15th December, 2010
Four policemen attached to Isashi Police Station in Iba Local Council DevelopmentÂ Area of Lagos State, South-West Nigeria, were last night drugged in a hotel andÂ their rifles and ammunition carted away.
The incident took place around midnight at Regional Hotel, located by El-Shadai BusÂ Stop, along Iyana Isashi Road, police sources told P.M.NEWS this morning.
Hotel sources told P.M.NEWS that the four policemen; a sergeant, a corporal and twoÂ constables, arrived Regional Hotel with one of their male friends and told theÂ supervisor to serve them drinks.
Sources said that the policemen brought along with them a bottle of wine and ateÂ chicken brought to them by their unknown friend.
After eating and drinking, the four policemen went to their patrol van and fellÂ asleep, it was learnt. They were rescued by other policemen who were alerted by theÂ manager of the hotel. The four policemen were later taken to the police station andÂ detained in a cell.
They slept in the cell and only woke up this morning, sources said.
â€œWhen the patrol team arrived the hotel around midnight, they went to the receptionÂ and met with the supervisor. They told him that they came to have a drink with theirÂ friend. They sat outside and drank red wine. They also ate chicken.
â€œAs you can see, we donâ€™t sell red wine or chicken here, we only sell beer in thisÂ place,â€ the source said.
Another source at the hotel told our correspondents that the man who came to theÂ hotel with the policemen was arrested by them. He was reportedly beaten and releasedÂ later. He was then forced to buy beer for the policemen.
A police source told our correspondents that while three of the policemen were onÂ duty, one of them only joined them to share the beer. The source said that theirÂ three rifles and all the ammunition were then taken from them while they wereÂ asleep.
The source said that the four policemen may be dismissed from the police.
When P.M.NEWS visited the police station this morning, some policemen wereÂ discussing the issue.
A police officer at the station who did not want to be quoted because he is notÂ allowed to talk to journalists told our correspondents that there had been manyÂ reported cases of people being drugged in the area. â€œTo us at the police station, itÂ is not a new thing. We received many complaints from people. That is why we adviseÂ people to be security conscious. The problem we have in Nigeria is that we are notÂ vigilant, we are not security conscious. We must begin to suspect everything aroundÂ us because even your friend can be used to do evil,â€ he said.
Hotel sources told P.M.NEWS that the policemen are not new in the hotel, they comeÂ almost every night to patrol.
Regional Hotel was built almost 15 years ago. It has 68 rooms and has manyÂ prostitutes. One of the coordinators in the hotel told our correspondents that itÂ costs N500 for â€˜short-timeâ€™ and N3,000 for lodging.
He said all kinds of people come around, especially in the night, to either haveÂ drinks, get a prostitute or lodge.
â€”Simon Ateba & Tunmise Ige