CORRUPT Nigeria Police Force (NPF) officers have taken extortion to new levels with the introduction of Point of Sale (Pos) machines at checkpoints that enable them to deduct money straight from motorists’ bank accounts.
Across Nigeria, it is common for policemen to extort money from motorists at roadblocks despite attempts by the police authorities to stamp out the practise. Poorly paid and living in atrocious dwelling quarters, Nigerian policemen have become reliant on bribes they receive from motorists to make ends meet.
In a new twist, however, policemen have resorted to arming themselves with Pos machines at checkpoints, demanding that motorists make ATM card payments directly into their accounts. In one recently shot video, one passenger was heard telling the police officer using the machine to take it easy with his ATM card to avoid damaging it.
Another passenger was overheard insisting that he would never hand over his ATM to the officer, saying he knows his rights. He argued that he has not seen a police officer in Nigeria demanding an ATM card from civilians.
He said: “I will not give you my ATM and there is nothing on earth that would make me hand it over to you. I haven’t seen a police officer demanding ATM from people.”
Inspector-general of police Mohammed Adamu, has asked Nigerians to assist in the investigation that could help in unravelling the authenticity of the video. He added that the NPF has launched an investigation into the incident and once the culprits were found, they will face disciplinary action.
Mr Adamu said: “The Nigerian Police has commenced investigations to unravel the authenticity of the video, location of incident and identity of persons captured in the viral video where some persons in police uniform were captured, allegedly with POS machine and demanding ATM cards. We condemn all acts of corruption by public servants, particularly police officers and are committed to bringing to book any officer found wanting in this regard.
“Members of the public with relevant information that could assist police investigators are enjoined to kindly contact the NPF or furnish same via any of our confidential channels such as firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Of late, cases of officers assaulting and maltreating civilians have made headlines in all the major Nigerian newspapers. Some have been videoed, photographed and filmed while collecting bribes from motorists.