Group accuses Panti policemen of illegal arrest, detention of Lagos residents

A civil rights organization, the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ) has accused police officers attached to the State Criminal Investigative Department (SCID) in Panti Yaba, Lagos arbritrary arrest and detention of Lagos residents.

According to CHRISJ, operatives of the department utilise underhand tactics to extract money from hapless victims, saying that the practice has become so rampant in the aftermath of the recently held #endsars agitation.

In a statement signed by the Executive Chairman of CHRSJ, Adeniyi A. Sulaiman in Lagos on Thursday, the group called on relevant authorities to beam their search lights on the operations of the department, saying a lot of bad eggs need to be weeded out of the system.

“We have in the past raised a series of alarms regarding the conduct and operational procedures of the SCID and we will never get tired of doing so. We are unhappy to note that rather than turn a new leaf, these operatives are even becoming more daring and wicked by the day,” the group wrote.

According to CHRSJ, the method being utilized by operatives of the department is usually to move around their area of operation and source phone numbers of hapless residents of the state with a view to lure them to their offices where they are levied with several allegations that can never be substantiated.

“The leadership of the department usually dispatch their operatives out to source for numbers of innocent victims wherever they find them. They will now call them on TRUECALLER platform to be able to know their names.

“From there on, they will then generate spurious petitions, which would be written by some faceless individuals. This would then form the basis for the invitation of the innocent citizens who would come forward to their station,” CHRSJ wrote.

The group added that the invited citizens would then be asked to wait endlessly without seeing the petition against them or those making complaints against them, adding that “From there, the police officers would ask for some specific amount to be paid before securing their freedom.

“These police officers usually demand an atrocious amount of money ranging from N150,000 upward depending on the calibre, status and pedigree of the so-called accused. As I speak to you now, there are so many innocent people languishing in the cells of the department, which we want the authorities to look at.” The group stated.

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