Four policemen who allegedly extorted a man, Uche Anthony, of N300,000 on Wednesday in Lagos have been arrested, spokesman Muyiwa Adejobi has said.
The policemen, according to the victim, cocked their gun and forced him to an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) along Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja, to withdraw N280,000, which they added to the N20,000 cash he had on him and took with them.
Anthony, who took to social media to lament his predicament, said his only offence was having finance technology (fintech) apps on his phone and foreign numbers in his contact.
He wrote: “I just got accosted by the police and I was extorted of N300,000 in Lagos. Simply because I have Binance and Trust wallet on my phone. I use an iPhone13 pro max and I am in a lot of crypto groups and I am talking to foreign numbers who happen to be my uncles and cousins abroad.
“They seized my phone and won’t let me even explain. For the first time in my life someone cocked a gun at me and said I should enter the car. I’m still in the trauma of the experience. I could quickly pick up the name of one of the police officers.
“They insisted I must pay them more than half of what is in my account. They went to my message inbox and saw my GTB balance. I said I wasn’t paying a dime and they said I’ll sleep in the cell and no one will know because they were with my phone.
“I was so scared of my life as I have read stories of people shot dead and abandoned somewhere. They drove me about for hours and we started negotiating. They said N500,000or nothing. Omo, I started thinking that these guys might just kill me and I don’t want to trend with the hashtag #justiceforuche.
“They drove me to a bank in Maryland and asked me to go and withdraw cash. All the while they had my phone so I could not make any recording or take any pictures.
“They took the money from me and destroyed the withdrawal receipt. They had me order a bolt driver before letting me go.”
Anthony’s cry for help attracted the attention of the Force Police Public Relations Officer (FPPRO), CSP Muyiwa Adejobi who contacted the Lagos command and demanded investigation into the claims.
A few days later, Adejobi through his Twitter handle confirmed that the police team responsible for the extortion had been identified and arrested.
“He reported and we have identified them in Ikeja Area F. We have summoned them with their team leader to Abuja for proper investigation and possible sanction,” he said.
The policeman caught singing and dancing to a cult song in a viral Tiktok video, Isaac Matthew, has been demoted from the rank of corporal to constable.
Force spokesman CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi said in a statement yesterday that the demotion followed the outcome of an Orderly Room trial of the offender and a review of the recommended punishment for the offences of discreditable conduct, promoting secret cults as well as the violation of the social media policy of the Nigeria Police Force.
Matthew, who was attached to the Ebonyi State Police Command, was seen in a viral Tiktok video on May 7 dressed in full police uniform, singing, dancing, and brandishing an AK-47 rifle in praise of a secret confraternity.
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