A businessman, Afeez Mojeed, has petitioned the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality alleging that a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, illegally extorted more than N41 million from him.
In the petition dated October 22, 2020, filed by his lawyer, Kabir Akingbolu, the businessman alleged that Kyari and three other policemen invaded his house on October 18, 2014 between 8.30pm and 9pm. He said his wife, who was five months pregnant, his 18-month-old son and his mother-in-law were inside the house during the invasion.
Mojeed added that Kyari, who was then the officer-in-charge of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Lagos, and other policemen took about 32 items away from his house on the night of the raid. Aside Kyari, other officers mentioned in the raid are J. Okeke, said to be second-in-command to Kyari, Inspector Fola, Corporal Bolu and Corporal Oyewumi Akeem. On the night of the raid, the officers were accused of forcibly taking away the wedding ring of Mojeed and his wife.
They were also accused of making away with N280,000 from their wardrobe and N50,000 from Mojeed’s car, a Honda Accord 2008 model which was seized and never returned. Phones, landed property, cheque books, bank cards and other valuable documents were also alleged to have been taken away from the businessman’s house. After ransacking the house, Mojeed was reportedly taken to the SARS office in Ikeja where he was illegally detained for 14 days, from October 18 to 31, 2014.
He was said to have been subsequently arraigned on a “trump-up charge” of stealing N97 million. But, according to him, for over one year that the matter was in court, the police refused to show up or bring any witness. After several adjournments, the charge against the businessman was reportedly struck out for want of diligent prosecution. The petition reads in part: “While in detention, the police under the supervision and threat of Abba Kyari (OC SARS) forced him to sign three Zenith Bank cheques in the sum of N150,000 each making N450,000 in total on October 22 – 23, 2014 and gave the sum to one Alabi Olawale Nurudeen, who is also one of their cronies to withdraw.
“The police also obtained password to his bank card with which they withdrew another N395,000 from his account between October 20 and 23, 2014. “On the directive of Kyari, Mojeed was taken by Inspector Fola, Corporal Bolu and Corporal Akeem to Diamond Bank, Ajah branch, on October 23 and 24, 2014 to forcibly transfer the sum of N41 million and N800,000 respectively from his corporate account – M. Mateen Concepts – into the account of one Obinna Edward, whom our client had never seen or heard of before, after which they shared the money.
“All these acts perpetrated on our client were exhibited with serious injuries inflicted on him due to a series of slaps and beatings for them to get access to his ATM password, signature on cheques and also transfer from his account.” Mojeed’s lawyer further disclosed that upon his meeting with Kyari, the police officer told him that his client was engaged in internet fraud and that was why his house was raided. “He also went further that there was another N15 million in another account, that I should cooperate with him to take it the way they took N41 million and a sum of N5 million would be given to me while they would take N10 million,” the lawyer also alleged in the petition.