The Lagos State Police Command has arrested a 47-year-old man, Gregory Anyasodo, for allegedly impersonating a policeman in the state.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Anyasodo had been parading himself as a policeman since December 2016 in the Oshodi area, where he allegedly arrested people on trump-up charges and extorted money from them.
He was said to have been caught by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad after allegedly stealing N125,000 from a trader.
It was gathered that the trader had approached operatives of the RRS with a complaint that the suspect confiscated her bag and took the money.
“The unsuspecting victim, Mrs. Emmanuella Joseph, approached the officials, who were stationed in Oshodi, to report Anyasodo’s threat to arrest her and the confiscation of her handbag containing N125,000.
“A search around the area led to the arrest of Anyasodo and the recovery of a radio that appeared like a walkie-talkie and a police identity card, which portrayed him as an Inspector with Force Number, 14873. He claimed that he was attached to the Lagos State task force and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad,” the police said.
The suspect, in his statement to the police, stated that he had been arrested several times in Owerri, Imo State, for alleged impersonation, before he found his way to Lagos.
He said, “I came to Lagos before last year’s Christmas in preparation for a church’s convention in Lagos. The convention was billed for February 2017. I arrived earlier for the programme because I wanted to use the opportunity to look for a job in Lagos. When I couldn’t get the job, I started impersonating a policeman. I have been doing this since December 2016.
“People allowed me to sleep on the balconies and corridors of their houses after I convinced them that I was a stranger. I made between N10,000 and N15, 000 daily as a police officer.
“What I do is to threaten people with arrests. I show them my identity card and threaten to invite my colleagues if they fail to settle me. Once I collect the money, I go my way.
“I have not sent any money to my wife in Owerri to cater to the six children I left in her care. But occasionally, I call her. I thought of impersonating a policeman because it would fetch me more money.”
The RRS said the graphic artist, who designed the police ID card, and the owner of the business centre where it was printed, had been arrested.
The RRS Commander, Tunji Disu, said the three suspects had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba.