The Lagos State Police Command has debunked the claim that the state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, prevented entry and exit from the Brooks Estate in the Magodo area of the state on Saturday.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, in a statement on Sunday, said Odumosu visited the public estate to meet a strategic partner at a function, but private security guards at the estate denied him entry.
Ajisebutu said the CP was accompanied by his armed security details and was driven in his official car bearing an official number plate and a pennant, as well as all the paraphernalia of office, adding that despite several appeals, the overzealous private security guards refused him entry.
The spokesman stated that some of the security guards were arrested when it was observed that they went overboard, adding that while protesting against the arrest of the guards, some residents of the estate deliberately shut the gate.
He said, “The attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to news making the rounds on social media alleging that the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, locked down the Brooks Estate, Magodo, Isheri, during his visit to the estate yesterday (Saturday).
“The purveyors of this news are those whose intention is to make a mountain out of a molehill, and are out to blackmail the CP for some personal reasons. This rejoinder is not intended to join issues with the mischief makers peddling the news, but to unclad the truth in the interest of members of the public, who might be tempted to believe the story.
“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 on Saturday, January 1, 2022, to meet a strategic partner at a function after going round, visiting some places in the state to ensure safety of Lagosians.
“The CP 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 the office. On reaching the estate gate, he was properly introduced notwithstanding the visible security details in uniform, including an outrider 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 go and 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 of humiliation ordered the arrest of four of the security men, leaving one.”
Ajisebutu stated that in order not to make the estate porous, the CP immediately posted well-armed policemen to the gate to support the security man left behind.
He added, “All those arrested were taken to the Isheri Police Division, where they made statements. They were subsequently released a few minutes after the intervention of notable individuals. At no time did the CP shut or lock down the estate. The police boss could not have done that for whatever reason, knowing that the estate is a residential one.
“It should be stated here that the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides for freedom of movement. The police in particular are statutorily permitted to enter any public place at any time. The Brooks Estate is a public place and the roads leading into it are highways and as such, no one has the power to prevent police officers in uniform from entering the estate or any such public places.”