Police officers at Iseri-Oke Police Station, Berger in Lagos have allegedly detained a woman, Edith Oteri, unlawfully for four days over a N30,800 fraud accusation.
In a report sent to SaharaReporters by Clement Oluwole, Oteri was accused by a POS (Point of sale) operator of obtaining money under false pretences but Oteri stated explicitly that she has never met the operator before.
Oluwole said the intervention of the police complicated the matter as Oteri slept in the cell for four days. The accused had mandated the complainant to obtain a bank statement as proof of transaction but none was tendered.
“The Investigation Police Officer and Divisional Police Officer, upon realising their folly shielded the accuser and sent away the accused without justice, ” he said.
Oluwole also said the IPO became aware of media intervention and quickly arranged first court booking on February 12. Oteri reportedly rushed to meet the IPO in court at Samuel llori Courthouse and within five minutes, the IPO came out and announced that the magistrate was not on seat.
“By February 16, the new court session took place and was adjourned to March 14 for trial opening. The accused was sent back to the cell because it was late before they announced the criteria for surety. The lawyer didn’t give adequate prior information to the woman’s husband on this.
“On Wednesday 17, the new surety was presented for magistrate interview and oath taking. He was approved at 3 pm because the orderly was engaged with many other outdoor assigments. Every effort to reach the magistrate to be merciful and release the woman from the incarceration of the IPO and DPO were futile, the innocent woman slept again in the cell.
“We succeeded to persuade the orderly to follow us to inspect the surety’s house that night (the court legal registrar and admin officer and the orderly became supportive at this point). By 12 noon on Thursday, February 18, the bail bond was signed and the woman was granted bail.”
Narrating her ordeal, Oteri said, “My husband called me that some people were waiting for me that I used POS to transfer money at Berger and I said the only thing I had used at Berger was ATM. I quickly rushed to my house, when I got to the front of my house, it was like a market. Then one of them pointed at me and said I was the one who collected money from her. I said she had not seen me before in her life. She said I should bring the money now, she brought six boys and one pregnant woman.
“I called one of my sisters who brought policemen, we went to the station. The girl brought out one number and asked my husband if it was my number, but my husband said it was not. She brought another one which she copied from the front of my shop. I asked her if she didn’t have the slip for the transaction, the girl said no, that I asked her to give me N30,000 and she said she would charge me N38, 000 and I told her it was expensive. She said I transferred the money to her and showed her debit alert but she didn’t get a credit alert.
“I told her the time she said I came to her shop, I was at my house. I started crying. The pregnant woman too said I was the one. I asked them if they knew me from somewhere, they said they knew me. She said I gave her my number that she lives on our street, and knows where to locate me. I was confused.
“My sister called a lawyer, the lawyer asked the police if they had gone to check the place where the girl was doing her business, the police couldn’t answer. The lawyer bailed me that night. I got the statement of account and it was even there that I had not had N30, 000 in my account this year.
“Police called this lady and asked her if she knew me, she said she did, that we live on the same street. When they now asked her where she lives, she said she stays at Alagbole, which is very far from me. I don’t know what this is but I have never met this lady neither did I collect a dime from her.”