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Policemen called me fraudster for having N1.85m in my car, petitioner tells Lagos panel

Policemen called me fraudster for having N1.85m in my car, petitioner tells Lagos panel
February 20
21:53 2021

Oluwatosin Odebode, a businessman, has alleged that police officers beat him up, and labelled him as a fraudster for having N1.85 million in his car.

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He stated this on Saturday, when he appeared before the Doris Okuwobi-led Lagos judicial panel, and alleged that the officers seized the money.

Narrating his ordeal, Odebode said it happened on December 17, 2017, after he closed from work at Ikeja, and was waiting for his friend to buy airtime.

“Suddenly, a vehicle filled with police officers double-crossed me where I parked, all of them pointing guns at me for no reason. They came down from the vehicle and approached me. Their team leader told me to wind down my glass which I did. He was so cruel to me, asking me different questions,” Odebobe told the panel.

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“I was trying to remove my seat belt, but the next thing I saw was that the team leader landed blows repeatedly on my face. I was surprised, without knowing what was my offence. Blood was gushing out of my nose and the blood spilled on the steering wheel of my car. I have a picture.”

The petitioner alleged that the police officers stopped the beating him and proceeded to search his car, where they found the money.

“They found money in my car — N1,850,000 — and accused me that I told them earlier that there was nothing in my car. They hit me mercilessly. They didn’t allow me to talk, calling me unprintable names,” he said.

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“They called me a thief, a fraudster, an armed robber. One of them hit me with the bottom of the gun, broke my head and jaw that night. I fell on the floor. They did not pity me. I was almost unconscious. I could not talk again. All my teeth had shifted from the gum of my mouth.”

Odebode said it took the efforts of his friend and passers-by to report the incident at area ‘F’ police station.

He also added that the divisional crime officer (DCO) directed that he be taken for treatment at Ikeja general hospital, but was referred to Igando general hospital, and then Isolo general hospital for treatment of his dislocated jaw.

Joseph Eboseremen, the police lawyer, during cross examination, insisted that it was thugs who brutalised the petitioner and not the police.

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But the petitioner maintained that they were officers of the police force.

“They are police officers, about six of them, all in uniform. I can recognise police officers differently from thugs,” Odebode added.

After the hearing, the panel adjourned the matter till March 16, 2021.

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