Kwara Police Under Fire For Alleged Extortion,False Detention Of Innocent Family

Daud Olatunji

In a shocking case of alleged police misconduct, Iyanda Olarenwaju, a civil servant with the Federal Medical Centre in Abeokuta, Ogun State, has accused the Kwara State Police of fraudulently detaining him and his family without any concrete evidence of wrongdoing.

PLATFORM TIMES gathered that the ordeal began on August 29, 2023, when Olarenwaju was apprehended by three police officers from the Adatan Police Station at Adatan roundabout in Abeokuta. 

He was later  handed over to Kwara command officers who claimed to be investigating a case of fraud involving his Bank Verification Number (BVN). 

He said that the police officers  presented a picture of him along with his BVN information, but Olarenwaju vehemently denied any involvement in fraud. 

Despite his protestations, the officers insisted on transporting him to Kwara State, where the alleged case originated.

He added that during the time, he was denied the ability to contact anyone or use his phone, which had been confiscated by the police. 

Narrating his ordeal, he said upon arriving in Ilorin, he was summarily locked up in a cell, without undergoing any interrogation or being formally charged.

He said the following day, he  was reportedly  removed from his cell and presented with a file containing a complaint from an individual named Mr. Olarenwaju, who claimed to have been defrauded by someone using Olarenwaju’s BVN to open a Palmpay account.

 Olarenwaju immediately noticed discrepancies in the phone number on the file, which was not his own, and suggested that the police trace this number to apprehend the actual culprit. 

He vehemently maintained that he had no connection to Palmpay and had never used their services.

PLATFORM TIMES further gathered that nevertheless, the police ignored his explanations and insisted that he pays N450,000 as compensation to the complainant and a bail fee. 

Olarenwaju, unable to afford such an amount, offered N115,000 from his account, which the police reluctantly accepted. 

Subsequently, he  said he was escorted to a UBA bank to withdraw N100,000, which was handed over to the complainant. 

To secure his release, Olarenwaju said he  was coerced into signing a paper committing to pay N100,000 every Friday until the total amount was settled.

 He was finally released on September 2, 2023, after spending two harrowing days in detention.

However, the nightmare did not end with his release. 

He reported ongoing extortion by the police, who deducted N13,000 from his account through an Opay businessman named Amosa, claiming that someone had sent him N10,000 for his transportation back home.

He said he was linked  facilitated contact with the Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Ogun State Police Command. The PPRO, in turn, engaged the PPRO of the Kwara State Police Command. 

As a result, Olarenwaju was advised to return to Kwara State to resolve the case.

Upon his return, he met with the PPRO of the Kwara State Police Command, who summoned the inspector and the woman responsible for his case to the police headquarters.

 It was shockingly revealed that no progress had been made in tracing the phone number linked to the Palmpay account, and Olarenwaju had evidence of their admission to this fact. 

Additionally, it was determined that the number in question was not connected to Palmpay but was affiliated with Opay.

No statement of account from Mr. Olarenwaju was produced to show the amount taken from him.

In the face of mounting evidence, the PPRO audaciously stated, “You cannot query us. We are doing our job.” 

After some discussion, they reduced the total amount Olarenwaju was required to pay and removed transport charges. 

This time, they demanded another N100,000, even though Olarenwaju had been proven innocent. 

In a helpless and tense situation, he agreed to comply and returned to Abeokuta as advised by colleagues.

The story took a distressing turn when Olarenwaju learned that the police had arrested his sister and her husband on October 24, 2023, claiming that he had ceased payments.

 Contrary to this claim, he had not been contacted by the police since September, and his efforts to reach his detained family members proved fruitless.

The police reportedly threatened to take his sister and her husband to court if he did not appear, placing immense pressure on Olarenwaju. 

Fearing for his family’s safety and his own freedom, he made an impassioned plea to the public and human rights organizations to help him obtain justice and recover his money from the police. 

He also called on police authorities to thoroughly investigate the conduct of their officers and take appropriate actions to address the alleged misconduct.

When contacted, the PPRO Kwara state command , Ajayi Okesanmi said “If he has any case against the police, let him  lay his complaint through the proper channel or better still come to my office to complain please “

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