Two officers of the Nigerian Police Force have been captured on camera taking bribe from motorists along Ijebu Ode-Ibadan Road in Ogun State.
One of the police officers, whose badge identified him as Oyewole Afolabi, was caught by Premium Times collecting N50 from a bus driver who was conveying passengers to Ibadan from Ajah, Lagos State, on Sunday.
The second officer, Eniola Olaiya, was captured on camera as the same driver crossed the Oyo State border with Ogun State into Ibadan.
Police officers have continued the culture of extortion at checkpoints despite decades of condemnation by the Nigerian public and foreign think-tanks. Mounting roadblocks is one of the easiest ways for officers to shakedown motorists.
Oftentimes, they compromise their official duty by taking arbitrary ‘fines’ from motorists whose vehicle licence or insurance papers are outdated or missing. Where all vehicle and driving credentials are intact, officers found other ways of harassing road users to squeeze out as much as they could within the pace of a few seconds.
The bus driver who was extorted in this particular instance told the reporter if he had refused to cooperate with the officers, he could be ‘unnecessarily’ delayed for several hours.
“If we don’t give them, they will delay us unnecessarily,” the driver said under anonymity to avoid a backlash from officers because he plies the route regularly. “In fact, we add police extortion fee to passengers transport fare. I can’t run from them because I follow this road everyday.”
The captured image of the police officers, according to the reporter, has been forwarded to Abayomi Shogunle, head of police complaints unit in Abuja. Mr Shogunle, an assistant police commissioner, promised to examine images and get back later on.
Last December, the police in Ekiti sacked an officer for allegedly killing a motorist who reportedly refused to comply with bribe demands at a checkpoint. Ayo Famodimu faced an orderly room trial before and subsequently placed on trial for the murder.