Journalist Accuses Lagos State Task Force of Extortion, Demands Refund

Mr. Babajide Guerrero
Sports Journalist

Mr. Babajide Guerrero, a sports journalist, has accused officials of the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit of extorting N100,000 from him on December 19, 2022, and is demanding a refund of the money.

The journalist narrated his encounter with the task force officials on his Twitter page @BabajideGuerero, on December 20, 2022 where he stated that the incident occurred while he was on his way to record the final episode of the world cup for a television station.

According to him, he was driving on the right lane, approaching Edmund Street in the Yaba area of Lagos State and turning into University of Lagos Road at Jibowu when a Suzuki cab overtook him.

He said a few minutes later, men from the Lagos task force came out of two yellow commercial buses and arrested the Suzuki cab and some other cars claiming it was Double Lane. He said further that he was on his right lane when one of the officers said “oga reverse, let us arrest these guys” and he obeyed. But while he was reversing, the official recorded him reversing, and asked his colleagues to arrest him, saying “he’s among” where upon some of the officials entered his car.

Babajide said all efforts to explain the situation to the men fell on deaf ears and he was driven to their office in Alausa where his car was detained.

He said while he waited at Alausa, one of the officers approached him and demanded N50,000 while another N50,000 was demanded when he was taken to the agency’s head office at Bolade Oshodi.

He disclosed that at Alausa, one of the officers who arrested him approached him and demanded N50,000 for which he made a withdrawal and paid the money in cash with the hope that the officer would go into their office and help him get his car, but he disappeared with the money.

From Alausa, he said he was then taken to their office at Bolade Oshodi where he had to make another withdrawal of N50,000 which he paid. He was later given a stapled paper which he took back to Alausa for them to release his car. He also had to pay another N1,000 gate pass before he could be allowed to drive his car away.

Following his complaint on Twitter, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, responded to him saying “I’ll contact the Task Force to see how this can be redressed. Thank you for bringing this to our notice. It will surely help us do better.”

Following the report in the media, Mr. Shola Jejeloye, Chairman of the Task Force, invited the journalist and his money was refunded to him while the Task Force officials who were identified were reportedly arrested and investigated.