How Kidnappers, Ritualists, convert police post to their den in Lagos

Share it:

As the crime rate hits a new peak in Lagos, an investigation has discovered an abandoned police post in Labora, on the Lekki-Epe expressway in Ibeju/Lekki local government area, converted to an assembly point for kidnappers before they breeze into the silent night in search of unsuspecting victims.

The investigation came after a tip-off by a resident of the community who lives close to the post, who claimed that in January this year he had witnessed three well-dressed middle-aged men emerge from the abandoned police post. One of the men who was engaged in a phone conversation appeared to be telling someone on the other end about an abducted girl.  

After a series of late night clandestine visits to the area where the facility is, and a five-hour (11pm-4am) observation of the post by our reporter, we can authoritatively report that illicit movements to and from the post were observed, suggesting that kidnappers and related elements have found a safe haven in the Labora community.    

A resident in the community, who coincidentally is a police officer, also confirmed that kidnappers were indeed in the community, and that the police in the state are aware of the fact.  

READ ALSO: Tiwa Savage, Africa’s biggest female entertainer

Another resident, whose name is withheld for security reasons, told how he had witnessed a group of young men mercilessly rape a woman who was travelling late at night along the extremely quiet Labora/GRA road, a journey of over a kilometre from the Abijo GRA bus top to the community. He told NAIJ.com that many residents of the community were not aware of such evil in their midst, and hence are easily preyed upon.

“I came home late that fateful late evening. It was around 11pm. I was on top of Okada (motorcycle) when I saw some young men violently raping a lady just beside the road. They know that the place is not secure. The place is particularly dangerous when you get to GRA bus stop and you find no motor cycle to bring you inside because it is late. If this police post is functioning this kind of criminality would be reduced to the barest minimum. All sorts of bad elements are here. Kidnappers and ritualists, all converge in this quiet community silently doing their dirty job. The place is not as innocent as it appears,” he lamented.

Ben Bruce, the senator for Bayelsa East Senatorial District, also recently complained that the police were only protecting the rich in the country and that the poor were not protected.

Kidnapper

File picture of a suspected kidnapper

“As a result, the rich themselves are not safe. They now take their children abroad and build high fence in order to protect themselves. The poor are under policed. But they are also getting smart; they are buying guns and machetes; they are vandalizing the pipelines,” he said during an interview in Lagos monitored by the reporter.    

Joseph Bassey, the chairman of the Abule-Idi-ero-Labora Landlords Association, said the abandoned police post was commissioned more than five years ago, and that when the commissioning took place the residents were very happy. However, unknown to them at the time, it would never be used.

He said that the leadership of the community had written a series of letters to the district police officer in Ajunwe over the state of the post, and that the ‘Oni Ibeju’ (the royal father) of Ibeju, had also complained about the condition of the post.

“The police authority has given us promises upon promises without any effort to put the facility to use. Not too recently, the assistant commissioner of police in Lagos and other senior officers paid a visit to the place. The visit actually raised our hope that they may be planning to reopen it. I personally spoke with few of the officers that came and they assured us that they are going to open the place,” he told NAIJ.com.

When asked about the reasons given by the police authority in Lagos for not using the facility, he said they had complained that the post was not furnished with the necessary equipment and that the stakeholders in the community had thereafter agreed to provide the equipment, a decision he said was communicated to the authority.

“As a community, we pleaded to get few of those things. This is a place that we cannot sleep with our eyes closed. It is a very surprising thing to us that this post was erected and abandoned. The place is been taken over by weeds, reptiles and bad elements. As I speak with you now, the police have not brought us up to speed why the post is left in such condition,” he said.  

NAIJ.com’s investigation also revealed that there is not a single police station or post on the axis starting from Abraham Adesanya Estate/Lagos Business School (LBS) to Elemoro, a distance of over 10 kilometres which contains banks, shopping malls and other businesses. The last police outpost is the one in Ajunwe, Ajah, while there is another abandoned post in Lakowe, about two kilometers away.

With the population of Ibeju-Lekki estimated to be over 15 million residents, and forecast to increase following the proposed Lekki Free Trade Zone and a Dangote refinery expected to open up the area to more businesses, criminals in the area are taking advantage of the current security lacuna.     

