Public outcry on Wednesday greeted the alleged torture and extortion of a young man, Olumide Bakare by men of the Ogudu Division, Lagos State Police Command.
Bakare had taken to micro blogging site, Twitter, late on Tuesday to lament his ugly encounter with the policemen who allegedly unlawfully arrested him, tortured and forced a video statement on him before fleecing him of N260,000.
His only offence was being inside a taxi which they flagged down, diverted and proceeded to illegally search his phones, personal items for possible incriminating materials.
Finding nothing except for a phrase “gay men dey pay” in a group chat Bakare had with some friends, the rogue officers then unleashed terror on him, checked his bank account balance and then demanded N500,000 only to settle for N260,000 which they received via Paga.
The Nation reports that Bakare’s experience is sadly, the fate that has befallen many young men in the state and country at large, who some unscrupulous cops usually brand fraudsters just to extort them.
Narrating his ordeal, Bakare said: “Some members of the Nigerian Police (Ogudu branch), forced a confession, statement and N260,000 out of me on Tuesday. They beat, threatened and made me feel completely powerless. I have not recovered from the harassment, but I need this story to be out there
“They stopped my Uber and asked the driver to drive us straight to Ogudu police station. When we got there, they took us to one small corner in the police station with two wooden rooms.
“They collected my phones, my airpods, ID card. Even as I explained that I was an influencer and work for several brands, they kept on searching my email, IG, Twitter and my WhatsApp for God knows what.
“After asking questions which I gave proper answers to, they saw one text in a group chat I’m in that read “gay men dey pay”. It was a discussion I was having with some friends about closet gay activities we‘d heard rumors about.
“On seeing that, the officer searching my phone said “this one na gay” I was like “Gay????” and I laughed because the whole thing was ridiculous. Next thing he said “you think say I dey follow you laugh?”
“Told me to take off my shirt and started beating me with a pipe. They forced me to write a statement saying I had male clients who paid me to have casual sex with them and even listed name for me. They told me to add amounts to the front of the names too and recorded me confessing (at gun point).
“When they saw my account balance, they demanded for half a million, saying they would send this video to the brands I work for, post it online and they’ll lock me for days so I won’t be able to counter it. They said they could even kill me there.
“After begging and everything, they agreed to collect N260,000. They didn’t colIect transfer, instead, they called someone to come, so I could send via Paga. Afterwards, they told me it’s better to do yahoo than to be gay, because according to them “yahoo go dey pay better.”
“I didn’t want to take any steps. I just wanted to carry on tweeting as though all was well, but it’s not. I have been devastated since yesterday and I don’t know what to do. Please help retweet and tag @segalink and @PoliceNG”
Bakare’s ordeal generated backlash for the police with the service’s public complaint unit stepping in to investigate.
Nigerians on social media demanded the arrest and prosecution of the culprits, noting that policemen at Ogudu were very notorious for extortion of innocent residents.
Although the money was later recovered from the cops and handed over to the victim, those who went to the station including data engineer, Tosin Olugbenga, refused attempts by the division to close the case.
“We must put an end to this mess. For records we are not interested in the refund of the money only. We are interested that such police officers must face the consequences of the their actions. If @_VALKlNG didn’t come online to talk, those criminals would continue their evil actions.
“The DPO said the officers are back to work. Can you imagine? People who kidnapped and extorted a young man of N260,000 have returned back to work to continue their evil work? We want to see the officers and put their face here. This evil must stop.
“Nigeria is totally a mess. There are no consequences for people’s actions and that’s why the mess would continue…There are two things for these @PoliceNG criminals: Charged for armed robbery or a convincing orderly room trial. “This mess must not continue. At this critical time, how can you collect N260,000 from someone at gun point, how?
“We are moving to the office of the Area Commander, Area H in Ogudu.
“We have other people from Twitter showing solidarity with this case.
“People must be made to pay for their actions, until then this nation will burn on us.”
Confirming the incident, spokesman Bala Elkana said those involved have been arrested and detained following directives from Commissioner of Police (CP) Hakeem Odumosu.
“As I speak to you, they are on their way to the command. The CP has ordered their arrest and detention. They will definitely face orderly room trial. The command has said it several times that it will never tolerate such conducts,” he said.