Adedire was threatened with death and told that he was going to be paraded as a money launderer if he didn’t cooperate with them and ‘buy’ his freedom.
More victims of the rogue police team at Force Criminal Investigation Department Annex, Alagbon Close, Lagos State, that forcefully extorted N22 million worth of bitcoin from two young real estate developers in July 2021, Morakinyo Tobiloba Peter and Yusuf Samson Dayo, have emerged.
Led by Cordelia Nwawe, a Deputy Superintendent of Police with Force number 14534, the criminal team has been ‘running riot’ all across Lagos, seizing, framing and extorting innocent citizens they sense have access to good money.
In the latest episode of their criminal enterprise, the police team led by Nwawe forced a United Kingdom returnee, Kanmi Adedire, to pay $30,000 at gunpoint on August 23, 2021 to be free from their grip after falsely accusing him of illegal financial activities.
Adedire, who lives in the UK with his two children and is a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, was on a visit with them to Nigeria in August and was going about his activities when he ran into the criminal police team that fateful day.
He was accosted at about 2:10 pm by five policemen in a Toyota Camry car as he drove out of Banana Island and headed towards Turnbul Road in Ikoyi enroute to Magodo on Lagos Mainland.
After identifying themselves and saying that there was a petition against the owner of the Mercedes Benz GLE Adedire was driving, the policemen ordered him to move to their office at the FCID Alagbon.[story_link align="left"]102532[/story_link]
Despite requesting to make a few phone calls to let his lawyer and other family members know the situation he was in, the policemen declined and instead seized his two mobile phones and laptop, which was at the back seat of the car.
Upon getting to their office, they forced the young man to provide passwords to his two phones and laptops which they went on to search for several hours in a bid to find any incriminating item on them.
When that did not work, they further breached Adedire’s privacy by logging into his private and business email accounts to print out documents of his correspondence with clients in the UK before forcing him to thumbprint and hold them in front of a camera.
Demanding to find out what his crime was and asking the police officers to show him a copy of the petition they claimed to have against him, Adedire was threatened with death and told that he was going to be paraded as a money launderer if he didn’t cooperate with them and ‘buy’ his freedom.
DSP Nwawe, who told her men to deal with the young man if he failed to cooperate, threatened to jail him and even get a promotion for doing so.
The police team went ahead to demand N100 million before letting him go but eventually reduced it to $30,000 after the victim, out of fear for his life, pleaded with them to bring the amount down.
It was only then that Adedire was allowed access to one of his mobile phones so that he could contact family members and friends to raise the ‘ransom’ money the policemen had put on his head.
After making several frantic calls to his contacts at gunpoint, the victim managed to raise the complete amount, which was brought to the FCID office at Alagbon by one of his friend’s driver around 8:00 pm that day.
Immediately DSP Nwawe and her rogue team received the $30,000, they did some paperwork and released Adedire to go.
While making his way out of the place, one of the policemen, who gave his name as Aigbe, told him that he could have been killed that night had he not been able to provide the money they demanded.
Speaking with SaharaReporters from his base in the UK on Wednesday, the victim said, “As I was leaving, one of the policemen told me that I must be a good man for being able to raise the money they demanded that day. He said that I could have been killed if I hadn’t paid the money.
“He told me to be positive about the whole thing as I could have fallen into the hands of kidnappers and the situation could have been worse.
“I am still traumatised from that whole experience. The people I thought I could find protection from are the ones who have made my life a nightmare for no reason.
“I was harassed and threatened with death for about six hours for committing no offence. They could not provide the said petition against me even after I demanded to see it.”
Lawyer of the victim, Dr Tunji Abayomi, told SaharaReporters that despite several petitions written to the police authorities over the issue, Nwawe and her team had not been punished for grossly violating the right of Adedire and taking $30,000 from him illegally.
He said, “We have written to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Alagbon and even to the IGP himself, nothing has been done on the matter till this moment.
“It is sad that things like this can still happen in our country. It is really sad.”
Apart from extorting $30,000 from Adedire for committing no offence, the police team led by DSP Nwawe, according to latest findings by SaharaReporters, also forcefully collected N7 million worth of Bitcoin from one Samson Ogunyemi on November 29, 2021 in Lagos after falsely labelling him an Internet fraudster.
The young man, who trades in cryptocurrency, was stopped at a traffic intersection around Lagos Island by the same team from Alagbon and moved to their office for no concrete reason.
Like they do to all their victims, the policemen seized Ogunyemi’s mobile phone before harassing and threatening him with imprisonment and death for reasons he was never told.
“They stopped me at a traffic light and forced me to their station. Immediately we got there, they started taking my photos and did not allow me to say anything or call anyone on the phone.
“They held me at gunpoint and forced me to sign a statement they had written that I was an Internet fraudster.
“They later logged into my Bitcoin account and transferred the entire money inside it which I was using to trade to a wallet belonging to one of the policemen named Frank.
“They moved the entire $12,000 from my Bitcoin wallet for committing no offence. They have crippled me financially. I committed no offence to deserve this type of wickedness from them,” he said while speaking with our correspondent.
Following SaharaReporters story on how DSP Nwawe and her team forcefully extorted N22 million worth of bitcoin from Peter and Dayo in July this year and the uproar that greeted that revelation, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, on Monday ordered an immediate investigation into the professional misconduct and abuse of office of the police team at Alagbon led by DSP Nwawe.
Force spokesperson, Frank Mba, in a statement said that a Special Investigation Panel led by DCP Olaolu Adegbite would carry out a discreet and transparent investigation into the allegation against the officers mentioned in the story by SaharaReporters.
“DSP Cordelia and the other police personnel allegedly indicted in the report have been ordered to report to the Special Investigation Panel, Force Headquarters, Abuja, on Tuesday, 21st December, 2021 to answer to the allegations against them.
“The Special Investigation Panel is headed by DCP Olaolu Adegbite of the Force Intelligence Bureau.[story_link align="left"]102576[/story_link]
“The Force advices any member of the public who has had similar experiences of high-handedness or extortion by the officers in question, her team or any other officer at the FCID Alagbon to come forward with detailed information to enable the panel achieve a holistic investigation,” Mba said in the statement.
Earning a notorious reputation for corruption, highhandedness and extrajudicial killings, the police in Nigeria have committed more crimes in the society than they have solved over the years.
Constantly harassing and extorting young citizens riding in sleek cars and dressing in fine clothes, policemen across the country have continued to violate rights with impunity despite public outcry over their nefarious activities.
In October 2020, the situation hit a climax when young Nigerians took to the streets to protest police harassment, extortion and brutality.
The demonstrations quickly gathered momentum, grabbing headlines across the globe in the weeks that followed.
In response, the police authorities scrapped the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and promised reforms in several areas.
But more than one year since that historic event, nothing has changed as rogue policemen continue to violate the rights of Nigerians – young and old.