The Police Complaint Response Unit says it is investigating an allegation levelled against men of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Adeniji Adele, Lagos.
The policemen were accused of arbitrarily arresting youths in the Mushin area of the state, tagging them as Internet fraudsters and demanding that they part with N100,000 each before being set free.
The Police CRU, in response to a tweet, said, “Your complaint is hereby acknowledged and investigation has been initiated. Your tracking number is #CRU694654. Thank you for contacting NPF-CRU.”
According to an activist, Segun Awosanya, the policemen usually order their victims to call on their relatives to bail them with N100,000 each.
The activist tweeted, “FSARS from Adeniji Police Station went to Mushin today (Wednesday) to shop for innocent victims. They took a number of guys and ordered them to start calling their families after being harassed at gunpoint and tagged ‘Yahoo boys’, having violated their privacy by going through their phones.
“They parked under Jibowu Bridge where families came to buy back their wards’ freedom at N100,000 per head asking price. Some were lucky to get a rebate, having proven that they had been abducted once before by the same team.”
According to Awosanya, some of the youth were tagged fraudsters simply for having on their phones the Google Hangout app, which allows people to have virtual video calls.
He further tweeted, “A man, whose staffer was among those raided, narrated his ordeal and how he was made to pay N40,000 to release his staff for having Google Hangout on his phone. They claim this app has been outlawed by the Federal Government and they are in charge of this anti-Google Hangout operation. Is this a country?
“Can these rogues be arrested and jailed for armed robbery and kidnapping? The witnesses are willing to testify. This shouldn’t be happening in a country that has a President, even if invalid. Will the police be the trigger of the end of our democracy? It is looking that way.”