According to a new survey released by the Cleen Foundation, a non-partisan public policy think tank, Lagos is a hotbed for criminals. It ranked the state as having one of the highest crime rates in the country, with the survey showing that 67% of Lagos residents fear becoming victims of crime, while 23% claim to have experienced crime in the last year.

The survey also shows that, unlike other states in the southwest which have seen a reduction in assault-related crimes, cases of assault in Lagos state have skyrocketed, with between 27% to 38% of residents having been victims in the last three years.

The foundation then suggest that for the state to effectively fight the recent scourge of kidnapping and to avoid further escalations, government and security agencies must act as a matter of urgency by putting adequate structures in place.

The survey sampled a total number of 11,518 Nigerians across all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory with 50% female and 50% male, all of whom were above 18 years of age.

Some security experts in the state have blamed the worsening security on the under-funding of the Nigerian Police Force by the federal government, and tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to invest more in the police.

Chris Otulana, a retired colonel in the Nigerian army and a director at the Directorate of Military Intelligence, told NAIJ.com that the Nigerian Police Force was in urgent and dire need of a reform that would help it to adequately protect Nigerians irrespective of their social status.

While he canvassed reform of the whole security apparatus, he said special attention should be given to the police, since they are in charge of maintaining law and order in the society.   

A rank-and-file police officer told the author he and his colleagues were not motivated to the point of joyfully laying down their lives to protect the citizens, while knowing fully that their families would be taken care of, should they die in the line of duty. He said that junior officers with accommodation in the barracks part with an additional N8,000 monthly, and described the working conditions as inhuman.

polytechnic students

Men of the Nigerian Police Force

READ ALSO: How Nigerians spend N1.4bn daily on sports betting

Mohammed Abubakar, a former inspector-general of police (IGP), had lamented during his tenure in 2014 that the police force may not be able to pay the salaries of its personnel due to a shortfall of N14.4 billion in funds.

He made the remark during the 2014 budget defence in the Senate, saying the budget office earmarked N279 billion for personnel costs against the more than N293 billion required to pay the police personnel. He expressed concern over the steady decline in budgetary allocations to the police in spite of the increasing security challenges they had to contend with.

Looking at a breakdown of the police budget over the last five years, security experts say it means the force was not adequately funded.

In the 2010 budget, N82,551,656 was allocated to the Ministry of Police Affairs (MPA), while N245,092,275 went to Police Formations and Command (PFC), and N3,865,048 allocated to the Police Service Commission (PSC); a total of N331,511,980.

A total of N308,821,133 was allocated to the force in the 2011 budget, with N3,234,011 going to the MPA, and N304,737,303 to the PFC, while N849,818 went to the PSC.

In 2012, the MPA settled for a budget of N6,109,283, while the PFC had the task of working with a budget of N307,857,718, and the PSC was left with N2,470,077, totalling N316,437,079.

The 2013 police budget, however, witnessed a growth, with a total allocation of N323,041,615, with N9, 668, 953 going to the MPA, N311,151,366 to the PFC and N2,221,296 to the PSC.

In the 2014 budget, N7,918,883, was allocated to the MPF, the PFC received N302,901,812, and the PSC was left with N1,795,844, totalling N310,820,695.

The police budget of 2015 witnessed a further decline with a total allocation of N334,771,960; with N4,318,426 going to the MPF, the PFC got N329, 669, 237, while N784, 296 was the allocation of the PSC.

Regarding the Labora police post, Kenneth Nwosu, the Lagos police command spokesperson, was not available for comment when an attempt was made to contact him, as his phone rang several times without him answering.

But Olabisi Kolawole, the force spokesperson in Abuja, told NAIJ.com that when crime such as in the Labora case is detected, the police authority will definitely move into action.

“Please we need such information so that we can take action. Send the details of the place to me. The police will definite take action. We take appropriate action to ensure that the facility in question and others are put in use for the benefit of the people,” she assured.  

The post How Kidnappers, Ritualists, convert police post to their den in Lagos appeared first on Nigeria News today & Breaking news | Nigerian newspapers.

loading...
Share it:

Latest Stories

Post A Comment:

0 comments:

We’re eager to see your comment. However, Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our Comment Policy and all the links are nofollow. Using keywords in the name field area is forbidden.
Comment Using Either Disqus or Default Comment Mode.