According to a report by SaharaReporters, three young men identified as Toheeb Babalola, Jamiu Olajide and Taiwo Olamilekan have narrated how officers attached to the Osun State Police Command extorted N525,000 from them while on their way to Oyo state from Akure, Ondo state.
They explained that they were stopped on May 26, 2021 around 1:30pm, at Osogbo Junction by policemen who wore vests with the inscription ‘POLICE RESPONSE UNIT (PRU)’.
The trio said they were treated like criminals and forced to use a First Bank POS (Point of Sale machine) to transfer money to a GT Bank account belonging to one Babatola Toheeb with account number: 0594722075.
One of them who spoke for all three said, “While travelling from Ibadan to Akure at about 1:30pm, at Osogbo Junction, we were intercepted by six police officers wearing jackets with POLICE RESPONSE UNIT (PRU) inscription. They checked our papers and found everything complete.
“They equally checked our phones and found nothing incriminating, but insisted they would take us to the State Command, Osogbo. They threatened to shoot us when we demanded to know our offence or the reasons for our arrest. At the Criminal Investigation Department, Osogbo, we were threatened to hand over our ATM cards to them.
“They thereafter took us to Okefia in Osogbo where they transferred the whole funds –five hundred and twenty five thousand naira (N525,000.00) found in the bank account of one of us. They locked us up in the cell for some time before they took us to POS at Okefia.
“They put us in one room that looks like a toilet; they asked two of us to face the wall but my friend who owns the car was with them before they asked us to write statements. There was a lady with us whom they asked to stay outside.
“They said we are internet fraudsters, yet they checked our phones and found nothing. Assuming we are internet frusters as alleged, is taking our money the solution? I thought they were supposed to charge us to court. Before we gave them N525, 000 under duress, they first said we should give them N1 million.
“This is the account from which they transferred our money 0594722075 Babatola Toheeb, GTbank through a first bank POS at Okefia. We attach the printout evidencing the transfer.”
They urged human rights activists and the government to intervene on their behalf.
Speaking on the incident, a human rights lawyer, Tolu Babaleye asked the Inspector General of Police to investigate the matter.
“This is becoming unbecoming and a daily occurrence in Nigeria. This is nothing but robbery using the the gun bought by the taxpayers.
“I have done a preliminary investigation through Google and I found out that the POS through which the money was transferred belongs to TEAMAPT LIMITED whose business address is 12, Wole Ariyo Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos,” he said.