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Ikorodu resident tells InsideMainland how SARS extorted him in Festac

The continuous harassment and extortion faced by residents of Lagos Mainland in the hands of the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) appear not to be nearing its end soon. This is as a result of the ordeal of another resident who narrated his experience in the hands of the officers at Festac community, Lagos Mainland.

According to the Ikorodu resident, the incident that has left him worried for several weeks occurred on Friday, May 18, 2018, when he alongside his boss were returning from Cele-Ijesha to connect Oshodi, Lagos Mainland.

Narrating the ordeal, the source said: “The sad experience with SARS occurred on 18th of May 2018 when I took my bus to Ilasa. My boss was in the bus with and we wanted to turn from Cele to connect Oshodi but we discovered that trailers and big tankers had blocked the road.

“We decided to drive further down the expressway to make enquiry on how to find an alternative route. When we got into a petrol station along the axis, an attendant advised that we use the road just beside the petrol station to connect Festac and keep asking for directions to connect the Oshodi expressway.”

The source stated that events took another turn when he was flagged down by SARS operatives along the road for driving through one way. “On our way out, two SARS officers riding on a bike came towards us that we took one way. I was shocked because other cars were also driving along the same route. The situation led to an argument and the officers started threatening us,” the source said.

“One of the officers named Christopher said I should shut my mouth and not argue with him. He said my boss is an Indian and we must pay or risked being detained at their station. They subsequently led us to one LASTMA compound at Amuwo-Odofin close to the exit of Festac gate. When we got there, they marched us to one small kiosk beside the compound where the threats continued,” the source added.

Commenting further, the source stated that his boss eventually transferred the sum of N20,000 (Twenty Thousand Naira) to an account provided by one of the officers before they were left off the hook.

“The officers continued to harass us saying since I am not the one sating the money, I should remain silent. After series of arguments, my boss had to transfer the N20,000 to them. The money was then deducted from my salary by my boss.”

When queried further, the source provided the snapshot of the account details of the officer belonging to one Femi Adebanji. See the image below for the snapshot.

This development is coming few weeks after another Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Inspector Charles Omotosho, attached to the Lagos State Police Command was apprehended by the Command for extorting a fashion stylist in Ikorodu, Lagos Mainland.

At the time, the Inspector was kept in custody with the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and Head of Police Public Complaints Rapid Response Unit, ACP Abayomi Shogunle, saying preliminary investigation was ongoing.

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Idris Aina
Idris is a media and communications professional with keen attention to details. An entertainment enthusiast, he is an ardent fan of the team from the Red Side of Manchester with love for football banters. He tweets with the handle @arlomah.
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