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Police probe officers accused of bitcoin extortion



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THE Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba has ordered a ‘holistic investigation’ into the alleged extortion of N22 million worth of bitcoin at gunpoint by some Police officers serving at the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), Alagbon, Lagos State.

The IGP also called on anyone who had experienced a similar fate from officers at Alagbon FCID to provide facts that would help in investigating such criminality.

 Deputy Superintendent of Police Nwawe Cordelia and others serving at the FCID were accused of the bitcoin theft, the IGP stated in a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer Frank Mba on Monday.

He has, therefore, directed the officers to report to the Special Investigation Panel set up for the crime at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, on Tuesday.

Cordelia and his alleged accomplices were accused of extorting bitcoin from two young Nigerians, Morakinyo Tobiloba Peter and Yusuf Samson Dayo, at gunpoint on July 14, 2021, while driving along the Ikoyi/Ajah Expressway, Lagos State. 

Inspector-General of Police Usman Baba
Inspector-General of Police Usman Baba

Social and traditional media have since widely reported the incident, and it has attracted condemnations among readers and viewers.

A top investigator and Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Olaolu Adegbite will probe the accused officers.

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Adegbite was a pioneer investigator at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), where he rose to become a director of operations (2012 – 2015).

He currently works at the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB).

He holds a master’s degree in Philology (Russian Language) from the Pushkin Institute, Moscow, Russia. He is an alumnus of the FBI National Academy, Quantico, Virginia, USA, and a member of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (MFR).

“An experienced and detailed investigator, he is expected to bring his vast knowledge in investigating corruption-related cases to bear in resolving this case,” said the IGP.

“The Force advises any member of the public who has had similar experiences of high-handedness or extortion by the officers in question, her team or any other officer at the FCID Alagbon to come forward with detailed information to enable the panel to achieve a holistic investigation.

“Meanwhile, it is vital to state that the alleged actions of the Police officers in question do not represent the standards and practices of the Nigeria Police Force, and as such, any officer found wanting will be visited with the full wrath of the law. 

“Members of the public are enjoined to remain calm as the Force will provide timely updates and make the outcome of the investigation public.”

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To boost the morale of the Police officers and reduce their susceptibility to extortion and other crimes, the Federal Executive Council, this week, approved a 20 per cent salary increase for them. The increase is to take effect from January 2022. 


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