A 20-year-old cloth designer, Chinedu Onwuamaizu, has accused men of the Edo State Police Command of harassment and extortion.
The artisan, who is from Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State, said the men extorted him of N52,000 when he was on his way to Awka, Anambra State from Lagos State.
He said the incident happened on Tuesday, July 19, 2022.
Chinedu said, “I visited my elder brother in Lagos and he decided to join me back to Akwa where I am based. We planned to attend the burial of our uncles. I boarded a Sienna van. There were only seven passengers; my brother, five other ladies, the driver and me. On our way, around the Ondo-Edo stretch of the Sagamu-Benin City highway, we were stopped by some police officers.”
Chinedu noted that as soon as the police officers opened the door, they ordered him and his elder brother to come down.
“They harassed us. They said we should alight and they began to search us. After searching, they seized our phones and began to ask us funny questions.
“One said I looked like a yahoo boy (fraudster). I told them I was a tailor. They ordered me to open my phone and give it to them which I did. They began to search and search till they saw my account balance. They ordered me to transfer the money in my account after seeing my account balance. I had N52, 500 in my account. They ordered a man who was nearby with a POS machine to come out.’’
He added that after threatening him, he had no choice than to transfer N20, 000 twice and N12, 000, to complete it as ordered.
He said he didn’t report to the police because he didn’t know how to go about it since the incident happened in a state where he was not a resident.
Reacting, the state police spokesperson, Chidi Nwabuzor, told City Round that the command frowned at extortion by any of its officers.
Nwabuzor said, “I am not aware. You are just informing me of an incident I know nothing about. It is a piece of privileged information for them to act upon. We will need to get the name of the victim of this alleged extortion.
“I wish he had captured the names of the officers involved in this. This is a case that is subject to investigation. We need the location of the policemen who did this act if it is true. This will lead the police to apprehend the bad eggs.
“The state Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, is committed to ensuring that officers and men of the command are professional in their dealings with the members of the public.’’