Members of the Police Community Relations Committee have accused a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, James Opara, of refusing to vacate the lodge meant for the Divisional Police Officer in the Ilupeju area of Lagos State for over 20 years.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Opara acted as the DPO of the Ilupeju Police Division for three months in 1999, and during that period, he occupied the lodge until he was transferred.
However, after his transfer from the division, it was learnt that Opara denied subsequent DPOs the opportunity of occupying the lodge by allegedly refusing to vacate the apartment.
The Chairman, PCRC, Ilupeju, Fredrick Silva-Rotimi, told PUNCH Metro that efforts to make Opara vacate the lodge had proved abortive, adding that a woman was currently using the lodge at the instance of the retired DIG and at the expense of subsequent DPOs of the division.
Silva-Rotimi said, “I have been very courteous in order to avoid making this impropriety on the part of retired DIG James Opara a public affair. It’s very bad and an act of corruption. We have petitioned the Commander, Area ‘F’; the CP, Hakeem Odumosu; and the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, and Opara could not give a reason as to why he refused to vacate the lodge. He always says he’s going to vacate the place, but instead, he told a woman to occupy the place.
“This is unacceptable; he was a Divisional Crime Officer, who acted as the DPO for three months after which he was transferred. But he has been occupying the place since that time till now. It is morally wrong for him to do so as an officer and his actions have tormented other DPOs, including the present one. We want him to leave the lodge.
“Opara has been ignoring my calls, but responded on Sunday and during our conversation, I told him that we were disturbed by his action of not leaving the lodge for other DPOs and I was surprised that he said it was a police matter and that when he was ready, he would vacate the lodge, and that is what he had been saying.”
Another member of the PCRC, Alarape Alimi, said subsequent DPOs deployed in the division and whose places of residence were far from Ilupeju usually slept in the office or take up a room in a nearby hotel to stay night.
He stated, “The current DPO in Ilupeju came from a very distant place and had been sleeping in his office after Opara denied him access to the lodge. We felt very bad and the Patron of the PCRC, Yomi Olajide; the Chairman, Fredrick Silva-Rotimi; and his secretary and I met with the AIG Zone 2, Ahmed Iliyasu, and he sent our letter of complaint to the DC admin to treat.
“The woman occupying the lodge on the instructions of Opara usually visits the place once in a while, and the DPO, who is meant to be occupying the place cannot. Opara is a retired DIG and the lodge is for the serving DPO; so, he should leave the place.”
When contacted by our correspondent, Opara refused to comment on the matter. He also had yet to respond to a text message sent to his mobile telephone as of the time of filing this report. Similarly, a WhatsApp message sent to him had not been responded to.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said, “I am not aware of the letter written by the PCRC, but I am sure that if they have written any letter, the AIG and the CP must have acted on it.
“So, I will find out and discuss with the CP on how we will go about the matter since there is a house like that, which is meant for the DPO and is being occupied by someone who was kept there by a retired senior officer. We are going to look into it departmentally and see what we can do.”