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Juliana Francis

The Advocates for Children and Vulnerable Persons Network (ACVPN), a non for profit organisation has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Dr. Solomon Arase, and the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Mohammed Ali Ari, alleging professional misconduct against a Chief Superintendent of Police, Mrs. Margaret Ighodalo, in charge of D10 Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba, Lagos State.

Ighodalo is alleged of abuse of office, extortion, malicious prosecution, and fundamental human rights abuse of a victim of domestic violence, which is contrary to the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act 2015.

The petition, which was signed by the Chief Operating Officer of ACVPN, Comrade Ebenezer M. Omejalile, further alleged the woman CSP and policemen under her watch of various irregularities, especially with reference to cases referred to D10 Unit.

Omejalile said: “We have been on the above-mentioned case since June 2022, the perpetrator by name Jennifer Innocent came to our office and told our officer that she and her husband Innocent Uchenna married through native laws and customs of which the union was blessed with four children. The children are two undergraduates, one senior secondary student, and a nine-year-old primary school pupil.

“Jennifer claimed she suffered domestic violence at the hands of her husband and as usual, ACVPN demanded evidence that clearly showed she suffered any form of domestic violence, but Jennifer presented a doctored picture.

“Based on the observation, the manager assigned to this case told Jennifer that ACVPN would also wish to speak with her husband by name Uchenna. A call was put across to Uchenna who obliged the case manager’s request to seek his audience and clarification based on the allegation his wife laid against him.

“To our surprise, Uchenna’s side of the story initially reported by his wife showed that his estranged wife’s calculation was to use ACVPN to jail her husband based on the frivolous allegations she raised against him.

“ACVPN case manager consulted members of staff on the way forward and it was agreed that both parties should be referred to the Domestic Violence Unit Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) Alausa Secretariat Ikeja for further deliberation.”

Omejalile recounted that reports had it that WAPA did everything possible to reconcile both parties, to no avail. Everyone was however shocked when Jennifer bolted away without any trace.

“Three weeks later we received a phone call from Uchenna who lamented that Jennifer took his Toyota Avensis car, along with their last child, who is nine years old. According to Uchenna, his wife Jennifer took his vehicle with the aid of one of her numerous boyfriends by the name of Promise,” said Omejalile.

He continued: “Uchenna claimed the vehicle had a tracker which he used in tracking the location and he was afraid it might be used to perpetrate crime which might implicate him. Efforts to reach Jennifer by both WAPA and ACVPN proved abortive.

“ACVPN had no other choice than to write to the good office of the former Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in charge of  SCIID, now Commissioner of Police in person of CP. Fayode Kayode Goke of which the case was assigned to the Anti-Human Trafficking D10, headed by CSP Margaret Ighodalo.

“ACVPN was surprised with the sudden turnaround of the case from retrieving Uchenna’s Toyota Avensis car from his elusive wife, to a case of underage marriage and defilement against Uchenna.

“Ighodalo claimed she discovered Uchenna married his wife as underage which was unfounded. ACVPN investigation revealed Uchenna’s wife was in her mid-40s compared to Ighodalo’s claim. To our surprise Ighodalo detained Uchenna for four days until it was escalated to the former CP Lagos and the PPRO Force; they hurriedly released Uchenna.”

The human rights activist also alleged that Ighodalo through the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Inspector Ajanaku, forced Uchenna to part with N50,000 through a POS operator operating behind the SCIID Panti.

He added: “As if that was not enough Ighodalo forced Uchenna to part with another N40,000 and N60,000 respectively, using the same POS Operator.  We have printed bank statements of the transactions.

“Furthermore, on the issue of Uchenna Toyota Avensis car, Ighodalo impounded the car for seven months until the case was escalated again to a higher authority.

“Ighodalo quickly reached out to ACVPN through her Second in Command (2IC), Yakubu Agbaje, appealed that Uchenna should come over to the SCIID for his car. Surprisingly, when Uchenna got to SCIID Panti to retrieve his car, he was dragged to court and charged with Domestic Violence that never occurred.

“According to Uchenna’s children, their mother has always been an outlawed mother who frolics with all sorts of men.”

The activist further said that Uchenna was remanded at Ikoyi Prison for a crime he did not commit, due to Ighodalo’s vindictiveness and also caused this same case to be escalated on three occasions.

“It would also interest you to know that Uchenna cannot travel out for his business overseas because his fingers print had been taken. We call on your good office to look into this matter due to the fact that Ighodalo is always turning cases to something else whenever cases are referred to her unit and extortion is the order of the day.”

Omejalile had attached to the petitions, what he calls evidence regarding various cases Ighodalo truncated.

He added: “We demand justice for Uchenna and others.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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