Two employees of Home Owners and Residents Association (HORA) of 1004 Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos State, have decried their harassment in the hands of policemen.
The workers – Olaniyi Olanrewaju and Peace Itaribor – said they were stripped down to their shorts and thrown into “a stinking cell” by the policemen, who were attached to the Special Tactical Squad of the Inspector-General of Police.
This is just as the State Acting Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, invited parties involved in the matter on the orders of the IG, Ibrahim Idris.
It had been reported that six policemen stormed HORA’s office on November 1 and arrested the Finance Manager, Mrs. Joy Okara; Accounts Clerk, Itaribo; and Olaniyi.
They whisked the workers away to the Bar Beach Police Division before transferring them to the Adeniji-Adele Police Division.
The workers were reportedly detained until the following day when they were shown a petition from a tenant on the estate, Mr. Akinlosi Oyelokun.
Oyelokun’s apartment had been disconnected from power supply for reportedly owing a utility bill of N938,998.70.
His wife was said to have visited the secretariat of the association and made a part payment of N400,000.
But it was said that when technicians got to her apartment for the reconnection, a cable was allegedly sighted showing a bypass of her smart meter.
The issue was reported at the HORA secretariat where a formal letter of bypass was reportedly addressed to her apartment, urging her to pay a fine for the offence.
Olanrewaju told our correspondent that some policemen suddenly showed up at their office on November 1 and ordered their arrest .
He said, “They took us into their station and asked us to remove our clothes; we were left with only shorts. They took us into a cell and we were on the floor throughout the night.
“That is unlawful detention and violation of our rights. You can’t just enter an office, arrest and beat up people when they did not commit any crime.”
Itaribor said, “They were plain-clothes policemen with guns. One of them arrested Mrs. Joy Okara.
“Another officer said I was also under arrest. He grabbed the collar of my shirt and dragged me downstairs, threatening to shoot me if I moved.
“They drove us to the Bar Beach Police Station and later to the Adeniji Adele Police Station. They allowed us a few minutes to speak with our families after much pleading and switched off the phones. It was horrible. They treated us like criminals. We want justice.”
When our correspondent contacted Oyelokun on the telephone, one Bunmi, who identified himself as his younger brother, said he was not around.
Bunmi later sent a message to our correspondent, saying the matter was being investigated.
Our correspondent learnt that the Lagos CP, Imohimi, had invited the parties for a resolution of the crisis.
Imohimi, in a text message, confirmed the meeting, saying, “We are ensuring peace on the estate.”