Police confirms arrest of officers caught extorting commuters in Osun

OSUN State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of some of its personnel for extorting commuters along the Ile-Ogbo-Iwo road, in Osun state. 

Public Relations Officer of the Command Yemisi Opalola disclosed this in a statement on Friday, August 11, adding that disciplinary action will be carried out against the detainees after investigations are concluded.

“The Police officers involved in this unprofessional and unethical behaviour have been identified, arrested and detained. The Command frowned and condemned the act in totality as the erring police officers are currently in detention since Thursday, 10 Aug. 2023.

“They are undergoing investigation and eventual disciplinary procedure of orderly room trial for their unprofessional conduct while the senior officers among them have been queried accordingly,” she noted.

Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly Adewale Egbedun helped some commuters recover money extorted by police officials stationed along their route.

The speaker was captured in a viral video confronting the officers over the allegations of extortion by commuters.

Egbedun’s Chief Press Secretary, Olamide Tiamiyu, disclosed in a statement that three of the travellers had been extorted of N25,000 each.

Force Public Relations Officer Muyiwa Adejobi also confirmed the arrest of the policemen on Friday.

Adejobi warned other officers to desist from visiting Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun with money or gift items.

“The IGP has made it clear severally. In fact, at the last IGP’s conference with senior officers in Abuja on Tuesday, the IGP warned that no officer should bring money or gifts to him.

“He said, ‘I don’t need your money. Don’t bring any money to me. Use your legitimate money to improve the policing of your area of responsibility. So, no officer should use IGP’s name to extort. We have sent out IGP’S monitoring squad to arrest any erring officer, not only the Police but other law enforcement agents who dwell in corruption and inappropriate behaviours,” Adejobi noted via his official Twitter handle.

    Police extortion and harassment and brutalisation have been a long-standing issue in Nigeria.

    In October 2020, youths across the country embarked on a nationwide protest against police harassment and brutality, which lasted for weeks.

    The protest was brought to a halt when officials of the Nigerian Army opened fire on unarmed protesters at Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos, on October 20, 2020.

    Despite government promises to check harassment of citizens following the protest, extortion and other forms of indiscipline still persist within the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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