Nicholas Victor, a National Diploma 2 student of the Auchi Polytechnic, has accused some policemen deployed to the Kogi State Police Command of forcefully obtaining N70,000 from him because he owns two phones.
Narrating his ordeal in an interview, Victor said he was travelling to Auchi in Edo State on 4 August 4 to collect his national identity card when the policemen at a checkpoint at the Okene area of Kogi State stopped the driver of the bus he was in.
According to the 22-year-old undergraduate, the policemen ordered all the male passengers out of the bus, started checking their phones and collected various paid sums.
He, however, explained that when it got to his turn, the policemen refused to collect the sum of N4,200 he offered them.
Victor said the policemen insisted on collecting a larger sum from him because he owned two phones, noting that they first demanded N100,000 before finally settling for N70,000.
He alleged that the policemen assaulted him, adding that his mother had to run around to gather the demanded amount and transfer it into the bank account of one of the officers, identified as John Eshiobugie.
“The other guys on the bus with me sort out themselves at the scene. When the police officers told me to pay them, I told them that I didn’t have any money on me except N4,200, which they refused to collect. They asked why I would not have money on me and labelled me an Internet fraudster because I was holding two phones,” Victor told the Punch.
“When they went through my phones, they saw my girlfriend’s pictures and ordered me to enter their van, threatening that I would have to bail myself before I would be allowed to go.
“They asked me to pay N100,000 and before I could utter a word, one of them had slapped me, while another cocked his gun, threatening to shoot. The officers ordered the driver of the bus to go that I was not serious and that when I pay them, I would be released. The driver and other occupants begged on my behalf, but the officers threatened to shoot them if they did not leave.
“I then begged them to give me my phones to call my mother. When I called her, she begged them to collect the N4,200, but they refused.
“My mum begged them to take N10,000; they said they could only collect N70,000. So, my mum didn’t have any choice than to send the money she wanted to use to buy tiles for her new house.
“She is a single mother who does not have anything, but the police collected the little money we were managing. When she sent the money, the officers didn’t release me till one of them got an alert on his phone.”
Asked about the incident, Willaims Aya, the Kogi State Police Public Relations Officer, said he was not aware and requested that all necessary details to him to aid police investigation into the matter.