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How Lagos Police Officers Extort N258,000 From Us Over bowl containing Cowries,  palm kernel – Traditional Worshippers 

How Lagos Police Officers Extort N258,000 From Us Over bowl containing Cowries,  palm kernel – Traditional Worshippers

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Three Lagos-based traditional worshippers, Adejuwon Idowu, Akanbi Samuel, and Adetayo Oyelami, have accused officers of the state police command of extorting a sum of N258,000 from them for having a bowl containing cowries and palm kernel.

One of the victims, Idowu, said that the incident happened on Saturday, March 2, in the Ijegun area of the state.

The traditionalists were said to be driving along the Ikotun-Ijegun road when the officers attached to the state Commissioner of Police Tactical Unit allegedly flagged them down for a stop and search.

Adejuwon said the police searched their car and found a white bowl containing cowries and palm kernel which one of them just took delivery of from his father.

According to him, the officers, after seeing this, tagged them as ritualists and took them to the Ijegun Oja Police Station where they were allegedly made to pay the sum of N258,000.

He said, “One of us whose father is a traditionalist based in Osun State sent a white bowl containing cowries and palm kernel to him in Lagos. We collected them around 5 pm and were on our way home when the officers stopped us. They searched the vehicle and did not find anything except the bowl which was in a white nylon. After explaining how we came about it to them, they immediately tagged us as ritualists. When they asked us to give them the bowl, my friend initially declined and told them it was not meant to be opened as instructed by his father but had to be opened for them to see to prove it was not an exhibit. But they later forcefully collected it from us.”

Oyelami, who equally gave an account of what transpired, said the police officers handcuffed the three of them and took them to the station along the Ijagemo area of the community.

He claimed that they were detained for over four hours, while the officers threatened to lock them up before they later demanded money from them.

He said, “They handcuffed us and took us to the station. When we got there, they detained us and threatened to lock us up in the cell. After a while, they asked us to bring N200,000 but we told them we didn’t have the money. They later asked us to bring N150,000. It was already 10 pm and since we were not familiar with the area, we agreed. They asked me to go outside of the premises to withdraw the money from a PoS operator. After I gave it to them, they told us to withdraw another N100,000 to bail out my friend and the calabash which we had. Again, they asked us to withdraw another N18,000 which we did, making up a total of N258,000. It was after then that they released us.”

The receipts of the payment sent to our correspondent indicated that the three separate transactions were made to a Moniepoint Microfinance Bank account.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, when contacted confirmed that he was aware of the development, adding that the matter had been referred to the Complaint Response Unit.

He said, “The complainant contacted me and I have referred the matter to the Complaint Response Unit. Any officer found guilty would be punished according to the rules.”

 

 

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