By;RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Operatives of the Lagos State Taskforce have arrested a dismissed policeman and one other over alleged impersonation of officials of the agency.
The suspects, identified as Julius Ehizenaga, 53, the dismissed cop and Salisu Sikiru, 43 were alleged to have been going about arresting unsuspecting motorists and extorting them of their hard earned money.
Our correspondent reliably gathered that they were arrested on Friday evening at Anthony Village while they tried to arrest and tow the vehicle of a motorist.
As learnt, luck however ran against them when the motorist quickly called the officers from the Lagos State Taskforce who confirmed they are impostors, leading to their arrest.
Speaking on the incident, The Chairman of the Agency, CSP Shola Jejeloye disclosed that he has been on the trail of this duo for a while due to the numerous reports he receives from members of the public about a certain “Taskforce” team who arrest motorists and start negotiating financial settlements in exchange of the release of their vehicle.
“I receive a lot of calls and complaints online from people saying that men from the Taskforce attempted to tow their vehicle if they don’t settle them. That is not how we operate here. Not everyone dressed up in black, green and tactical jacket is from the Taskforce. Some are from other security agencies and units, or impostors like these two” Jejeloye stated.
According to one of the suspects, Julius Ehizenega, their targets are usually vehicles conveying goods improperly loaded, we arrest them and threaten them with impoundment before they part with some money.
“I used to be a Policeman but I got dismissed in 2006 for absconding from duty before going into this practice years later. We target Danfos mostly, and on a good day we impound 5 vehicles and claim to charge them with insecure loading. Once in a while we arrest private motorists too”.
The second suspect claims his role is to block the vehicle of their preys with his towing vehicle in order to create fear and panic in the hearts of the victims.
“I operate towing vehicle services, my job therefore is to bring in the towing vehicle once it’s time to apprehend any victim. On the day we were caught I noticed my colleagues ran away after I had blocked the vehicle with the towing truck, I was confused. Before I knew what was happening I was already in the custody of men of the State Taskforce”
Jejeloye assured that the two suspected impersonators will be brought to book and hope this serves as a warning to other criminal elements who tarnish the image of the Agency by carrying out unlawful arrest and seizure of vehicles and property of innocent members of the public.
“I urge members of the public to continue reporting any suspicious activities to the nearby Police Station or to the Agency through our feedback channels for prompt action. There is no more room for criminality in Lagos”, He stated.