New reports have it that ALBON (Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria) has called the attention of Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police to an alarming increase of harassment and extortion by policemen on highways across Nigeria.
The association particularly accused that security agents positioned at checkpoints on Nigerian highways are currently extorting as much as ₦2,000 and even up to ₦10,000 from its members despite the bus drivers’ compliance with the given COVID-19 transport guidelines.
Luxury bus operators in Nigeria reports to IG of police that security officers are extorting its members on Nigeria highways
According to the latest press reports, Chief Joseph Ejiofor – the Chairman of ALBON’s national task force signed a recent petition sent by the association of Nigerian luxury bus operators to the IG of police demanding the removal of several roadblocks on Nigerian highways where security agents usually extort its members. The bus operators claim that they already lost a huge amount of money during the period of inter-state lockdown and are currently just getting back on their feet but extortion by security agents is making life even harder.
Below is a brief highlight of some key points written in the ALBON petition sent to the IG of police;
- Commercial Luxury buses, Toyota Coaster buses, Hummer buses, Sienna buses, and even saloon cars are all complying with the Federal Government’s COVID-19 transport guideline which imposes a drastic reduction in maximum carriage capacity. So, it means they are currently striving to break even not to talk of making profits – yet, policemen on highways still demand between ₦2,000 – ₦10,000 at checkpoints from bus drivers.
- The association claims that there are currently up to 25 of such checkpoints between Port Harcourt and Kano alone as of today which is causing excessive frustration for its members.
- The association quoted a highly painful recent case of a bus driver who security agents allegedly held captive along Benin/Okada axis of Lagos road. The association claims that security officers tied the driver’s hands and legs with rope, discharged his passengers, and had his vehicle impounded just because he failed to respond to their “extortion” demands.
Extortion by the Nigerian police has been a serious issue for many years now, below is a press report video from 2 years back which exposed the moment an officer was “caught in the act”:
Nigerian Police Officer Rejects Bribe Because It Was Too "Small"