The Zone 2 Police Command in Lagos State has told a Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday that a policeman who was sacked for stealing a car, has been fraudulently receiving salaries from 15 different police commands after his dismissal.
The accused, Victor Afam Banor was dismissed while serving at the Umunede Police Division in Delta State for allegedly stealing an exhibit vehicle in a criminal case under investigation.
He was alleged to have escaped from detention and resurfaced at the Enugu Command with a falsified signature, claiming to be a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP).
Banor was accused of stealing money meant for salaries of officers of the Enugu State Police Command, and was drawing salaries from 15 different police commands across the country to the tune of about N20m.
The Legal Officer of Zone 2 Command, Mr. Justin Enang stated that when the officer-in-charge (O/C) of the command’s Mechanised Salary Section (MSS) retired, Banor assumed office as the “O/C MSS”. It was while holding this position that in March 2011, he allegedly absconded with the money.
“While absconding from office, the applicant he dropped a note stating that nobody should look for him because he has resigned to join his militant groups at the creeks of the Niger Delta region.”
These were contained in an affidavit filed in opposition to an application by Banor praying the court to release him from police detention.
The applicant said he had been held for over eight months without charge, and prayed the court presided over by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, to either order his release or direct the police to charge him in a court.
Banor, who said his continued detention violated his fundamental rights as guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution, joined the IGP, the Commissioner of Police, Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Adeniji Adele Road, Lagos, and the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), DSP Solomon Igwe as respondents.
In the counter-affidavit filed yesterday by the Officer-in-Charge of the Legal Department (O/C Legal), Zone 2, Mr Justin Enang, the police are urging the court not to release Banor because investigation into his alleged crime is still ongoing.
The police said several officers under Banor complained that their salaries were diverted, and that he did not turn up until he was arrested in Onitsha, Anambra State on April 15.
When he was arrested, he claimed to be a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), flashing a police warrant card and demanding to be shown respect as a “senior officer”.
Photocopies of forged police Identity Cards were found on him, with “CSP” Afamefuna Banor V. and “W/SGT” Hannah Markson Banor, among other names.
The police further found badges and insignia of a Deputy Commissioner of Police at his home, adding that he absconded from the Enugu Command with a Police Barretta Pistol loaded eight rounds of ammunition.
“Ongoing investigation has revealed a barrage of forgeries leading to monumental fraud by the applicant who opened more than 25 bank accounts using fictitious names with which he has been collecting and still collects monthly salaries from over 15 command payrolls across the country,” the respondents said.
Banor allegedly opened different accounts in various banks and one in Onitsha, using police letter-headed paper with a Deputy Inspector-General of Police Logo, claiming to be residing in the police barracks as a Superintendent of Police.
The judge adjourned till November 21 for ruling on Banor’s bail application.