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SARS operatives extort N5,000 from woman, friends, threaten to kill them

The Lagos Police command has arrested an operative of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, Charles Omotosho for threatening to kill some Nigerians.

Charles was arrested after one Ifeoluwa Adegoke reported the case to the police and shared her experience on Twitter. This came as she made a transfer of N5000 cash to the officer to release her friends.

Adegoke said she was forced to part with N5,000 to save her life and that of her colleagues, who were accosted by the policemen around 1.20pm while going for a photo shoot.

The victim, who shared a snapshot evidence of the fund transfer on Twitter and the photo of one of the policemen, alleged that the operatives threatened to kill them.

“With my encounter today, it is safe to say SARS men are armed robbers. My colleagues and I left Surulere for Ikorodu, where we were to do a photo shoot. We were four in the car and I was the only female.

“When we got to Ikorodu, the SARS operatives, who were in a vehicle, asked our driver to stop; they were five in their bus – all fully armed.

“They said we were suspected criminals and asked us to come down. They asked the driver to come down too. They checked the car, took our phones and went through them. When they did not find anything, they said we were thieves and cult members.

“When I challenged them that we did nothing wrong, one of them said he would slap me. I told my colleagues to keep calm because I knew it would be stupid for us to argue with armed policemen. I told my colleagues that they would demand money from us in the end.”

“After the search did not yield any fruit, the officials demanded N100,000.I took the operatives through my social media account to show them that we were managing to survive.

“But they said they did not care. I told the inspector that since we were not the kind of people they were looking for and since they did not find anything incriminating on us, they should just release us.

“They said they were going to release us because we were not the kind of people they were looking for; but they won’t release us for free. They started cocking their guns to threaten us; they said they would shoot us.

“I approached one of them and begged that we did not have the N100,000 because we were only young people searching for our daily bread. I told him that I had just N5,000 in my account and he should allow me to transfer it to them.

“The men refused to accede to our request after we did the transfer, they did not allow us to go until they got a credit alert on their mobile phone.

“When we left, I traced the name and discovered that his bank account name, Omotosho Olushola Charles, is the same he uses for his Facebook account. That was how I got his picture,” she added.

The Head of the Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit, Abayomi Shogunle, reacting to Adegoke’s complaint said that the police inspector had been arrested.

“My dearest @ife_luv12, I am glad to inform you that the account owner has been identified – Inspector Charles Omotosho, FSARS Ikorodu, Lagos.

“He is in custody; preliminary investigation ongoing. PCRRU will inform you on the next line of action. Sorry for the experience,” he tweeted.

The spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, SP Chike Oti, also confirmed the arrest of the inspector.

He said, “We have arrested the policeman. His trial will commence soon. Any other person found culpable in the course of investigation will be made to face the full wrath of the law.”

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