Some residents of Gwagwalada Area Council, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have raised alarm over the alleged arrest of thirty seven persons by the special Anti –Robbery Squad (SAS) of the Nigeria police Force, in the area.
They accused the SAS and other Policemen of unwarranted incessant arrests.
Many of the residents who spoke with Peoples Daily chided the security men in the area for intimidation and extortion of money from them.
One of the residents and petty medicine dealer, Mr. Haruna Babangida, who claimed to be victim of the alleged harassment by the Police, said that he was arrested by them recently without knowing the offence he committed.
He said that he was beaten by the team of SAS and other policemen before he was forcibling bundled into their vehicle to Gwagwalada police division.
He alleged that some of the victims whose cell phones were collected by the security men did not get their phones back.
Babagida alleged that before he was released from the police custody, the sum of N5,000 was paid to the security men by the Medicine Sellers Association, Gwagwalada branch.
Another victim, Mr. Isah Zubairu, who is also a petty medicine seller, said he paid the sum of thirty-three thousand naira (N33,000) before he was released from the police cell.
Zubairu, however, explained that it is not the responsibility of SAS or the police to arrest the medicine sellers but the responsibility of the National Drugs law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), to checkmate their activities in the area.
Also a passerby who identified himself as Samson Owell said that he was arrested by the SAS when he was going to his house around 10:30 pm at night.
“Security men forced me to enter their vehicle on the roadside, when I did not know the offence I committed,” he said.
Like others, Owell said that he had to pay sum of N10, 000 for his bail from police custody.
However, the residents called on the FCT Police Command, to put a stop to the purported incessant arrest of innocent people in the area by the security personnel.
Contacted for comments, the Gwagwalada Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Mr. Tony Okon, said he was no aware of such arrests.