mother, Sarah, also urged police authorities and the government to ensure that justice was done in the case.
She said, “Bidemi’s death has left a huge gap in my heart. He was obedient, gentle and respectful. He finished his secondary school education two years ago and had been disturbing me that he wanted to further his studies. I pleaded with him to complete his vocation first because we didn’t have the means yet.
“His boss certified him some months ago and we were already planning for his freedom when these heartless people killed him.”
Bidemi’s boss, Olugbenga Omoleye, described him as hardworking and intelligent.
He said, “I am still battling with the fact that he is gone. I had left the shop under his care that morning and went to Owode with a friend. Soon after I got there, I learnt Owoeye and his boys had started their trouble again and I called him on the telephone to shut the shop and go home. A few minutes later, I was called that he was dead.”
A landlord in the area, who did not want his name in print, said the suspect and his cohorts had used policemen to oppress them for years.
He said, “I was taking my son to an Islamic class that day when I saw them and policemen trooping into the community. We had to hide somewhere. It was Segun who shot that boy.
Another resident, who identified himself only as Olayinka, said Owoeye was terrorising the owner of a building under construction when he was arrested.
“At a site in Atan, where he was arrested, he was asking the owner to pay N500,000 to permit the foundation of the building. The man was begging him to collect N250,000, but he refused. It was in the process that soldiers stormed there and arrested him,” he said.
The Ogun State police spokesperson, DSP Muyiwa Adejobi, denied that the police assisted the hoodlums to perpetrate the attack. He said the police had escorted some bailiffs to the community to execute a court order.
He said, “A man got a court order on some landed property. The police went with the bailiff to the community to serve; the court order. The policemen and the bailiffs had left the place before the hoodlums came. It is not true that policemen led the hoodlums there.
The ASP was there officially to do what the law says he should do.”
The children also lamented that the autopsy of the deceased had yet to be done because they could not afford the N42,000 bill charged them by the Ondo State Specialist Hospital, Akure, where the corpse was deposited.
Fifty-year-old Adelugba was reportedly hit with the butt of a gun by one of the policemen attached to the Oda division as she appealed to the cops not to arrest one of her children who the police accused of being a hemp smoker.
One of the deceased’s children, Charles, who spoke with our correspondent on behalf of others on Tuesday, appealed to the government to assist them in getting justice, saying they had nobody to assist them in fighting for justice.
The 30-year-old casual worker, said, “On the fateful day, I was inside the house, when I heard my mother shouting outside. I rushed out and I saw a policeman dragging my brother, Tosa, into their vehicle. I also saw my mother begging them not to arrest him, that her child is not a criminal.
“Suddenly, one of them hit my mother on the chest with the butt of the gun and she fell down. One of them said she was pretending that nothing was wrong with her. A few minutes later, my mother started foaming from the mouth.
“We rushed her to the hospital, but the doctor told us that she had died. By that time, the policemen had fled the area.”
Charles said the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Isaac Eke, held a meeting with members of the family on Monday, adding that the commissioner asked the family to carry out an autopsy. He, however, lamented that the family could not do so because the members could not afford the N42,000 demanded by the hospital.
“The corpse is still at the specialist hospital; we don’t have the money for the autopsy because they said we should bring N42,000 and we could not afford it.
“We are calling on the government and human rights organisations to come to our aid.
“We don’t want the matter to be swept under the carpet. I know the policeman who killed my mother; we don’t want him to go scot-free. We want justice.”
It was gathered on Tuesday that the commissioner had set up an investigative panel on the matter, report of which was expected to determine the next line of action by the police.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Wole Ogodo, who confirmed the incident, said seven policemen that went to the shop of the deceased had been arrested and the report of the panel set up by the CP would determine their fate.
The police spokesman said the woman started panting and died after policemen had left the house.
He said, “She was not killed by the policemen as being claimed by the family.
“ The policemen wanted to arrest some hoodlums who ran into the deceased’s house, she wanted to hide the hoodlums, so it was in the process of preventing the policemen from entering the house that she fell down.
“’So in the information available to me, it was not the policemen that killed her, we learnt that she was hypertensive but we will investigate the matter,” Ogodo said.
Ogodo added that an autopsy would be carried out on the deceased by the hospital.
According to Vanguard report, The inspector and his team were on special duty on the day of the incident.
On getting back to the office, he allegedly told his colleagues that he was going to eat and also use the opportunity to repair the vehicle, only to come back drunk without the gun and ammunition.
It was gathered that when he was asked the whereabouts of his gun, he explained that someone took it while he was sleeping inside the vehicle in the station.
Investigation by his team mates revealed that he was seen at Ipodo area of Ikeja, known as a criminal hideout, heavily drunk when the incident happened.
Another source alleged that he must have gone to sleep with one of the commercial sex workers in the area, leaving the gun inside the vehicle from where it was removed.
The inspector, who was once attached to Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Ikeja, was said to have been transferred out of Lagos State due to unbecoming activities.
He was accused then of giving guns and ammunition as well as information to armed robbers and hoodlums, who paid him in return.
It was learned that he had since been arrested and detained at the state command, while efforts had been intensified by police authorities to recover the gun.
It was gathered that the suspect allegedly set up a false Facebook account in Aderanti’s name, where he allegedly defrauded unsuspecting policemen and members of the public.
according to Vanguard, the suspect allegedly posted a bank account on the Facebook account, urging policemen who wanted to get juicy posting to pay N30,000 and N50,000, while those seeking promotion were to pay much higher fees based on negotiation.
