An architect, Arc Edwardz, has narrated how police officers suspected to be men of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad extorted N103,000.00 from him in Okada, along the Benin-Ore Expressway, Edo State.
In a statement posted to his Facebook page, Arc Edwardz, the architect said the policemen, who introduced themselves to him as anti-crime special force, flagged down his car while he was travelling to Benin City from Lagos, and took him off the highway to a secluded place where they extorted the money from him.
Narrating his ordeal, Edwardz said he respectfully stepped out of his car and commended the officers for their efforts in fighting crime unknown to him that he was “their next target for extortion.”
He said he was threatened and forced to unlock his phone with his fingerprint. He alleged that the policemen made him open his banking app and demanded that he should give them some money.
Edwardz also alleged that the cops had with them a young boy with a Point of Sale machine, and it was through the PoS that the officers collected the money.
The statement read, “Few days ago, on my way to Benin, I was actually coming from Lagos when I encountered some police personnel popularly known as SARS at the Okada axis (area) of the Benin-Ore Expressway.
“They stopped my car and asked me to come down. Respectfully, I came down as they introduced themselves to me as anti-crime special force. I appreciated them for their positions (efforts) to check out for crimes on the highway, not knowing I was their next target for extortion.
“They actually took me off the express road and took me to a shaded place where they forcefully collected my phone and asked me to open (unlock it) with my fingerprint. I forcefully did after I was being threatened because I (had) told them they had no right to my phone that it was against my right as a citizen.
“They checked my phone, God knows what they were looking for, the next thing I heard was (that) I should put the password to my bank app. I did it under duress so they told me I was going to give them some money from my account. I thought it was all (a) joke.
“There (was) a standby PoS boy that stayed with them there. The boy brought his PoS (machine) as they forcefully debited me N100,000 (One hundred thousand naira). As if that was not enough, the PoS guy added his charges, which was N3,000, making (a total of) N103,000 as seen n the picture.
“The picture above is the picture of the SARS guy (officer) as he was searching my phone unknowing to him that he had taken a shot of himself with my phone.
“I thought this whole thing had stopped.”
The PUNCH reported that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force was disbanded in October 2020 following days of online and offline protests against the brutality and extra-judicial killings by its officers nationwide. The protest, which was hash-tagged #EndSARS, attracted a global outrage against the police squad and calls for its disbandment.