Acting Lagos Police Commissioner Imohimi Edgal yesterday vowed that he would prosecute Alhaji Alaka Abayomi for allegedly operating a suspected ritualist shrine that was uncovered in July at Agbowa, Ikorodu.
He said some ‘stupid people’ had been offering him money to kill the case.
Edgal stated this at a meeting on peace and security with traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the district.
Warning that there was no hiding place for criminals at Ikorodu, the police chief said those who leave their domain to establish ritualist and fraudulent shrines in the district would meet their waterloo.
Edgal said: “A situation where strangers would come and set up shrines for the purpose of rituals, fraudulent activities are over. It took a lot of hard work to penetrate Agbowa shrine. It was a spiritual problem. At the moment, forensic experts are carrying out investigations into the criminal aspects of the shrine.
“I decided to open its existence to the world so that nobody would be able to kill the case. I would have gone there quietly if I wanted to cover it. A lot of entreaties have been made and some stupid people have attempted to offer me money.
“They do not know my background, if they did, they won’t do that. I will send that man to jail.”
According to him, there would be enhanced police presence in Ikorodu, adding that most of the police posts there would be converted to stations.
Noting that Ikorodu was under-policed, the Commissioner directed all Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) in the district to work with recognised community policing and sociocultural groups for intelligence gathering and physical patrols between 12am to 4am daily.
He said: “It is the intention of the police to allow the people take the front burner on how their community is policed. We want the people to be more involved in how their community is policed. “Community policing involves partnership with the people and relies heavily on intelligence gathering. Would use community policing to get information from the public and process same.
“I am here to assure you people that there will be no hiding place for criminals in Ikorodu. We are appealing for your cooperation because if you do not work with us, it would be impossible to secure your community. I have been assured the people of Ikorodu will work closely with their local, other police unit for necessary intelligence to jointly drive hoodlums out of the area.”
Replying to complaints of extortion and unethical conducts by policemen, Edgal said the command had commenced trainings on ethics for personnel, adding that dismissal awaits any cop who collects money to record a case.
He said: “I want to see an Ikorodu of old. An Ikorodu where residents sleep with their eyes closed. We will fine tune our strategies on how to win the trust of Ikorodu people. I came to Ikorodu to seek trust, partnership. I do not pretend to know it all.
“The Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) would have a strategic role to play in my fight against crime. Traditional rulers would be deeply involved and consulted on all security arrangements and operations in the state.
“I have been told you people are far from the police because you are disappointed but we cannot throw away the baby with the bath water. I know we have some bad policemen but we are prepared to change. You can see that policemen have started changing.
“They are now aware that their job is to serve the people. I will dismiss any policeman who asks for money to incident (sic) a case. Lagos is investing so much in security and it is high time we reciprocated the gesture by serving the people.
“I want the people of Ikorodu to be very vigilant. It is the duty of Ikorodu natives to be vigilant and work with the police. If the police refuse to work, let us know and we would deal with them.
“We would work very closely with Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC). There would be joint patrols between police and officials of the LNSC. I want peace to be restored to Ikorodu and it is only you that can do it. If you see anything that is not good for the community, speak out and we will do something about it.”