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15.01.2023 Featured Akwa-Ibom Policemen Take N110,000 ‘Bail’ From Family Arrested Over ‘False Accusation’, Request Damages of N200,000

Published 15th Jan, 2023

By Daniel Ojukwu

Ann Okike, a resident of Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, has accused policemen attached to the state police command of extorting N110,000 from her family in the guise of a bail.

Okike told FIJ that on Tuesday, policemen from the command in the Ikot Akpan Abia area of the state came to her family’s house and began knocking violently at about 1 am.

She said the police, on the instruction of Christy George, a neighbour of hers, rounded the family and took them to the headquarters, where they were detained until 5 pm.

Okike said the police accused her family of assaulting George and attempting to murder her.

READ ALSO: After FIJ’s Story, Kwara Police Return N2m Officers Extorted From Forex Trader

“Whilst in the police station, they tried to manipulate us to accept the accusations leveled on us by the complainant,” Okike told FIJ. “On refusing, they re-handcuffed me and beat my brother with a matchet.

“We bailed ourselves with N110,000, and the lady claimed damages of N200,000 for treatment. She accused us of stealing N68,000 and damaging her gas cylinder.

“She uses the Nigerian police to intimidate other tenants.”

Okike said while she was at the station, some of the officers who seemed to be indigenes of the state “took it personally because we are Igbos, and they said it openly”.

She said she identified some of the officers as “Sergeant Angela, Unyime and Alfred”.

She told FIJ that after parting with N110,000, the police asked her father to return to the station on Friday with a part of the N200,000 damages claim and pay the rest of it by the end of the month.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Lagos Police Harass Lady for Filming Them During ‘Confrontation’ With Uber Driver

When her father went to the station on Friday with N50,000, an officer refused it and said he must return with at least N100,000, Okike told FIJ.

HOW ORDEAL WITH GEORGE BEGAN

“On December 30, I had gone out,” Okike narrated. “My mom was at our veranda with my aunt when water from upstairs poured on her.

“When she lifted her face to know where the water came from, it was Christy, our neighbor living on the last floor, that was holding a basin with water, and when my mom accosted her, her response was ‘can you not shift from there?’

“She also asked if where my mom stood was where she paid her rent. So angrily, my brother, on hearing that, carried a bucket of water to her apartment. He met her outside of her apartment and poured the water on her. On hearing my brother’s voice, my mom and siblings went up to separate them.

“On January 10, 2023, she came with five policemen. They broke into our house and arrested four of us. Only my dad and siblings that were absent were excluded.”

They now have their names on a case file that reads ‘Attempted Murder’ on the desk of an investigating police officer in the state command.

FIJ called George on Friday and she admitted to bringing the police to arrest Okike’s family, but when asked about her damages claim, she denied it and cut the call.

When FIJ called Odiko Macdon, spokesman for the state police command, on Saturday, he promised to investigate the matter.

Ojukwu is a reporter with FIJ in partnership with Report for the World, which matches local newsrooms with talented emerging journalists to report on under-covered issues around the globe.

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Published 15th Jan, 2023

By Daniel Ojukwu

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