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Lagos DPO accused of arresting mosque worshippers in Mushin

Lagos DPO accused of arresting mosque worshippers in Mushin

- Residents of Alimi Ogunyemi street in the Ifako Ijaiye area in the Mushin, accuse the police of raiding clubs and picking up innocent passersby in the area

- They accuse the DPO, Nwabuisi, of spearheading the raid on their area

- Jones Abiri, a Bayelsa-based journalist, discloses why DSS linked him to a militant group in the Niger-Delta

Residents of Alimi Ogunyemi street, in the Ifako Ijaiye area in the Mushin areas of Lagos state have accused the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the Pen Cinema police division, Nwabuisi, of arresting innocent residents and extorting money from them during raids.

The Punch reports that the DPO was accused rounding up some Muslim faithfuls who had just finished praying in a mosque on Wednesday, August 22.

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The residents claimed the police stormed the area around 12am with a Black Maria and four police vans and allegedly raided clubs and picked up passersby in the area.

The policemen were said to have taken all the suspects to the Pen Cinema police station, where about 37 arrested residents were reportedly forced to pay money for bail.

One of the victims, Sheriff Aranjure, said those arrested were asked by the policemen to pay N15,000 bribe before they could be released.

Sheriff said his elder brother, Ibrahim, bargained with the DPO through a police sergeant, adding that Ibrahim paid N30,000 for three arrested Muslims.

He said: “Our mosque is in front of our house. We had just observed Ishai (8pm prayers) and were in front of the mosque when the policemen from the Pen Cinema Police Station appeared. They had a task force van, a Black Maria and four other vehicles.

“Before they got to the house, they had arrested some people. When they got to the front of the mosque, they stopped a motorcycle rider and arrested him and his passenger.

“The man that led the team was the DPO of the Pen Cinema Police Division. The name on his tag is H.E. Nwabuisi. He came to where we were and asked what we were doing outside. We told him that we were in front of our house and we had just finished praying in the mosque.

“He ordered some of the policemen to take us into the Black Maria. We asked what we did wrong. When I tried to resist, the DPO dragged me by the shirt and tore my clothes. They took three of us into the Black Maria.”

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“After they raided other places, we were taken to the Area G Command and put in a cell. They went out to conduct more raids. Around 15 minutes to 12am, they came back with new people. They put all of us in the Black Maria and took us to the Pen Cinema Police Station. We were about 37 people that they arrested. When we got to the station, they asked us to write our names. They started calling us out one by one, asking if we wanted to bail ourselves,” he added.

Sheriff’s brother, Ibrahim, who allegedly paid N30,000 for the bail, said he was lucky to have escaped arrest.

“Aside from Sheriff, I was the one who sent the 15-year-old boy they arrested on an errand to buy medicines for me because I was ill. So, when I saw what had happened, I followed them in a tricycle. We trailed them as they went to Area G. But from my observation, it appeared the area commander did not know anything about the raid.

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“When they got to their station, I saw one of them, called Bigi, a police sergeant. He asked me what the problem was and I told him what had happened. He went to meet the DPO and negotiated on our behalf. They collected N30,000 for the three of them. Bigi said it was important that we secured their bail that night because they would take them to court the following day. For fear that our people could be arraigned for what they knew nothing about, we had to look for the money that night.

“In my presence, he gave the DPO the money and they spoke briefly. The owner of the bar where some other people were arrested also paid some money to the policemen,” he added.

Meanwhile, a Bayelsa-based journalist, Jones Abiri, who was arrested and detained for more than two years by the DSS, has explained the circumstances that resulted in his arrest and how he was linked to a militant group in the Niger-Delta.

Premium Times reports that Abiri said he was arrested by the security operatives because found a phone they had been tracking in his office in Yenegua.

Abiri added that the ease with which he was found by the operatives was proof of his innocence since militants were mostly known to be elusive.

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