Motorists lament police extortions

Michael Ofulue
Barely few weeks after the Ondo State Police Command  drafted its men to mount check points on the  Akure/Owo/Benin expressway, to curb the surge of kidnapping and armed robbery, motorists plying the routes are now lamenting on the high extortions carried out by some officers posted there.

The motorists, in separate chats with The Hope Metro decried the situation whereby they pay daily contributions to the policemen whom they claimed have turned their duty posts to extortion ground.

The Hope Metro investigation revealed that the ugly situation has taken a worrisome dimension, as the aforementioned roads have more than 20 police check points, with the  motorists parting away with money at each point.

Speaking with The Hope Metro, one of the drivers plying Akure/Benin road who identified himself as Moses Olajide, said the number of check points on the road are so many, such that  they part away with N50 or N100 naira at each police check point.

His words, “From Akure to Benin,  I spent over 700 naira to these policemen. And sometimes, I beg them to allow me to go, because if I start giving  out money at every check point,  I would spend more than a thousand naira on a single trip.

He called on relevant authorities that posted them to the road to monitor their excesses, saying some of them are just there to extort money and not for the purpose  for which they were drafted  there to do.

Speaking in the same vein, a bus driver, Mr Valentine Jacob, who told our correspondent that he just returned from Benin, said the rate of extortion on the road becoming unbearable and should be checked.

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“I know the policemen are there because of insecurity of lives and property of the citizenry especially travellers.

“We also know that their presence have created a lot of fear on the suspected hoodlums. But there is need for them to concentrate on the major reason why they were posted to the check points .

In a swift reaction to the allegation of extortion, the Police spokesman,  Mr Femi Joseph, said the command has a monitoring unit that goes round to check its officers on the road,  saying the reason behind the heavy deployment of policemen on the said roads was due to kidnapping cases and not to extort money from anybody.

Joseph said, ” Apart from the Command monitoring unit,  we have senior officers sent to supervise these men. And any of them found to be doing anything contrary and caught,  would blame himself.

“You can agree with me that since their deployment, there have been relative peace on the affected roads. And we are ready to sustain the peace.

” Motorists should desist from offering bribe to policemen, but rather report such officer to his office.

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