“You are so lucky the youth of this community are not here, they would have dealt with you dreadfully.” These are the words of an extortionate police officer when our driver, Samuel Danladi (not real name), refused to be extorted.
WikkiTimes’ reporter was aboard a commercial vehicle bound for Taraba State. The trip had been uneventful until an encounter with some police officials stationed a few meters away from Kwafara village on Numan Road in Adamawa State. They would waste two hours of their time.
Danladi chose to speed away to avoid bribery, but the potholed road disappointed him. Soon a police officer — armed to the teeth — appeared before him. “Reverse!” the officer screamed in Hausa. “I said you should go back.” The driver was not surprised. He reversed and parked as instructed.
Still irritated, the officer continued: “Who are you and what does that suppose to mean? In fact, just because of your age I would have flogged you. So you wanted to kill me?”
‘Let’s Go To The Station, And Then To The Court’
The drama seemed to be serious as passengers’ luggage was offloaded from the vehicle. “Get another car for your passengers,” the officer instructed. “You are not going anywhere. Let’s go to the station, and then to court.”
Brazenly, the rogue officer said: “Look at us very well. We are not taking command from Jalingo here, we are officers from the national.”
Pleas by passengers to calm the officer were greeted by resentment. “To hell unto anyone who requests that I should be patient,” he yelled. “You are so lucky the youth of this community are not here, they would have dealt with you dreadfully.”
His colleague, who is busy extorting other motorists, had called in a senior colleague.
“Hello, sir! There is a problem. There is a driver who attempted to forcefully pass. We stopped him here and… okay, okay,” he said as hung up the phone.
Within minutes, the senior officer in mufti and another (in uniform) arrived on the scene. Unfortunately, their arrival did not help the situation.
‘Give Him Money, He is Angry’ — Senior Officer
“You see, the only solution is to give him something (money) because he is so angry,” the senior officer decreed. This did not sit well with the passengers whose time had been wasted already.
Some of the passengers insist that the matter be settled in court as earlier threatened by the enraged officer. But the senior officer was able to calm their nerves.
Danladi would eventually proceed with the ride after greasing their (the officers’) palms with N1,000.
Security check-points between Taraba and Adamawa States are indeed multifarious. And at each point, a driver has to thrust money into the hand of the extortionate officers — if he does not want his time wasted.
WikkiTimes gathered that the size of a vehicle determines how much its driver would pay. According to Danladi, truck drivers pay N1,000, while small vehicles are charged N100. But the formula changes “once it is 10 pm.”
“By that time, officers in Gombe check-points collect N500 per small vehicle and N2000 for a truck,” he revealed.
Muyiwa Adejobi, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Abuja, was not available for comments. He did not respond to calls. A text sent to him had not received a response as of press time.