A motorist (name withheld) has narrated how he was extorted of N100,000 by Lagos State Taskforce policemen.
He was also assaulted and brutalised by the power-drunk police personnel after illegally impounding his vehicle, he told Sahara Reporters.
The policemen led by an officer identified as Ogar accosted him on July 1, 2022, in front of his office at Joke Ayo bus stop while his car was being fixed by a mechanic.
“I was in front of my office, where I packed my car, off the road. The security of the car refused to work and I called a ‘rewiring engineer’ (auto-electrician) to work on the car for me because it was a Marwa park, and the way they all park their tricycles there, hardly leaving any space, the ‘rewire’ (auto-electrician) asked me to move the car backwards.
“I did that but I was not even on the road (at Joke Ayo Bus stop). But immediately after they saw me move the car (because they were stationed there), they stepped out of their vehicle and dragged me out of the car.
“I told them my office was there, but they refused to listen. I told them I was not obstructing any traffic or driving against traffic and that I always park my car there, but they refused to listen and struggled to collect the car key from me. One of them drove the car back into the road and asked another officer to start recording. Then I asked him why because I wasn’t even sure of what they were doing.
“They distracted me by talking to me and they disconnected the security of my car by damaging and tearing it off the compartment. He drove my car the way I had never driven it before and I asked them where they were taking the car to. They said Alausa. They took me to their office at Bolade bus stop Oshodi, and their boss (the head of Team C), Mr Ogar, asked me to approach a lady, that she would give me a ticket to go and pay. I told them I didn’t do anything wrong and I had never been arrested by the police before.
“The lady was so rude to me and refused to even talk to me. She told me that I would need to pay N130,000, I asked her for what? She said it was for driving against traffic. I was not even driving when they saw me and they had parked there for a long time, looking at me working on the car. The insult was too much. Then I asked her what the money was meant for, she said it was a fine. Who fined me? She said it was the court. Then I said how can I be fined without appearing in court? I asked to see the judge who fined me and she got furious and started hurling insults at me again.
“She later told me to pay N100,000 and I begged her. She asked me to go in search of Mr Ogar, and I did but could not find any of them and their team members, including one who is an Alhaji and happened to be among them! I begged that I wanted to see the judge and they said the judge had already given me a fine. Then I asked them to give me their account, they said I should go and use POS to cash and bring cash for them, I said why? Does Lagos State government not have any account to pay into? She told me that was the only process. I went to the POS lady (inside their compound) identified as Glory, who asked me to do a transfer into her account. I did, and I took the money to the lady Mr Ogar, the team leader introduced me to, to discuss with me. “Immediately they saw that I had brought the money, all the team leaders came out and showed their faces, even the Alhaji who was one of their team leaders came out to witness the money given to her! She took me to Mr Ogar and he (stylishly) told me not to tell anyone or go on social media about it, I told him I won’t.
“He asked me to go and see the lady and give her the money and I did. I asked for a receipt, and she wrote me a note and asked me to go to Alausa behind Shoprite (Ikeja City Mall).
“When she opened her big black bag to put the money inside it, the money I saw in that bag must be around 3-4 million naira which they had collected from people. This got me thinking. I’m still confused about the Judge who fined me without asking to see me.”
He added that when he finally had access to the car, the bumper and the air conditioning system had been damaged while his new battery and headset were nowhere to be found.
“I went to Alausa and did some short video recording. They asked for my phone and asked me to unlock it. They deleted the videos but unknown to them, I can retrieve them.
“When I was given the car, they had damaged my car key and the bumper. My AC stopped working, the battery which was new had been stolen and replaced with an old one. A ‘follow-come’ headset inside the car was also taken away.
“This got me angry and I think these people are thieves! Help me let this get to the appropriate authority. The governor is trying but these people are destroying the legacy and extorting innocent people like me. They are making three to four million naira in a day? Multiply that by seven days and multiply by 30 days? Look at the amount going into the wrong hands?
“I am ready to testify and bring out all available evidence and also call on witnesses to testify against them.”