The Facebook page, according to a victim, also urged members of the public to part with money for petition signing and investigation of their cases.
It was learned that policemen fell for the fraud and paid the agreed money. However, the fraudulent deal was exposed when a policeman, who claimed he paid N30,000, went to report to the former police boss that he was yet to be posted.
Police investigation led to the arrest of the suspect through his bank details.
A policeman, who fell for the scam, said: “I thought it was an authentic Facebook page when I saw the CP Aderanti’s pictures on it. I did not know it was a scam.”
The suspect, a secon-dary school leaver, has been transferred to Force Headquarters, Abuja, for further investigation.
According to the suspects, “I am a secondary school leaver. I wrote the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, examination and I have written post-UME to gain admission into the university.
“I do not know anything about the Facebook account. It was my brother, a university under-graduate, that implicated me because the account he used is mine.
“It was after I was arrested that I got to know the crime he committed. He has been on the run since my arrest.”
The inspector, who was attached to MOPOL 20, was the second-in-command to the armourer. He was said to have accidentally pulled the trigger of the rifle, which sent a bullet to his jaw.
Our correspondent gathered that on Tuesday, at about 10am, a policeman had brought the faulty rifle to Medugwu to examine and readjust for him.
It was learnt that the second-in-command to the armourer collected the rifle, and tried to find out where the fault was. The rifle was said to have been fired in the process.
Other policemen in the area were said to have rushed to the scene and taken Medugwu to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.
The inspector, however, died at about 1pm in the hospital.
A policeman, who claimed to be an eyewitness, said Medugwu accidentally turned the barrel of the rifle on himself during the check, before his finger touched the trigger.
He added that the inspector died as a result of severe injuries sustained from the gunshot.
He said, “He was the second-in-command at the armoury in the MOPOL 20. A policeman brought a faulty rifle to his office to examine. While he was doing that, he mistakenly turned the barrel of the gun on himself, and he mistakenly pulled the trigger.
“We rushed him to LASUTH, where the medical personnel battled to save his life. But, he died at about 1pm. His head was badly injured. Medugwu’s death shook all of us.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Patricia Amadin, confirmed the death of Medugwu via a text message.
Consequently, the Police Service Commission, PSC, in collaboration with the Inspector General Police, has concluded arrangements to deploy a high level monitoring team to the nation’s Airports, Highways and other public places to enforce the presidential directive of immediate withdrawal of Policemen from Very Important Personalities (VIP) who are not entitled to their services.
Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Sir Mike Mbama Okiro, (IGP rtd) who confirmed this in Abuja Tuesday, disclosed that “the monitoring team will have the powers to stop VIPs’ on the highways, Airports etc, for confirmation of their status and that of the Policemen attached to them”.
A statement signed by Ikechukwu Ani, head of information PSC, quotes Okiro warning that “Any erring VIP or Policeman caught in such unauthorized beat, will be prosecuted”.
The PSC Chairman insisted that “the Commission and the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force will enforce the presidential directive to the letter, stressing that henceforth only authorized government officials and VIPs’ will be entitled to Police security.
Continuing, Okiro noted that the nation cannot be battling with an inadequate Police Force while majority of these scarce officers are in the service of few privileged Nigerians who ordinarily should have no need for them.
He said the Nigeria Police will now be “structured to do its primary duties of providing internal security and protecting lives and property” adding that “the Commission will give the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force the required support and encouragement to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness”.
Okiro further warned that the Commission will not hesitate to discipline any Police Officer who flouts the presidential directive by hanging onto these VIPs’ for pecuniary gains.
“We cannot afford to have more than half of the population of the Police in private hands,” he said
The incident reportedly happened around 6pm on Sunday when the policemen allegedly mounted a checkpoint in the area.
The killing of the trailer driver and his assistant reportedly followed their refusal to part with a N500 bribe demanded by the policemen at the checkpoint.
According to an internet news portal, eagleonline, the victims were shot dead very close to Wukari, which led to a protest by other trailer drivers.
A Twitter user, austynzogs around 8am on Monday wrote, “Protesting tipper drivers have caused heavy traffic along Jalingo-Wukari Road in Taraba State.”
He later revealed that some soldiers deployed in the area, to quell the unrest, shot at the protesting tipper drivers.
Efforts by officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps to remove the debris dumped on the road were said to have been resisted by the drivers.
“Most of the trailer drivers are said to be heading towards South East to deliver cows to markets in the zone,” a source said.
When contacted on the development, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, Kwaji Joseph, denied that the police killed anyone, adding that rather, the police lost one of its men to the fracas.
He said, “On Sunday at about 6.45pm, our patrol team that was on stop-and-search intercepted a trailer coming from Jalingo and heading towards Wukari.
“As you know, the police have the power to check and interrogate to know where they were coming from and where they were going.
“That particular area has been in crisis for some time now.
“But the trailer driver and his passengers, numbering about 50, came down from the trailer and attacked our policemen. They said the President (Mummamadu Buhari) had ordered a ban on checkpoints.
“In the process, they killed one of our policemen, Corporal Sunday Ate, and stole his AK-47 and 50 rounds of ammunition.”
He said the Wukari Area Commander, on getting the information, mobilised more policemen to the scene, who recovered the weapon and put the situation under control.
Joseph explained that the only corpse recovered some distance away from the scene of the incident was that of an unidentified man.
“We recovered another corpse about 150 metres away from the scene of the incident.
“The police were not responsible for the death and we did not shoot at anybody,” he added.