Ishola Kareem, a 21-year-old student of Lagos State University, has accused police officers attached to Igando Police Station of extorting N50,000 from him at gunpoint.
On Tuesday, Kareem was on a Bolt ride to Lagos Island when two police officers stopped his driver in the Igando area of the city.
“I allowed them to search me and even offered my phone to them for a search. When they could not find anything that could link me to internet fraud, they asked to search my bag,” Kareem told FIJ.
However, he was unwilling to give his bag up because he had N150,000 in it. When the officers saw he would not let them search his bag, one of them threatened to shoot at him, then ordered the Bolt driver to drive to their police station.
“When they saw the money in the bag, they immediately asked that I pay them N300,000 before they would free me. I then reminded them that I had committed no crime. But the officers got angry,” he said.
“One of them then asked me if I was aware of how some Nigerian police officers have wasted the lives of many innocent youths. I knew where he was going, so I asked him to accept a N20,000 bribe to free me.”
The officers would not listen. With a gun pointed at him, Kareem opted to pay a higher amount.
“The officers said they were not begging, so they could not accept the N20,000. The least they could accept, according to them, was N50,000. I eventually paid N51,000, before they let me go. [I paid] N50,000 for a bribe and N1,000 for their recharge cards,” he said.
FIJ placed several calls to SP Yarima Matthew, Divisional Police Officer in charge of Igando Police Station, to confirm the incident, but they were not answered. At press time, he had not responded to a text message sent to his phone.
Be the first to receive special investigative reports and features in your inbox.