A businessman, Uduak Akpan Sunday, 15th October, 2023 has narrated how he was allegedly brutalised by policemen attached to the Cross River State Police Command over an offence the security personnel reportedly failed to disclose.
According to Uduak, the officers led by one Ibrahim Mohammed Adamu arrested him in front of his house around 6.00a.m. on Saturday, 14th October, 2023.
The businessman told SaharaReporters that he was beaten with a machete, handcuffed and treated by the policemen like a criminal.
Sunday said despite not finding anything incriminating evidence on him, his wife was called on the phone and forced to send N11,000 to an OPay account belonging to the police team leader, Ibrahim Mohammed Adamu with account number: 8021025969 before he was released.
He said, “Some policemen from the Cross River State command, Calabar on an illegal raid brutalized me and extorted me and others. They were led by one Ibrahim Adamu.
“Adamu and his team members came into my compound yesterday morning, 14th of October 2023, around 6 a.m. where I sell borehole water. Exactly in front of my gate, they saw me and brutalized me. They used a machete on me then forced me into their car and drove off to their station.
“Reaching there, Adamu personally used my phone to call my wife to transfer money to his bank account, he threatened her that if the money wasn’t transferred, then my wife would not see me again, and that I would be killed without any trace. My wife then transferred N11,200 to his Opay account before he released me.
“He released me without any record of any kind, no statement at the station, they just bundled me and others behind the bar without doing anything. I don’t even know the crime I committed for me to be beaten and extorted.
“They have made it difficult for people to go out in peace. I need justice, the Inspector General of Police and police commissioner should come to our rescue.
“Innocent people going on the street are being arrested by policemen in Cross Rivers.”
Efforts made to reach Adamu were not successful as he did not answer his phone when journalists called him. He also did not reply to a WhatsApp message sent to him even though the double grey ticks of the messenger changed to blue, suggesting the message had been read.
This comes a few hours after the spokesperson of the Nigeria Police Force, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said police personnel who trot guns at Nigerians in order to extort them are not different from armed robbers.
A crypto trader and influencer on X (formerly Twitter), had criticised the police after his house was allegedly broken into and his subsequent arrest.
The man claimed the policemen broke into his estate wearing mufti and without any search warrant. He said they took all the men who lived there to the station, questioned them and claimed that they were internet fraudsters.
He provided debit alerts showing the money that was allegedly taken from him and stated that they collected a total of N500,000 from all the men in his estate.
Reacting, a user tagged the Force PRO saying, “As PRO of Nigeria Police Force do something to this dirty stuff you mate always do every day. Police are your friend indeed”
Responding, Adejobi said: “I think we need to get some things clear here. He insisted on seeing a lawyer, and he slept in the cell. Did the lawyer come? Was the money paid in the presence of his lawyer? If the lawyer didn’t come, why didn’t you call someone? Or was your phone taken away from you? He needs to clarify certain things here. Whether police are your friend or your enemy, what was the role your lawyer played?”
In his reaction, another X user shared screenshots of an old comment by the Force PRO, where he condemned extortion by the police.
“You know why I like you, you dey quick forget something. Ire o,” the user had captioned the post.
Replying, Adejobi made further clarification on the issue.
He said, “Yes, this still stands. Any armed policeman or security operative who forcefully extorts an innocent Nigerian is as good as an armed robber. Extortion is never part of any agencies mandate, either armed or not. We condemn such, and even the IGP has made it clear.
“The IGP has warned officers not to drop his name to extort or dupe Nigerians and not to take any gift to him. We made an official statement to this effect. You need to read and comprehend comments before you pass any judgement or make condemnation here.
“My comment was clear enough. Must we continue to pay these erring policemen? Are we going to continue this way? In fact, when i read in his tweet that he resisted, i was happy, but he could have resisted till d end. He was with them in the station premises.
“He was not on the road. No one supported the extortion, but he shouldn’t have paid them after his initial moves and resistance. I think my assertion is clearer to you now. Thanks.”