Residents of Idimu and its environs in Lagos State have insisted that the incessant harassment and extortion by policemen attached to the Idimu Police Division have not abated.
PUNCH Metro had on October 22, 2012 published the alleged activities of the policemen, who under the guise of arresting advance fee fraudsters, would hang around banks on the Egbeda-Idimu Road and made false accusations against young men coming out of the banks.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, had said she was not aware of such activities.
But the residents insisted on Tuesday that rather than reducing, the harassment had continued.
One of the latest victims, a dispatch clerk with a law firm at Ikeja, Solomon Emmanuel narrated his ordeal to PUNCH Metro.
You claimed you were extorted by some policemen?
Yes I was. It happened two weeks ago, January 19, on a Saturday at Sobo Bus Stop, Akowonjo. Earlier that day, I had gone to the office. At about 1pm, I left the office and headed for home. I boarded a bus to Egbeda and dropped off at Sobo. I was about to mount a bike to my house when some policemen stopped me and asked me to identify myself.
Were they in a patrol vehicle?
No. They were using a commercial bus to do their work. That was why I didn’t notice them until they were by my side. Unfortunately for me, I did not have my ID card on me. Since it was on a Saturday, I did not bother to take it along to the office.
The policemen seized my phone and went through my contact list. When they noticed an international number on my phone, they accused me of being a fraudster.
Whose number was it?
It belongs to my aunt who lives in the United Kingdom.
What happened next?
They pushed me into the commercial bus that was parked on the road. That was when I noticed there were other victims like myself inside the bus – about five of us. The police wanted us to bail ourselves out even though we had done nothing wrong.
How long were you in the bus?
I was there for about two hours, trying to plead with them to see reason. When I saw that all my pleas were going nowhere, I quickly paid up lest I be framed for a crime I didn’t commit. I paid N8,000; it was all I had on me.
What about the other men you met in the bus?
Well, those who did not have enough on them, remained in the bus. Although I noticed the policemen later went with one man who was in the bus with me. They followed the man to a nearby ATM to withdraw money. It seemed they saw something on the man’s phone and after a prolonged discussion, they went with him to withdraw some money.
However, one thing I noticed that Saturday that was common to all the people in the bus was that we were all young men and wore shorts.