The police in Lagos have arrested a business consultant, Mr. Kingsley Uzoaru, for allegedly having “incriminating documents” in his laptop.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Uzoaru, who was arrested on Friday, January 22, was bailed on Saturday after his wife, Oluchi, paid N100,000 allegedly demanded by the policemen who were attached to the Security and Criminal Intelligence Bureau, Ikeja.
Our correspondent gathered that at about 10am on the Friday, Uzoaru entered a cybercafe on Bestford Avenue in the Oke-Afa, Isolo area of the state, and the policemen, identified as Mike, Austin and Chilaka, also walked into the centre and arrested him.
The policemen, who were reportedly not in uniform, drove Uzoaru away in a commercial bus to the Ago-Okota Police Division where they interrogated him over the laptop.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the policemen thereafter allegedly asked Uzoaru to pay N250,000 to regain his freedom, but when he could not raise the amount, he was detained overnight.
Our correspondent learnt that on Saturday, Oluchi brought N100,000 which was given to Chilaka to secure the bail of her husband.
It was learnt that the police withheld the laptop since the day of the incident, on the allegation that Uzoaru had suspicious documents.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro, the business consultant, who said he wrote business proposals for individuals and companies for a living, claimed that his wife borrowed the N100,000 from her friends and relations, adding that she needed to settle her creditors.
Uzoaru stated that the police had not found anything incriminating so far in his laptop, saying he should be given his tool to continue his work.
He said, “They were not in uniform when they walked into the centre. They asked me to follow them to the bus, and they drove off. I was wondering what my offence was. Then they asked me what I did for a living.
“I told them if they were looking for Yahoo Yahoo boys at the café, I was not one of them. I told them that I used my laptop to write business proposals for individuals and companies. When we got to the Ago-Okota division, they searched my computer, and they saw some business documents and asked me questions about them.
“I answered them, but it seemed it was not my explanation that they needed. When we got to the station, they collected my phone, saying that I should not record the conversation. I asked them what would happen, and they said if I wanted the matter settled, I should bring N250,000.
“I told them that I did not have that amount, so, they detained me. My offence was that I had some supposed fraudulent documents on my laptop with which I defraud people.”
Our correspondent gathered that Uzoaru’s wife and her elder brother brought N100,000 on Saturday before he was released.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro, Gregory, Oluchi’s elder brother, who gave the money to the policemen, said they pleaded that they would bring the remaining N150,000 before Uzoaru was released.
He said, “I was the one who counted the money and gave it to the policeman. The amount demanded was N250,000. The policeman cannot deny that he collected N100,000 from me.”
PUNCH Metro learnt that a human rights lawyer, Emeka Ugwuoye, had also petitioned the Inspector-General of Police via the platform, stopthebribes.net, to investigate the conduct of the three SCIB policemen.
His petition read partly, “After meeting Kingsley and reviewing his story, I am convinced that the policemen have acted unlawfully and illegally. I, therefore, placed a call from my office to the police. I made it clear to them that they should either charge Kingsley to court or release his computer and return the N100,000 they took from him. I gave them 24 hours to do so.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, said no such incident was reported.
She said, “No such reported incident. Meanwhile, the command requires the complainant to come forward with evidence, if there is any, so as to give us a lead into the case.”
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