The police in Lagos have been raiding and detaining youths around Ikorodu, a Lagos suburb, including students of the Lagos State Polytechnic, situated in the area, over alleged cultism.
Each detained are also being made to pay between N50,000 and N100,000 to the police before they are released, according to reports. Those who are not able to pay are, however, further detained.
A source alleged that one of the detained suspects arrested at Sabo Bus Stop, Ikorodu, was able to reach his brother serving in the Nigerian Army and the family lawyer.
He was released when the police could not provide evidence of his connection to cultism, the source said.
But the police in Lagos described the allegations of police extortion as baseless and unfounded.
Police spokesman in the state, Adekunle Ajisebutu, said operatives were only clamping down on suspected cultists in line with the directive of the state police commissioner Hakeem Odumosu.
“The clampdown is in the interest of public peace following recent activities of cultists in the area,” Mr Ajisebutu said on Sunday.
“The Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, in his determination to rid the state of cultists and other criminals, directed regular raids of hideouts used by cultists, some of whom are students.”
He said some students have been arrested for cult-related activities in Ikorodu, investigated and charged to court.
“Some are still being investigated. However, those not found culpable are released immediately without paying a dime,’’ he said.
The spokesman pointed out that there was also a regular check on police cells across the state, stressing that no suspect was detained for days in the cell anywhere.Follow us on social media