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27.03.2024 Featured Abuja Police Arrest, Extort Musician for Not Having Work ID

Published 27th Mar, 2024

By Emmanuel Uti

Paul Rarity, a musician resident in Abuja, has narrated how some police officers from Nyanya Police Station arrested him and a female friend for failing to provide a work identity card despite showing them their national identity cards on March 15.

The singer told FIJ that he and his friend were on a motorcycle heading to Karu at 11 pm on March 15 to regain possession of his car when some police officers stopped them at Nyanya and asked him, his friend and the bike rider to alight for questioning.

He said that the police let the motorcycle rider go after realising that he was one of the vigilantes in the area but quizzed him and his friend severely before asking them to present their work identity cards.

“I presented my national identity card and identified myself as a musician, while my friend showed the officers her national identity card on the NIN portal, but the officers were not having it,” Paul told FIJ. “They insisted that I present an identity card for my work as a musician. They were unwilling to check my profile on Apple Music, YouTube and Spotify.”

READ ALSO: Abuja Police Extort N20,000 From Driver Who Stopped on Zebra Crossing to Obey Traffic Light

The police officers took umbrage when Paul showed them his driver’s licence. The next action the police took, according to Paul, was to shoehorn him and his friend into their vehicle. The time was 11:30 pm.

At this point, Paul contacted close friends to alert them of his whereabouts. He also told a policeman that the identity cards he had shown them earlier were all he had with him, but the officer’s response was, “These are the ID cards you show to foreigners and not the Nigerian police when they ask for your ID.”

That night, Paul, his friend and two sex workers were forced to the police station, where they were immediately detained and their phones confiscated. Around 1:45 am, an officer asked him and his friend to write a statement about what had happened.

He said that before the police threw him into their putrid and bedbug-infested cell, one of the sex workers began to scream because she had a stomachache, and they let her and her friend go while they detained his female friend.

“I could not sleep throughout the night. By 5:30 am, the lady who took our statements asked if my friend and I were ready to go home. When she gave her a sign, she said we were to fuel the police vehicle with our money,” he said.

READ ALSO: Abuja Police Arrest Lawyer in His Hotel Room — For Receiving a Married Woman

“She then asked how much we had, and we told her we had N5,000 in total. She said that meant only one person would be released. My friend, who was already there, then added N5,000. After we paid, she [the policewoman] then asked for hers.

“We paid her N2,000, although she insisted we pay her N3,000. Just before we left, she still collected another N1,200 on behalf of the officers who seized our phones.

“I left with a sense of pity for the Nigeria Police Force because I got to discover they are the actual prisoners, and not me, because they’re stuck in a cycle with almost no option.”

When FIJ contacted Josephine Adeh, the Federal Capital Territory Police Spokesperson, her line was busy. A follow-up text was sent to her line, but she had yet to respond at press time.

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Published 27th Mar, 2024

By Emmanuel Uti

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