Olumuyiwa Adejobi, Spokesperson of the Nigeria Police Force, says 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, had dragged the police after his house was allegedly broken into and he was arrested forcefully.
The man claimed the police broke into his estate wearing normal clothes without any search warrant, taking all the men who lived there to the station, questioning them and claiming they were internet fraudsters.
He provided debit alerts where they took some money from him, while stating that they collected a total of five hundred thousand from all the men who live in his estate.
“So Policemen came to my estate yesterday evening around 7PM and packed all the men in the Estate. We all slept in the cell last night for no just reason. When we were called for ‘Questioning’ which was more or less a dictation. They said ‘You Dey do Yahoo’ I denied it because I don’t even know how yahoo works.
“Next thing was to write a statement saying I’m either a Cultist or An Armed robber. We all refused writing statements without lawyers present, so we were forced to sleep in the cell. This morning, over 500k was extorted from us in general,” the post read partly.
Reacting, a user tagged the Force PRO saying, “As PRO of Nigeria Police Force do something to this dirty stuff you mate always do everyday. 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 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.”