12 July 2019

Nigeria: Police Officers Sent to Fight Kidnapping Caught Receiving Bribes

Photo: Chizurumebuka/Wikimedia
(file photo).

Some police officers deployed to curb kidnapping along the now dreaded Ife-Ibadan hightway, South-west Nigeria, were on Monday caught extorting motorists.

The policemen stationed at the outskirt of Ibadan, Ikire, Gbongan and Ile-Ife demanded bribe from the driver of the vehicle conveying this reporter and 17 other passengers on Monday evening.

The journey lasted an hour and 15 minutes.

Some of the motorists who earlier spoke with PREMIUM TIMES confirmed the habitual extortion by officers adding that these have heightened now with additional road blocks mounted along the road.

While the police officers in the outskirts of Ibadan and Ikire collected the naira notes discreetly without questioning the driver, the ones at Gbongan and Ile-Ife did not.

An officer at Gbongan, with the inscription Akosoba A on his uniform, collected a 100-naira note from the driver and gave a change of fifty naira.

Also, a policeman in Ile-Ife, who appeared in a camouflage, instructed the motorist to park for raising a question, but changed his mind after a fifty-naira note was slid into his hands.

Kidnapping upsurge

More police officers have been deployed  Ife-Ibadan hightway to check rampant cases of kidnapping.

In April, this newspaper reported how an Ibadan-based lawyer, Musibau Adetunbi, and his driver were kidnapped along Ibadan-Ife expressway.

In May, a lecturer in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, was kidnapped and eventually releasedafter paying a ransom of 5 million naira.

Also, suspected armed herders attacked passengers along the Ife-Ibadan Highway, killing Adenipekun Ademiju, a civil servant, in June.

As published by Punch, Mr Ademiju was said to have boarded a vehicle at Osu town going to Ibadan when he and other passengers were attacked at Ikire community along the expressway. 

Bribery entrenched?

With the advent of social media, many police officers have been caught on camera soliciting bribes at roadblocks in recent years.

Although several Inspector Generals of Police have banned roadblocks in the past but they remain one of the easiest ways for these officers to extort motorists.

In 2013,  a sergeant was dismissed  after a viral video showed him soliciting bribes from motorists in Lagos.

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