Blessing Taiwo has appealed to the new Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Edgar Imohimi, after officers of the anti-kidnapping unit of the command allegedly threatened her after detaining her in a cell with robbers and kidnappers.
The mother of two Taiwo also claimed that the police officers collected N50,000 for her bail and have seized her phone, insisting that she must pay a balance of N20,000 to make up the N70,000 demanded.
The Sun newspapers reports that the victim, who spoke through an NGO, Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIM), also wants the CP to look into the allegation by her sister who was sexually molested each time she brought food for her while in detention.
National Coordinator of NOPRIN, Mr Okechukwu Nwangwuma, in a petition to CP Imohimi, said:
“NOPRIN requests the CP Lagos to order a prompt and impartial investigation of criminal allegations against the Officer in Charge (OC), Anti-Kidnapping Squad, Lagos State Police Command and other unscrupulous officers under him.
“On August 31, 2017, Juliana Francis, Crime Editor at New Telegraph Newspapers, Lagos received a call from her colleague, Juliana Taiwo Obalonye, also a journalist with The Sun Newspapers, who informed her that her sister, Blessing, a single mother of two, was arrested and detained since August 29, 2017 on the allegation that she stole $50,000 belonging to her colleague, Mrs Abiola Ojo Osagie with whom she had worked for 10 years.
Mrs. Abiola Osagie claimed that she left the $50,000 in a bag in her office and traveled for three weeks.
“When Mrs Osagie returned, she didn’t check the bag for some days and when she eventually checked, she discovered that the money was gone and she immediately accused Blessing because she had a key to the office and was in charge of delegating people to sweep that office.
“Osagie reported the matter at Ikoyi Police Station and Blessing was arrested on August 29 2017. The Investigating Police Officer (IPO), after investigation, which included a search on Blessing’s home and a check on her bank account, the DPO advised that Blessing should be allowed to go.
“Not satisfied with the DPO’s investigation and advice, Osagie allegedly asked the DPO to ‘make Blessing confess’ to the crime, but the DPO made it clear to her that torture is not part of investigation in his station.
“Osagie then took the matter to the Anti-Kidnapping and Cultism Unit of the Lagos State Police Command under the charge of Mr. Adejobi, with one Igbin as IPO and OC Anti Kidnapping Section ordered that Blessing be locked up among suspected cultists and kidnappers.
“Blessing spent most of her hours in the cell crying, with her children left in the care of neighbours.
The OC Anti-Kidnapping Unit stated that Blessing was culpable and refused entreaties to grant her bail or charge her to court. He persistently ignored requests and pleas from Blessing’s relatives as well as interventions by journalists and other concerned individuals, to grant Blessing bail or charge her to court.