The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Adegoke Fayoade, has ordered a probe into the bribery allegation preferred against the Epe Divisional Police Officer, Godwin Okoruwa.
The command also said it had ordered the officer to “step aside” pending the termination of the investigation.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Humdeyin, made this disclosure known via his X account @BenHundeyin on Monday while reacting to a publication titled, “Lagos DPO Queried For Accepting N2m To Release Suspected Armed Robbers”, by an online medium (not PUNCH Online), on Sunday.
Fayoade was reportedly claimed to have queried Okoruwa for allegedly accepting N2m cheque from a monarch in Epe to release four arrested suspected armed robbers who were said to have been nabbed by detectives attached to the division during a stop-and-search operation.
The suspects were believed to be undergoing investigation when the monarch was said to have allegedly called Okoruwa and told him that the suspects who were arrested were his men but not armed robbers.
However, Hundeyin dismissed the claim that the DPO was queried by the CP over the allegation.
He wrote, “CP Adegoke Fayoade has ordered an investigation into the allegations contained in this publication. Pending the outcome of the investigation and on the instructions of the CP, the DPO has stepped aside.
“Meanwhile, we can confirm that the suspects were transferred to the headquarters the same day they were arrested, and there is no truth in the claim that the DPO was queried.”
Meanwhile, during PUNCH Metro’s investigations on Monday, a police source who is privy to the matter, told our correspondent that there was no truth that Okoruwa received any bribe or was acquainted with the monarch.
The source also told PUNCH Metro that similar publications had reported that the monarch and Okoruwa had been having serious issues in the past and thereby expressed surprise at how a publication would accuse him of taking a bribe from the same monarch.
The police source said, “The issue is that his men in the division had a stop-and-search on Thursday where two locally made pistols were recovered along with a Sienna bus.
“While the case is under investigation, another DPO in Epe, Noforija, called Okoruwa saying he was interested in the case. Noforija is inside Epe. Okoruwa then insisted that he would not release the suspects.
“While this was going on, the CP was believed to have called Okoruwa and told him that the case should be transferred to his office. Since the directive came directly from the CP, Okoruwa then transferred the case to his office the same day.
“Everybody was surprised when somebody went online the second day and started writing malicious things about the Epe DPO that one monarch gave him a N2m cheque not to transfer the case.
“How can a monarch give him a N2m naira cheque? This was the same monarch that they said he didn’t like him to work in the division in the first place. How then could he turn around and offer him a million naira? How would the monarch suddenly change overnight?”
The source further urged the police hierarchy to investigate the matter and not allow a police officer who was simply carrying out his duty to suffer due to social media pressure.
When contacted on Monday via an SMS, the state PPRO, Hundeyin, confirmed to one of our correspondents that the incident happened on Thursday and that “six suspects” were involved.
The police force has intensified efforts to clamp down on erring officers in recent times. The force also identified three officers on Sunday who stopped a motorist in Lagos to demand his car’s tinted glass permit without their ID cards and uniforms and vowed to sanction them