Mixed reactions have begun to trail alleged extortion of suspected fraudsters by a woman police officer, DSP Cordelia Nwawe and members of her team attached to the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, FCIID, Alagbon, Lagos., following calls by some Right activists on the need for a thorough investigation on the matter.
Report of the alleged extortion went viral on social media, where the two men: Morakinyo Peter and Yusuf Dayo alleged that the incident happened on July 14, 2021, while they were driving on the Ikoyi/Ajah Expressway, Lagos State.
The call for thorough investigation according to an activist, Mark Chidozie, who said the allegation against Nwawe could be a calculated move to malign her, became necessary due to what he described as inconsistency in the report on social media was riddled within constituencies and contradictions.
He, therefore, urged the panel set up by the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Baba,, to investigate the matter, to look into the possibility of being paid bitcoin when one did not have a cryptocurrency wallet.
According to him, ” Cryptocurrency is not a legal tender in Nigeria. So, I do not know how the officer who does not have a cryptocurrency wallet could have held anyone at gunpoint to forcefully collect 22 million worth of Bitcoin.
From my findings, she Investigated some suspected fraudsters and handed some of them over to the EFCC for further investigation. The Suspects were granted bail and were instructed to report at the FCIID at the scheduled date at the FCIID Alagbon. I learnt that the videos of suspects are available. This will help the panel.
” Another area the panel should look into is, how Nwawe’s Force number was quoted when detectives at the FCIID do not wear a uniform. Again, she does not stand on the road to control traffic or make arrests. How then was it possible to extort the suspects at gunpoint on the road.
There is every possibility that this is an orchestrated plan to frustrate Police investigation by using the media to truncate investigation as well as to cow the Police”.
Police sources also explained that the men who raised the alarm were suspects being investigated for cybercrime..
Sources said: “They were arrested following a petition to the FCIID and they made a confessional statement on how they were using other people’s photographs to swindle people of their hard-earned money.
“Many of their victims have even committed suicide, while others are indebted to banks and other financial institutions”.
” Case files were opened for them and after their confessions, they were granted bail and released to reasonable sureties”.
” When they were contacted on phone to report at the FCIID on a date earlier scheduled, they ran to the media in a bid to thwart the investigation.
“It is said that investigations are not carried out to ascertain the authenticity of an issue before it is published.
“DSP Nwawe does not carry arm, except during police training. Besides, findings revealed she has never signed for arms for her use since 2012 till date,
let alone to use it to threaten suspects when she has a team leader and Investigating Police Officer handling the matter.
She was indicted because she endorsed the voluntary statements of the suspects who confessed to the crime on police documents as statements under caution. The good thing is that there are also videos of the suspect’s confessional statements”.
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Baba who did not want the matter to be treated with kids gloves, has set up a special investigation panel to investigate what the Police high command described as unprofessional conduct.
Consequently, DSP Nwawe and other policemen indicted were ordered to appear before the panel headed by DCP Olaolu Adegbite, of the Force Intelligence Bureau, FIB yesterday, (Tuesday) at the Force headquarters, Abuja.