The policemen requested a bribe of N15,000 from the men and refused an offer of N5,000, which one of the arrested men offered them at the police station.
The men were snacking up noodles at 11 PM when the policemen forced them into a van around Ogunlana Drive in Surulere and took them to the police station, report says.
According to Punch, the policemen demanded a sum N15,000 for the release of the men, who had to spend the night in a stinking police cell.
One of the arrested men, Sango Svengali, while speaking to Punch said, “I had a stressful day at work on Tuesday. There was a lot of traffic. Instead of going home through the Third Mainland Bridge, I decided to spend the night at a friend’s place in Ojuelegba."
"Some other friends came to my friend’s place. Later, around 11pm, we were hungry and we decided to go down the road to buy noodles."
“The Mai shai are basically night-food people. So we knew they would still be selling food. We drove to Ogunlana Drive and saw a woman selling noodles by the roadside."
"The three of us decided to buy noodles and eat. We sat on the trunk of the two cars we brought and ate the food. As we were about to go, three police vans stopped by our vehicles. There were about eight policemen in the vans."
“The policemen dragged me into one of their vans. I was confused and wanted to resist. But when I saw the young man selling recharge cards beside the woman being slapped several times, I knew it was useless resisting."
"The policemen did not ask us any question. They did not ask us to identify ourselves.”
It was learnt that Svengali and his friends met with eight other people who had been arrested when they arrived the police station.
According to him (Svengali), they were treated like criminals, as one of the police officers who arrested told them they looked like members of the Islamic terrorist sect, Boko Haram.
They were soon asked to shave their beards, which according to Svengali is the most embarrassing moment of his life.
“As we moved on, I noticed that my other friends – except one – were in the other vans. When we got to the station, we found that eight people had been picked up too."
"The policemen at the station said, ‘Why una no chop for house?’ One of my friends started negotiating for us at the counter. The policemen said they wanted N15,000 to let three of us go. He was begging them to take N5,000. They refused."
“The cell stank like a gutter. There were about 18 of us there. We endured the stench till morning. When it was around 7am, we were brought before the area commander."
"We were lined up like criminals. He said our misdeed was that we ate at an unholy hour. He said we looked like fanatics and Boko Haram members."
“He ordered them to lock us up again. After some time, some of our friends came, one of them is a lawyer. He spoke to the area commander."
"He said the only way to release us was to shave our beards. The police bought shaving sticks and made us shave at the counter. I was so embarrassed."
"All this while, we never wrote any statement. We were not accused of anything. When I finally left, it was some minutes before 10am.”
According to Punch, one of the men arrested laid a complaint to the Complaints Response Unit, in Abuja, concerning the matter.
The CRU are said to be investigating the report based on an information received from their head, CSP Abayomi Shogunle.
He said, “A special monitoring team from the Force Headquarters on nationwide patrol is at the police station in Ojuelegba to verify this report. The complaint is acknowledged and the tracking number is CRU 359117.”
SP Dolapo Badmos, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, was contacted for comments, but is yet to give a reply according to Punch.