Chibuzor Ajagba, a student of the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), has regained freedom from the custody of the policemen attached to the Intelligence Response Unit of the Inspector-General of Police after paying a sum of N355,000, a part of the money he planned to use in renting an apartment, FIJ can report.
In a manner that seemed like a kidnap, five policemen had raided Ajagba’s house in Ikorodu on Monday in search of illegally acquired arms.
When they couldn’t see any incriminating evidence in his house, he was taken away for having a bitcoin message on his phone, Damilare Ajibola, Ajagba’s housemate, told FIJ.
The policemen would later free Ajagba on Monday afternoon after extorting N355,000 from him.
“They insisted that I was illegally trading in bitcoin after the Nigerian government banned the transaction,” Ajagba said. “I explained to them that I do forex but stopped using bitcoin after CBN’s ban but they wouldn’t believe me.”
Ajagba could not identify the policemen with any particular station as they toured different locations in Lekki together in search of internet fraudsters.
“I noticed they had a long list containing the names and phone numbers of some people they wanted to arrest but they didn’t find any of them,” he continued.
“After a while, they told me to pay N5 million to be free. I just begged them to take N355,000 before they could allow me go.”
POS OPERATOR COMPLICIT IN POLICE EXTORTION
Extortionate policemen have often been reported to collaborate with the operators of POS, a small-scale banking system, to prevent the direct linking of crime to the officers.
Ajagba explained that the policemen equally drove him from Lekki to Maryland where he was directed to cash out the N355,000.
“They already had a specific place of withdrawal at Maryland. When we drove to the place, the POS operator didn’t even count the money after the transfer was made.
“It was like she was just waiting for them to come and take the money.”
If given the chance, Ajagba said he can still recognize the POS location the policemen drove him to.
Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer, and Muyiwa Adejobi, the Lagos State Police Spokesman, didn’t answer their calls or reply to the text messages sent to them for comments on the issue.
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