Some policemen attached to the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Edo State Police Command, have been accused of extorting N100,000 from a building contractor, Emmanuel Alabede.
The operatives allegedly collected the money using Point Of Sale (POS) machine after threatening to kill him if he failed to give the bribe.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Alabede was travelling from Ibadan to Abuja when the car he was travelling in was stopped by the cops on the Ibilo-Okene Expressway and the bags of the occupants of the car were searched.
Alabede said the operatives told him to give them his mobile phone but he declined, telling them to state what his offence was.
Twenty eight year-old Alabede, who said that the operatives raised their voice and threatened to kill him, added that he eventually released his phone to them.
He said, “They searched my phone but they found nothing incriminating; all they saw were pictures of uncompleted buildings. They asked me if the buildings belonged to me and I told them that they were not mine but they belonged to my clients.
“They said I was lying and accused me of being an Internet fraudster but I told them I was not and showed them my ID card and my company’s card, but they did not release me.
“While they were with my phone, a notification of alert of over N200,000 popped up on my phone from a client and they said they were going to collect the N200,000 from me.
“I told them that the money was not for me; that it was for a client that wanted me to work on his building, but they told me that if I didn’t give them the money they would kill me and nobody would hold them responsible.”
Alabede said when he refused to give the cops the bribe demanded, they told the driver of the car he was travelling in to go.
The Oyo State indigene added that he had to cooperate with the operatives to save his life.
He said, “I told them that I could not give them the whole money but I can give them part of it; so they told me that they would not collect anything less than N100,000 from me.
“They took me to a POS operator and I made a transfer of N100,000 to the operator who charged N2,500 for the transaction and gave the cops N97,500.”
Alabede further stated that the operatives who were in their uniform when stopped his car, changed to mufti when they were going to the POS operator’s stand.
He said he reported to the police helpline (0805700000) immediately he left the scene but was rebuked by the person that picked the call for not calling when he was with the cops.
He added that the unnamed person directed him to the police Whatsapp channel (08057000003), where he was directed back to the helpline.
“I replied them that I had already called the helpline and it was from there that I was directed to the Whatsapp. Since then, I have not received any reply from the Whatsapp channel,” he said.
When contacted, the Edo State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, pretended that he was not the person at the other end of the conversation.
“Are you sure you know who you are talking to? Check the number you are calling,” he said and immediately terminated the conversation.
A check through True Caller, a mobile app, revealed that Chidi Nwabuzor was the one that picked the call.
Our correspondent in Edo State also gave the same number as that of the state PPRO.
PUNCH Metro again put several calls across to the phone number, but it rang out as the police spokesman refused to pick his calls.
A text message sent to the number had yet to be replied to as of press time.