Victim Wants Rogue NSCDC Officials Paraded
One of the victims allegedly tortured and robbed by some operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Lagos State Command, Abolore Ajiroba, says the officials’ identities should be revealed to members of the public.
Although the command had said two teams, comprising 12 officials, who perpetrated the act, had been suspended and detained for investigation, the victim maintained that they should be paraded.
He added that their names and ranks needed to be disclosed for transparency.
The PUNCH had reported that one of the teams had stopped a diesel-laden tanker driven by one Lawal Amobi around 6pm on Friday, May 5, along Wilmer Road, Ajegunle, asking him to produce the product’s waybill and an operating licence issued by the Department of Petroleum Resources.
He had begged the team that the licence was not with him. But on their insistence to see it, he called the manager of the firm he works with, Tolu Oyinloye, who brought a photocopy.
The team reportedly seized the documents and demanded a N5,000 bribe, while the manager begged them with N500, saying the vehicle documents were complete.
They were said to have zoomed off in their van with number plate, CD167A01, after collecting N500, without releasing the papers.
The workers followed them in a motorcycle to LaCasera Bus Stop, Mile 2, Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, where they met the third victim, Ajiroba, being assaulted by another team of the corps.
It was reported that the men, apart from inflicting injuries on Amobi’s face and back, robbed him of two phones and a sum of N35,000, while the manager was dispossessed of N70,000, a wrist watch and an Infinix phone.
As Amobi and the manager ran on the expressway to escape the torture, the officials started shooting, and later returned to Ajiroba.
Speaking with Saturday PUNCH, 37-year-old Ajiroba lamented that his assailants collected N5,000 from him at gunpoint and seized the waybill of a diesel product he was taking to Ikorodu that day.
He said after the officials tore his dress and beat him up, he grudgingly reached a compromise with them to get the phone number of one of them, who was later identified as Bobo.
He said, “I loaded the product from Satellite Town and headed for Ikorodu with a motor boy and an escort. As we were about to reach Mile 2, I heard sirens of an NSCDC van blaring. They stopped me and asked for the waybill of the product, which I gave them.
“One of them told me to settle and I said there was no basis for me to do so. He took me to their team leader, who said I was supposed to have a DPR permit. I said only filling stations have such.
“While we were on it, another NSCDC van arrived. Some officials alighted from the van and started beating two men (Amobi and Oyinloye) who were begging them. Suddenly, they started shooting as the men tried to run away on the expressway.
“Afterwards, the two teams descended on me, beat me up and tore my dress. As my boss’ call came in, they snatched my phone. They took the motor boy and the escort into their van and two officers joined me in the truck as we left for their office in Ikeja. When we got to 7/8 Bus Stop on Airport Road, they stopped and asked me to ‘settle.’
“I feared they might lock me up, and wouldn’t be able to deliver the product again that day. It occurred to me that part of the fuel could be stolen while I was in their custody. So, I weighed the loss and paid the N5,000 they demanded. They returned my phone.
“I asked them to return my waybill; they said they had already given me. When I insisted they had not, they threatened to shoot me in the leg. I had to calm down. I persuaded one of the officials in my vehicle to give me his phone number so I could call him if other security agents stopped me on the way to Ikorodu.”
Ajiroba said he would not be convinced the corps was ready to bring the officials to justice, except their identities were made known.
He added, “I have read in The PUNCH that the officials have been suspended and detained; that is a welcome development. But if the NSCDC authorities want Nigerians to actually believe that those men are not being shielded, their names and ranks should be revealed and they should be paraded. That will serve as a deterrent to others.”
But the spokesperson for the Lagos State Command of the corps, Kehinde Bada, said the erring officials were not being protected, and urged Ajiroba to officially report his own side of the story at the command headquarters in Ikeja.
She said, “The two other victims came to the command and their statements were taken. We urge Mr. Abolore (Ajiroba) to also report formally at the command.
“The NSCDC is not shielding those officials. A panel has been set up. They have been suspended and taken into custody for investigations. We assure members of the public that proper actions will be taken after the investigations.”