NDLEA operatives raid Lagos nightclub, customers allege brutality

NDLEA operatives raid Lagos nightclub, customers allege brutality

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Some clubbers have accused officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency of brutality during a raid on Club Lakers, a nightclub in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the customers were having a nice time when no fewer than 15 armed NDLEA officials, who came in patrol vehicles, stormed the premises of the club.

The officials were said to have ordered the deejay to stop the music, as they subjected the guests at the club and lounge to a search.

CCTV footage installed at the club showed as the operatives ordered customers to raise their hands while they searched their pockets, bags and purses one after the other.

As seen in the video clip, customers, who resisted the search, were slapped, beaten and forcefully dragged from the club during the raid on Saturday.

A clubber, who gave her name only as Omowunmi, said the operatives whisked no fewer than seven persons away, adding that customers were harassed during the raid.

She said, “The incident happened around 1am last Saturday. We were just having fun when I suddenly heard people shouting. So, I stood up to know what happened and I saw the NDLEA operatives harassing customers and searching them.

“I saw four people beating a customer who was demanding a reason the operatives wanted to arrest his brother. The guy was not with drugs; about six persons were arrested. What happened that day will discourage people from going to that club.”

Another eyewitness, Dare Emmanuel, said the operation lasted for about one hour.

The 30-year-old said, “The NDLEA officials were armed and about 10 of them entered the club. When I stepped outside, I saw other members of the operatives. They were harassing customers, including one of my friends.

“Most of the people they searched, nothing was found on them. They took a lady and some guys away.”

The counsel for the club, Femi Martins, lamented the constant raids on the club by security agents.

He said, “It appears to me that there is something fishy and that some rivals are trying to perpetrate unfair actions to run the club out of business.

“The club is not the only club operating in that area, so why is it the only one raided by security agents? If it is not EFCC today, it is another agency tomorrow, and now it is the NDLEA. Does the owner sell drugs? No, he doesn’t. So, when people are picked from the hotel or lounge, why do they expect him to be liable for whatever they do?

“It is a public place and there is a limit to which you can control what your customers do. For instance, you won’t go into every room at night to say I want to see whatever you have there.”

The spokesperson for the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, said five of the eight arrested suspects had hard drugs.

He said, “We had sufficient intelligence that drug dealers were operating inside the club. We also had phone numbers of the dealers, and what our men did was to call the dealers, make an order and ask them to supply them in the car outside and that was how they arrested the first three dealers outside the premises.

“It was a clinically clean job; it was when others noticed that those people were law enforcement officers that they ran into the hotel and that was when our men decided to work with the police officers on duty, who then invited the manager, and because we already identified the dealers, our men picked them out.

“We recovered quite a number of drugs, including cannabis, rohypnol, codeine, tramadol and metaphyne tablets. We knew the people we went there for and clinically identified and brought them out. Eight suspects were arrested, including the manager, but five were found with exhibits. The manager was arrested for allowing their business premises to be used for dealing in drugs. But because it is a lesser offence, they are likely to let him go today.”

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