By Chiemelie Ezeobi
Some group of policemen under the FESTAC Police Division, yesterday detained a tailor, one Segun Olatunji and eight others at Second Rainbow Bus stop for hours before releasing them, but not after fleecing them.
The tailor was said to have been detailed by his boss at Metal Point Label (MPL), to deliver some clothes at the Coker area of the state when he was intercepted by the policemen.
Speaking with THISDAY, Olatunji said his woes began after he had disembarked from a bus and made to cross the road to go over to Coker.
He said: “Some policemen who were at the triangular checkpoint stopped me. They asked me to identify myself, which I did.
“They asked me to open the parcel I was carrying and I explained to them that my boss had sent me to deliver the clothes to a client, who was at that point waiting for me at her house in Coker.
“When they saw the quality of the clothes, they said I must be a thief to be carrying such expensive clothes. I tried to explain to them that I am a tailor but they refused to listen.
“They took my phone and went through it. They even saw pictures of samples of clothes I made for our numerous clients.
“When I approached one of them to beg him to release me, they said I must call my boss to further identify me. I did and they spoke with my boss, who confirmed he sent me.
“At that point, they took the phone from me and told him that they arrested me at Maryland, meanwhile, we were at Second Rainbow, which has no bearing with Maryland area.
“They immediately switched off the phone, thus sending my boss, as I was made to gather when I got home, into a frenzy.
“Unknown to me, my boss, who was at Ikorodu at that moment, got some people to find my whereabouts at Maryland, only to be told no such station exists there.
“Meanwhile, they asked me for N5,000 to secure my release and I told them that I don’t have any money on me. So they kept me with eight other people, including a female, under the mango tree.
“I was there from 2p.m. to 7p.m. when they wanted to close for the day. Some people that managed to raise the N5,000 were released.
“At about 7p.m, they told us they will search everyone again and that was when they found the remaining N2,000 my boss gave me for transport.
“After slapping me for lying to them, they released me with no transport money to go back to Ikorodu that night. I had to beg money from people to go home that night. Of course, I didn’t deliver the clothes again.
“I have always heard of police extortion but never really believed it until it happened to me. I wish the state Commissioner of Police will secure justice for me.”
THISDAY checks revealed that those group of policemen at Second Rainbow are particularly notorious for illegally detaining, searching and collecting bribes from innocent passersby.
THISDAY had in time past handled one of such cases where they had arrested a clearing agent and detained him in the station for failing to grease their palms.
Though he had properly identified himself with his identity card, they had insisted on detaining him until THISDAY had called their then divisional police officer, who ordered his release with profound apologies.