The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) has asked the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba to probe Hakeem Odumosu, Lagos commissioner of police, over alleged misuse of privilege in an incident at Magodo Brooks Estate in Lagos.
In a statement released by HEDA’s chairman, Olanrenwaju Suraju, the group also requested the governor of the state Babajide Sanwo-Olu to apologise to victims of Odumosu’s “breach of public peace and violation of human rights.”
According to the group, “The Human & Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) wishes to express dissatisfaction over the widely reported arrest of some security guards.
“And a passer-by widow with three children, at Brooks Estate in Magodo, Lagos by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, on Saturday, January 1st, 2022.
“It was reported and admitted by the force that the commissioner of police was on a “private social visit” to a friend holding a function in the estate, thus, was expected to act in a civil manner, befitting his class in the society.
“More so it was expected of Mr Odumosu to show a sense of mental maturity by playing by the rules guiding entry and exit of the estate executed by the security guards.
“As we know, there are rules guiding every territory, since Mr Commissioner was not going for a war (where protocol in an environment may be thwarted), one expects him to follow the unbureaucratic due process at the main gate as it is obtained in every organized clime.
“We are not ignorant of those sentiments which triggered the CP’s actions against those diligent security guards. The brouhaha -particularly the gridlock at Isheri, this incident has caused is disturbing and highly condemnable.
“We are also not unaware that the Nigeria police would not spare anyone who tries to disobey its protocol at the entry point of its facilities or anyone who resists its security personnel at the gate.
“If the public are expected to cooperate with the police at any point in time, why would the police not respect other people’s rules?
“We invite the inspector-general of police to order an investigation into the misuse of privilege by the Lagos commissioner of police and further call on Lagos state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
“As the elected governor of the state and chief security officer to apologize to the affected victims of Mr Odumosu’s breach of public peace and violation of human rights.”
According to reports, Odumosu on Saturday had ordered the arrest of four security guards over their refusal to allow him into the estate to attend a social event at Magodo Brooks Estate and that he also ordered the arrest of a widow, Adebola Fatiregun and her three children for intervening in the matter.
The police, however, reacted in a statement titled ‘Brooks estate not locked down by Lagos CP’ and signed by the Lagos state police spokesman, Adekunle Ajisebutu said the CP visited the estate to meet a “strategic partner” but was refused entry by some private security guards, even after being formally introduced.
“CP Hakeem Odumosu who was recently promoted to the enviable rank of Assistant Inspector-General of Police due to his hard work and commitment to duty, visited the public Estate yesterday, January 1, 2022, to meet a strategic partner at a function after going round, visiting some places in the state to ensure the safety of Lagosians,” he said.
“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 to 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.”
He accused residents of the estate of shutting down the estate.