An auto dealer, Autogig International Resources Ltd, has petitioned the Lagos State Police Commissioner against three police officers over stalling investigation of alleged fraud.
According to the petitioner, the alleged suppression of the company’s case against the trio of Plus Grace Ltd, Abayomi Cargo Ltd, and Hammed Dubai Logistics, has hindered judicial process from kick-starting and stalled the release of the petitioner’s goods, a Toyota Prado SUV, 2019 model, which have been accumulating demurrage at the Tincan Island Port in Lagos.
The 22-paragraph petition, dated March 4, detailed how the officers, namely ACP Lawrence Oketunji, CSP Toyin Suleiman and CSP Razak Oseni allegedly compromised the investigation process, which ought to have ended in filing charges in the court.
In the petition prepared by Okey-Joe Onuakalusi, the auto-dealer’s lawyer, the petitioner averred that it had since July 8, 2019 brought an official complaint of alleged forgery, cheating, uttering, conspiracy and obtaining by false pretenses the sum of N49million against Olamilekan Wasiu Olasheu, Abayomi Wasiu Oladoye and Ola Ahmed Habeed. But till date, hardly has investigation been concluded into the case, let alone judicial trial initiated.
According to the auto-dealer, the delay in concluding investigation into its case had prompted it to bring an initial petition against the said police officers, who are of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCID) in Panti, Yaba, Lagos.
The said initial petition dated December 23, 2019 was addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, SCID. But seeing that response to the petition had been tardy apparently, the petitioner on March 4 subsequently addressed the instant petition to the State Police Commissioner.
The auto dealer’s main appeals in the petition are, among others, that: the activities of the said officers be investigated; that the matter be transferred from SCID Panti to the State Command and same should be given to a new team of investigators to complete; and that the new team should be under the CP’s watch.
The petitioner also appealed that two of the suspected persons, namely Mrs Taibat Akande and Wasiu Abayomi Oladoye, who are yet to give their statements, be made to do so. And that CSP Suleiman be made to produce Messrs Akanbi, Oladoye and Olamilekan, who are allegedly being shielded by him.
The petitioner’s case is that it had paid huge sums of money totaling N49 million to Plus Grace Ltd, Abayomi Cargo Ltd, and Hammed Dubai Logistics for the clearing of five units of 2019 Toyota Prado SUVs at the Tincan Island Port but the sum was disbursed to the accounts of Messrs Akanbi, Ahmed, Olamilekan, and Oladoye, who allegedly used it for something else against the intended purpose.
Thus, on July 8, 2019, the auto dealer lodged a formal complaint against the suspected persons at SCID in Panti, accusing them of inter alia obtaining from it by false pretenses, the said sum. “The police officers commenced their investigation and wrote to the various banks from where the payments were initiated by our client. The banks responded and the lodgments were traced to the bank accounts of Ola Ahmed, Wasiu Olamilekan, Abayomi Wasiu Oladoye, and Mrs Taibat AAkanb,” the petitioner stated.
It added, “Through the instrumentality of your officers who were assigned to carry out the investigation, our client paid for the tracking of Ola Ahmed who was eventually arrested in Osun State and made useful confessional statements regarding the money paid to him for the clearing of our client’s vehicles.
“The statement of account of Mrs Taibat Akanbi did show inflow of huge sums of millions of naira meant for the clearing of our client’s vehicles which were never utilized for that particular purpose. Upon our client arming your officers with information as to the residence of the said Mrs Akanbi, your officers in collaboration with the officers in the Kwara State Nigeria Police Command and other sister security agencies traced the house of Mrs Akanbi to Ilorin in Kwara State over the course of three days, yet because of the alleged connivance of your officers being petitioned against herein, the suspect escaped arrest.
“After the failure of the attempt to arrest Mrs Akanbi, our client was invited to the Lagos State Police Command at the invitation of Lagos state Police Provost, Mr. Ayev, and on getting to the office of the Provost, we, in company of our client, saw Mrs Akanbi, her lawyer and also Wasiu Oladoye, Wasiu Olamilekan and Ola Ahmed.
“The Provost Ayev interviewed the parties and further informed us that there is petition against the team, and it is an internal review of the command on the role and activities of police officers. Mr. Ayev promised that the review will not scuttle the investigation and the report will be released soon. After one month of our visit to the Provost, obtaining his report was becoming a nightmare.
“Our further investigation revealed that the provost’s report was released to your command and same was suppressed and has never been communicated officially to further the conclusion of this investigation, as it contains the statement under caution of Mrs Akanbi and pronouncement of the investigative team as per whether or not a prima facie case has been established against Akanbi, Olamilekan, Ahmed And Plus Grace Limited.”
The petitioner further alleged that in order to compromise the said investigation, Mrs Akanbi visited the command again and that huge sums exchanged hands on the occasion.
It disclosed that following a thorough background check, carried out by a sister security agency on Mrs Akanbi’s call log, a series of communication between her and CSP Suleiman were discovered despite the pendency of this investigation. We trust that you will use your good office to ensure that justice is not only done but clearly seen to have been done without much ado,” the auto dealer appealed to the CP in light of the allegations.