By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Bose Adelaja
Two suspects arrested by operatives of the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit (Task Force) for impersonating security officers have revealed how they make at least N40,000 daily from the illegal operation before they were arrested.
The suspects, Monday Job, impersonated a Police Officer using his commercial motorcycle, popularly called, Okada, along Oshodi axis, while Rasak Oloyede, paraded himself as an Army Officer using his commercial bus for fraudulent acts along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.
In his statement the fake officer, Job, who hails from Akwa Ibom State, confessed that he bought the uniform from a Police Officer, who was deployed from Lagos to the northern part of the country for N7,000, adding that he has since been using the uniform to carry out an illegal arrest and extorts money from both motorists and motorcyclists plying restricted routes along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.
“I was hawking before I joined Okada business over a year ago and I have been wearing this Police uniform to arrest and extort Okada riders and making at least N30.000 to N35.000 daily, ” he added.
The second fake officer, Oloyede, who impersonated a Sergeant in the Nigerian Army, said he has been using the uniform he got from a dismissed Army officer to escape checkpoints on roads by traffic officers.
He also claimed to be using the uniform to extort money from motorists and making a daily average collection of N25,000 to N40,000 whenever his Volkswagen commercial bus, with the registration number BDG149 XK, had mechanical faults.
However, Chairman of the agency, Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, Olayinka Egbeyemi, stated that the two suspects confessed that they indulged in the act in order not to be accosted by genuine security officers on monitoring duties or patrol.
According to him, “reports revealed that some dubious-minded motorcyclists are now using fake Nigerian Army/Police uniform to scout for passengers on restricted routes as well as indulging in various forms of fraudulent acts across the state.”
He reiterated the directive of the state government which stipulates that all security personnel on an official assignment with motorcycles must be fully kitted in uniform with their identity card conspicuously displayed.
The chairman also warned motorcycle operators to desist from plying all 475 restricted routes, adding that they must also wear their crash helmet, possess riders to permit for proper identification of the park they belong while plying other routes.
While urging members of the public to be vigilant and desist from patronising motorcyclists and commercial bus drivers on the pretext of wearing a fake security uniform, the chairman said that the state Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has directed that both suspects be charged to court for prosecution.