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Extortion: These policemen are robbers in uniform – Cyclists



Extortion: These policemen are robbers in uniform – Cyclists

Commercial cyclists operating on Nureni Yusuf Road, Alagbado area of Lagos State have called on the Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, to rescue them from policemen extorting them on a daily basis.
Many of the cyclists said they were tired of being seen as Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) by the policemen. They alleged that those riding motorcycle paid N200, while those riding tricycles paid N100.
They also alleged that because of incessant police extortion, their take home could no longer take them home, let alone be enough to take care of their families.
One of them, Mr. Kolade Sumbo, said: “There were two policemen that come here on a daily basis, but now they are three. They usually hang around Yusuf Road, where they flag down any cyclist they sight, demanding for N100. They are usually there in the evening.”
Sumbo said on most Friday nights, two policemen would hang around the route, while on Saturdays they would be three.
“They are on illegal operation. They will leave where they are posted and come here to disturb us every night,” fumed Sumbo.
Another cyclist, Samod Sherrif, explained that the policemen usually start operating about 8p.m.
He said: “Once its 8p.m., they start collecting N200 from cyclists. If we fail to give them, they will impound our motorcycles and take them to their station.”
Sherrif, who described the policemen as robbers in uniform, disclosed that because of the continual harassment and extortion, many cyclists had stopped working at night.
He added: “Sometimes, we’ll be afraid of the person we want to carry. We want to make sure he is not a policeman. Some of them will be in mufti and then stop as normal passengers. They will sit down as passengers and then the next thing we know, they would grab us from behind and take us to their station. As a cyclist, if you’re not confident, you can fall into the wrong hands.”
Another rider, Mr. Kunyeme Chike, said he had been stopped countless of times by policemen, who asked him for money.
He said: “Policemen are meant to secure members of the public, not to be threats to individuals. These policemen have stopped me so many times, asking for particulars, and at the end, they will ask for money. Forcing people to give them money is a shame! It’s a shame on the Nigeria Police Force. We want the police hierarchy and the state government to intervene and stop these policemen. We can’t continue to live this way.”
A tricycle driver, Mr. Kunle Bamidele, said: “We are tired of complaining about these policemen. I’m really ashamed of Nigeria.”
But when contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), CSP Chike Oti, said the command was not aware of such acts going on in that community.
He said: “We have not heard anything concerning issues of extortion in that area. But we shall also take steps to investigate the case and make sure the policemen involved are arrested.”

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