For two years, 45-year-old Dele Oduwole had operated as a fake traffic policeman around Ketu area of Lagos. His specialty: arresting traffic offenders and extorting money from them.
Oduwole, who ran out of luck recently, said he and an accomplice had arrested a motorist at Ketu and impounded his vehicle before a suspicious policeman challenged them about their identities. The suspect said he preferred to operate with just a walkie-talkie rather than putting on a fake police uniform.
According to him, he lost his job at the Agboyi Local Government secretariat, Lagos where he worked as an enforcement officer in the traffic unit about two years ago.
The suspect said he didn’t go to the extent of acquiring a police uniform in order not to draw too much attention.
Oduwole said, “After losing my job at the Agboyi Local Government secretariat, I realised that I had become good at arresting traffic offenders. So, I simply continued my work by telling people that I was a policeman in mufti.
“I realised that people respect policemen when they are holding a walkie-talkie. A friend told me where I could get the radio cheaply and I went there. I bought the walkie-talkie for N2,000 at Oshodi.
“The walkie-talkie does not even work. I swear it has never worked since I bought it. But for the period I used it, people obeyed me anytime I stopped a vehicle for any traffic offence. “I was actually helping the government. For example, the man we arrested before we were arrested was actually making a call while driving. That is a crime.”
Oduwole claimed that he had not used his fake police identity to commit any other crimes. But the police have said investigations are ongoing to determine if he had been involved in more grievous crimes while parading himself as a policeman.
Meanwhile, the police have also arrested a 52-year-old ‘SPY policeman’, on allegations of forging the signature of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to arrange the promotion of his colleagues.
The SPY policemen (short for supernumerary policemen) are members of a division of the Nigeria Police, established to guard properties and also take on artisan and other administrative works at police formations.
The suspect, Felix Igba, who explained he was attached to a police division in Eti-Osa, Ajah area of Lagos, was arrested after an investigation into some fraudulent promotion documents discovered at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters.
The suspect said, “The person who did it is Supol Africa. I know nothing about this forgery. I am not in possession of the document they used to do the promotion.
“All I did was introduce some people to Supol Africa, who did the document for the people who wanted promotion. But I thought he was genuine. I did not know it was forgery he was doing.”
The police have said he would be charged to court as soon as investigation is completed.