Community kicks as retired DIG occupies DPO’s lodge for 20 years

Published January 12, 2021

Deji Lambo
Members of the Police Community Relations Committee have accused a retired Deputy Inspector- General of Police , James Opara , of refusing to vacate the lodge meant for the Divisional Police Officer in the Ilupeju area of Lagos State for over 20 years .
PUNCH Metro gathered that Opara acted as the DPO of the Ilupeju Police Division for three months in 1999 , and during that period, he occupied the lodge until he was transferred .
However, after his transfer from the division, it was learnt that Opara denied subsequent DPOs the opportunity of occupying the lodge by allegedly refusing to vacate the apartment .
The Chairman , PCRC , Ilupeju , Fredrick Silva -Rotimi, told PUNCH Metro that efforts to make Opara vacate the lodge had proved abortive , adding that a woman was currently using the lodge at the instance of the retired DIG and at the expense of subsequent DPOs of the division.
Silva -Rotimi said , “ I have been very courteous in order to avoid making this impropriety on the part of retired DIG James Opara a public affair. It ’s very bad and an act of corruption. We have petitioned the Commander , Area ‘ F ’; the CP , Hakeem Odumosu ; and the Assistant Inspector -General of Police , Ahmed Iliyasu , and Opara could not give a reason as to why he refused to vacate the lodge . He always says he ’s going to vacate the place , but instead , he told a woman to occupy the place .
“ This is unacceptable; he was a Divisional Crime Officer , who acted as the DPO for three months after which he was transferred . But he has been occupying the place since that time till now . It is morally wrong for him to do so as an officer and his actions have tormented other DPOs , including the present one. We want him to leave the lodge .
“ Opara has been ignoring my calls , but responded on Sunday and during our conversation , I told him that we were disturbed by his action of not leaving the lodge for other DPOs and I was surprised that he said it was a police matter and that when he was ready, he would vacate the lodge , and that is what he had been saying .”
Another member of the PCRC , Alarape Alimi, said subsequent DPOs deployed in the division and whose places of residence were far from Ilupeju usually slept in the office or take up a room in a nearby hotel to stay night.
He stated , “ The current DPO in Ilupeju came from a very distant place and had been sleeping in his office after Opara denied him access to the lodge . We felt very bad and the Patron of the PCRC , Yomi Olajide ; the Chairman , Fredrick Silva -Rotimi ; and his secretary and I met with the AIG Zone 2 , Ahmed Iliyasu , and he sent our letter of complaint to the DC admin to treat .
“ The woman occupying the lodge on the instructions of Opara usually visits the place once in a while, and the DPO , who is meant to be occupying the place cannot . Opara is a retired DIG and the lodge is for the serving DPO ; so, he should leave the place . ”
When contacted by our correspondent, Opara refused to comment on the matter. He also had yet to respond to a text message sent to his mobile telephone as of the time of filing this report . Similarly , a WhatsApp message sent to him had not been responded to .
The state Police Public Relations Officer , Muyiwa Adejobi, said, “ I am not aware of the letter written by the PCRC , but I am sure that if they have written any letter, the AIG and the CP must have acted on it .
“ So, I will find out and discuss with the CP on how we will go about the matter since there is a house like that , which is meant for the DPO and is being occupied by someone who was kept there by a retired senior officer . We are going to look into it departmentally and see what we can do .”

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