POLICE OFFICER ARRESTED AND DISMISSED FOR ROBBERY SUES COMMISSIONER OF POLICE

Police personnel of the Lagos State Police Command were shocked after they heard that one of them, identified simply as Sergeant Oluwaseyi sued the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, and two other policemen for N50 million. Sources said that the sergeant’s lawyer presented the writ of summon to Owoseni last week. Oluwaseyi sued Owoseni for allegedly depriving him the opportunity of attaining the rank of inspector.

It was learnt that while the promotion course for inspectors was going on, Oluwaseyi was in detention over a charge of stealing brought against him by a lady he gave a ride in March. Aside Owoseni, the sergeant also sued the officer in charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), who investigated the allegation levelled against him. A source said: “He sued our CP, OC SARS and his former IPO. He sued them for N50 million. Oluwaseyi accused them of unlawful detention and harassment.

The sergeant said he was suing because the CP made him to lose the opportunity to become an inspector. When his investigation was going on, he was not allowed to go for his promotion course with others, thus he missed it and right now, he is still a sergeant, while his mates have become inspectors.” It was also learnt that after Owoseni received the writ of summon, he immediately ordered that Oluwaseyi be dismissed and de-kitted.

He also ordered that he should be charged to court for robbery. In March, after the sergeant was accused of being a serial thief, he was arrested and ordered to face orderly room trial. After the trial, dismissal was recommended, but Owoseni did not act on it. “When the writ of summon came, the CP ordered that Sergeant Oluwaseyi be dismissed and de-kitted. It means all police items with him should be collected. When Oluwaseyi heard that he had been dismissed based on the recommendation of his trial, he ran away. He is on the run now. CP said he should be charged for robbery.”

In March, Oluwaseyi ran into the state Police Command Headquarters moments after he allegedly robbed a lady of her handbag. The sergeant was attached to ‘A Department’ at the state police headquarters. Preliminary investigation showed that Oluwaseyi was a serial thief, who allegedly used to target ladies standing alone on the road. Whenever he robs ladies of their handbags and other valuables, he drives off in his white Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), leaving them screaming. He would go for another victim or drive straight to the police command, where his office was located.

Once he drives into the police command headquarters, he would change into his uniform. However, nemesis caught up with him after one of his victims traced him to the command. When the sergeant’s car was searched by policemen, several female handbags, shoes, phones and panties were discovered. A police source said: “Every morning, the sergeant would drive his SUV around. He mostly frequented Ikeja GRA, where he hunts for women. Whenever he sees a lone female, waiting for transportation, he would stop and ask her where she was going.”

Once she tells him, he would claim he was going the same way. After driving for a while, he would do something that would make his car to start jerking. He would stop, get down and pretend to check the car’s engine. The source added: “He would go back to the driver’s seat and ask the lady to step down.

He would beg her to check if the car’s headlights were working. Immediately the lady steps down, he would drive away, taking along her handbag and other valuables left on her seat.” Ironically, whenever these incidents occur, most of the victims would start trekking and begging for money in order to get home. Many of them used to find themselves at the Police Officers’ Mess in GRA. There they would narrate their experiences to policemen on duty at the gate. The stories got to Owoseni and his Personal Assistant (PA).

These policemen have got used to hearing such stories, but they did not know one of them was committing the crime. During days, weeks and months that the policemen heard these complaints, it dawned on them that the descriptions of the car and the thief ’s modus operandi were the same as recounted by the women.

On the day that the sergeant played the same game on his last victim, the lady was returning from a night club. After he bolted with her handbag and phones, she started trekking. Like other victims before her, she found herself at the Police Officers’ Mess. She narrated her experience. Unlike others, however, the lady was able to memorise three numbers on the number plate of the SUV. Trying to assist her to get home, Owoseni’s PA gave her some money. Moments after she got to PWD area of Shogunle, not too far from Lagos Command Headquarters, she sighted the white SUV.

She pursued and started hitting the windscreen for Oluwaseyi to stop. The sergeant recognised her and knocked her down with his car. He zoomed off. The police source said: “She quickly flagged down a tricycle and told him to go after the vehicle. When she saw Oluwaseyi at PWD, he was already with another lady inside his car. They chased the jeep around, until they saw it again. This time, it was driving into the police headquarters.

She got down from the tricycle and attempted to enter the command. Policemen on guard refused to allow her inside. She told them that a man in a white SUV, who robbed her that morning, just drove into the command. They did not believe her story.” The lady went back to Owoseni’s PA at Police Officers’ Mess, to tell him that she saw the driver who robbed her.

With the PA in tow, the lady entered the command and easily identified the white SUV because she had memorised three of the numbers. “When they brought Oluwaseyi, she was confused because he had already changed his clothes. She said the man wore red sweater. The sergeant had put on his police uniform.

The sergeant pretended to be angry and told her that she was embarrassing him. Owoseni’s PA told him to shut up. The car was searched and a red sweater discovered. The sweater was what he wore when he picked the lady,” said the police source. Further search of the vehicles, yielded several women handbags, panties and phones. She picked out her phones from among the lot. She said the phone belonged to her sister.

The first number on the call log was dialled and her sister picked it. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Dolapo Badmos, said that the legal department was studying the suit. She said: “He was dismissed for offence of robbery. He was accused of using vehicle to rob innocent passengers. The command got the report, he was investigated and dismissed. He was then charged to court.”

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