Police in Lagos have arrested two officials of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) for allegedly intercepting communication of the police through radio devices.
The suspects, Adekoya Adeniyi (40) and Elliot Oluwaseyi (44), were arrested on July 28 after the command received complaints that Adeniyi obtained money from someone under false pretence.
The state Police Commissioner, Imohimi Edgal, said the suspects were in possession of firearms, radio devices which they used to intercept police communications while police accoutrements were also recovered from them.
According to Edgal, detectives from the Human Rights desk went to Adeniyi’s house and during a search, three firearms were discovered.
Edgal said the police also found radio devices, which he suspected were being used to intercept police coded messages.
During interrogation, the suspect confessed that the items recovered from his house were given to him by Oluwaseyi.
Edgal said he was disappointed in the vigilantes.
He said: “How did they get the four radio devices and the police belt? Who programmed the radio for them? Where did they get the firearms with them?
“All vigilance groups and private individuals were directed by the Inspector-General of Police to return firearms in their possession. Why do they still have them? What were they doing with handcuffs? The suspects will definitely have their day in court.”
But Oluwaseyi said many people knew him because he had work for a lot of communities.
The suspect said he did not procure those uniforms but got them from their organisation.
He also claimed the shirts at Police Training School when he went for training in 2015.
He said: “We bought everything at Police Training School. The head of our organisation is aware of this case; they are working on it already. I have never used these arms for crime or to kill anyone before.
“We are just using them for security purposes because of the environment we live in. Terrible things happen in Ikorodu every day. Many people know me. The community recognises me. I work with them. I am not the owner of these charms, I am just into security.”
On his part, Adeniyi said: “I am a surveyor and also a security guard, I am not aware that it was a crime to collect money from people. I only sold land for them and someone used it before they start to build on it.”
The suspect, however, admitted to owning the receipt and the firearms.
Police also arrested Mr. Bisiriyu Razak, a Community Development Association (CDA) secretary, who contracted the services of the VGN operatives.
Rasak said he had been living in that community since 1983.
According to him, the community employed the services of the VGN which gave the CDA two individuals to work in the community.
He said: “We pay them N20,000 monthly. We told them we could not afford to give them guns but we gave them whistles, cutlasses and phones. I was arrested because of the faulty gun I had in my possession. The gun was recovered from armed robbers by the community over 20 years ago. I got the gun when the former chairman died. His children gave everything in his possession to me, because it belonged to the community. I do not know anything about this case. I am not connected to it at all.”
Edgal, however, said the suspects would be charged to court after completion of the investigation.