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Thursday, 12 April 2018

Five Lagos Police Cooperative Officers Arrested For Fraud

Five policemen attached to the Nigeria Police Cooperative Multi-Purpose Society in Ikeja, Lagos State, have been arrested for alleged fraudulent conduct.

The suspects, including senior officers and rank and file, were reportedly picked up by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Monitoring Team.

It was learnt that the policemen were being investigated for an offence bordering on illegal withdrawals of sums estimated at millions of naira from the cooperative’s account.

It was gathered that the fraud had been on for about three years until recently when it was uncovered by the authorities.

Following the discovery, operatives of the IG Monitoring Team from Abuja last Friday stormed the cooperative office in Ikeja and picked up five policemen in charge of loan disbursement.

A credible source confided in The Punch that the suspects reportedly paid out millions of naira as loans, using false names and pictures.

He said, “It is an in-house thing. The cooperative and police authorities do not want the matter to escalate to the public. Since 2015, a lot of fraud had been going on in the cooperative without any hindrance. Recently, a committee was set up to review the cooperative’s activities following some intelligence report on the fraudulent dealings going on there.

“The discovery was shocking. It was found out that several millions of naira had been issued out as loans to persons whose identities could not be verified. The perpetrators used different pictures and names of non members to give out loans.

“A complaint was lodged to the Force headquarters in Abuja and on Friday, the IG Monitoring Team came to the cooperative office. Five policemen were swiftly picked up. Some of them are senior officers and they have been taken to the Force headquarters.”

Another source disclosed that the policemen were apprehended without being told their offence.

The source said they were detained at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters in Ikeja over the weekend before they were taken to Abuja on Monday.

The Punch gathered from a police source that the policemen were caught unawares in order not to jeopardise investigations.

“The swiftness of the arrest was on purpose. It is not unusual that the team arrested people who had perpetrated such a grievous fraudulent act without telling them their offence on the spot. These are officers who enjoyed a lot of benefits from the cooperative. They collect allowances on a monthly basis which their colleagues in other police formations are not entitled to,” he added.

When contacted on the issue, the spokesperson for the cooperative, DSP Aliu Giwa, denied the arrest.

He, however, said the officers were being questioned for offences bordering on indiscipline.

He said, “There was no form of arrest. They were only called for questioning for offences bordering on indiscipline.”

Calls made to the line of the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Moshood Jimoh, rang out. He had also yet to reply to a text message sent to him as of press time.

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