Lagos State Police command, Monday denied claims by musician Praiz Ugbede Adejo, popularly known as Praiz, that he was harassed by the policemen on duty.
Praiz had alleged on social media that he was harassed by operatives of the command.
Reacting, the command’s spokesperson, SP Chike Oti said the musician was blackmailing the force.
He explained that Praiz’s car was flagged down for over speeding by policemen who were not SARS officials.
His statement in full: “On Dec. 19, at 12 midnight, policemen attached to Area ‘J’ Command Headquarters, Ajah, Lagos, who were on routine, anti-crime patrol along the Lekki/Epe expressway, noticed a car at top speed approaching their end.
“The policemen sensed that the speed was much and so were alarmed, hence they flagged down the car to check on the occupants and if necessary, search the trunk of the car.
“When the car stopped, the officers who were in their uniforms, approached the driver but to their disbelief, the driver, who was yet to be addressed by the policemen became hysterical, without provocation and started shouting “SARS, SARS, SARS… OOO”.
“As he was shouting and pouring unprintable invectives on the officers of the law, he was at the same time filming them.
“These unprovoked actions on the part of the driver, whose true identity at that time was unknown to the patrolmen, made them even more suspicious of him and so they requested him to come with them to see the Area Commander, ACP Felix Oben, whom they had already called to report the conduct of the man.
“It was at the Area Commander’s Office that they got to know that he is a musician that goes by the name ‘Praiz’. The Area Commander questioned him and advised him to be of good behaviour.
“He, thereafter, departed the police station peacefully, without any molestation whatsoever. The Police authority in Lagos nevertheless felt scandalised by Praize’s rudeness to the men in uniform, who were out to ensure law, order and safety along the Lekki/Epe corridor.
“It is a matter of common knowledge that the Command’s Commissioner of Police, CP Edgal Imohimi, who has dismissed a number of policemen that abused their offices since assuming office, would not have hesitated to deal with the policemen, if they had erred.
“It is also instructive to note that the officers are not SARS operatives as erroneously assumed by Praiz but conventional policemen in their uniforms, serving at the Area ‘J’ Command Headquarters.
“The Lagos State Police Command wishes to use this medium to inform all and sundry in Lagos State, that the present CP had on assumption of office set up the CCHC with dedicated lines, where complaints against police actions can be lodged for necessary action instead of resorting to cheap social media blackmail”.