A Lagos-based barber has lamented how four officers of the Nigeria Police Force, Lagos State Command allegedly physically assaulted, brutalised him and extorted the sum of N100,000 from him.
Narrating his ordeal, the barber, who identified himself on Twitter as @alilmoonn, said that the incident happened on Thursday when he was returning from the Federal Registry in the Ikoyi area of Lagos when the policemen stopped the Uber driver who conveyed him.
According to him, after searching the vehicle and finding nothing implicating, the police officers ordered him (the barber) to alight from the vehicle and meet their boss, which he obeyed.
However, when he met the officer referred to as the boss, he asked him (the barber) to enter their patrol vehicle, and accused him of being a fraudster and that they were taking him to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He said he told them he was not a fraudster but a professional barber but they did not believe him as they said that he used an iPhone 14 Pro Max for fraudulent activities and seized the phone from him.
He said, “In my life I have never been this scared, Nigeria is so scared, I was abused today by the Nigerian policemen? They were four men plus the driver. I was coming back from the federal registry at Ikoyi, these men stopped my Uber driver and asked him to open his boot, he did.
“The police men found nothing, the other one asked me to come down and meet their boss, I did and the boss asked me to enter a inside the car they’re using to patrol they carried me and say they want to report me to the EFCC. I’m a barber by profession, I have my certificate.
“I’m innocent. These men pressed me to the extent I couldn’t breathe and I was begging them so I could take air, they refused, they said I’m using an iPhone 14 pro max, I’m into fraud. I swear on my life I have never done anything like that in my life.
“The policemen said I should pay them 2 million naira. Firstly, they took my phone from me, I can’t even reach my mom or family, I told them that I don’t have up to that amount they’re requesting and I pleaded for them to stop so I can but they never listen. It’s so sad Nigeria.”
The barber said that the police officers checked his United Bank for Africa (UBA) account balance and found out he didn’t have the amount they demanded from him and they decided to collect N100,000 from him.
“I did nothing, they didn’t see any fraud activity on my phone. The man said if I didn’t pay, they would beat me or take me to the EFCC and lock me up.
“I was begging. I told them it’s my hard earned money. Nigeria is hard and these men are still making it unbearable for us. It’s very sad that they took the N100,000 from my bank. I couldn’t take pictures of the police because they’re with my phones,” he lamented.
The Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, who reacted to the barber’s complaint said that “This is receiving attention from the CP Lagos, and I am sure necessary action will be taken.”
Also, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, said, ““Just as we discussed on the phone, follow through with the Area Commander’s advice and keep us updated. We will not be deterred in our resolve to rid the Force of bad eggs. We will not.”