The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has said that Brooks estate residents, guards humiliated and denied the police access into the estate as he cleared air over assumptions spreading on social media which alleged that he locked down Brooks Estate, Magodo, Isheri.
Odumosu stated that after the security guards were arrested for humiliating him, some of the estate residents intentionally closed the gate, which created a temporary gridlock, adding that it was done with the quest to seek for the release of the security men.
He disclosed that the Estate was not locked down during his visit, adding that the information circulating on the internet about the lock down of the estate was geared towards blackmailing him based on selfish reasons.
Through a press statement signed and released Yesterday by the Police Public relations officer, Adekunle Ajisebutu, he stated that the importance of unclading the truth about the false information was in public interest because of how fast fake news spread and how the public mightbe tempted to believe it.
Narrating what actually transpired during the CP visit in the Estate, the statement read: ” The CP, who was recently promoted as Assistant Inspector-General of Police visited the public Estate yesterday and took a surveillance tour around the premises in order to ensure its safety after which he saw a partner at a party.
“The Commissioner of Police was accompanied by his armed security details and was driven in his official car bearing an official number plate and a pennant, including all the paraphernalia of office.
“On reaching the Estate gate, he was properly introduced notwithstanding the visible security details in uniform including a dispatch rider in his convoy, yet he was prevented from entering the Estate by some overzealous private security guards.
“All appeals to the security men to allow the CP go to see someone at a function where an urgent matter bordering on security was to be discussed, fell on deaf ears even when they had foreknowledge of his coming.
“In spite of this deliberate humiliation, the senior police officer remained calm. When it became obvious that the security men were going overboard, the CP after about 30 minutes humiliation, ordered the arrest of four of the security men, leaving one. However, in order not to make the Estate porous, the Commissioner of Police immediately posted well-armed policemen at the gate to support the security man left behind.
“A few minutes later, a female resident of the Estate later identified as Adebola Fatiregun who didn’t witness the incident but heard of it, stormed the gate in anger, inciting other residents against the Commissioner of Police and his aides. She was also arrested for inciting violence and conduct likely to cause a breach of peace.
“All those arrested were taken to the Isheri Police Division where they made statements. They were subsequently released few minutes after, following intervention of notable individuals.”
Ajisebutu noted that the CP did not at any time close the estate as opposed to the news going round the social media that he did so, adding that the police boss could not have done that for whatever reason when he knew that the Estate was a residential one.
“It should be stated here that, the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides for freedom of movement. The police in particular are statutorily permitted to enter any public place at any time. The Brooks Estate is a public place and the roads leading into it are highways and as such, no one has the power to prevent police officers in uniform from entering the Estate or any such public places. The internal security arrangements of the estates and other public places nonetheless, the statutory powers of the police to have unfettered access to public places must be acknowledged and respected.” he said.
He further urged the estate management and authorities to inform their security units about the right which the police has to enter public places, stressing that any restriction which are seen to be intentional to prevent the police from gaining entrance will not be tolerated or treated with levity.
Ajisebutu added that the defaulters found guilty at any point on time will be thoroughly dealt with according to the law because the police will not tolerate any actions that will cause embarrassment and recklessness.