A woman has narrated how policemen in the Oji River Local Government Area of Enugu State extorted N200,000 from her over her possession of pepper spray.
Speaking with SaharaReporters, the lady said she was travelling to Warri, Delta State, with her fiancé when the incident happened.
She claimed their commercial bus was stopped along the Benin/Asaba Expressway by a team of policemen along Orji River Road.
“It was around Oji River side that the police stopped our bus (Agofore bus) heading to Warri, they asked everyone to come down from the bus as they wanted to do thorough search. We all obliged and came down. Unfortunately I and my fiancé were at the front row just behind the bus driver.
“So, they started searching our bags, the policemen opened it, saw my belongings in my backpack. It was then one of them saw the pepper spray and opened it. He started questioning my fiancé because he was the one closer to the bag, it was then I told them that it was mine and not his, they asked me to come down from the bus and requested I bring down every other of my belongings so they can search.
“I told them that I had been traveling with it to the airport, passed security checkpoints and no one questioned me about it. They said I should have reported it to the police and not taking laws into my hands or better still, I should go and hire police escorts since I loved protection; they twisted the whole story and started mocking me.”
She added that she was treated like a criminal and asked to pay N400,000.
“One of them threatened to spray it on my face so I could see how dangerous it was. I was pushed into the vehicle that I would go and write a statement at the police station. My fiancé started pleading with them but instead they told him to settle them otherwise he would join me to the station and that by then.
“It was on a Friday; they told us to pay N400,000 so they could drop the charges. They even accused us of being part of the Indigenous People of Biafra group but my fiancé said he did not have N400,000. He went on his knees begging them because by then, I was already crying.
“That was how they drove us in their car to somewhere very far from their check point. While going, they started bargaining price with my fiancé, he wanted to transfer to them but they said he would pay them in cash. So we kept driving until they stopped at a POS store and asked him to go get the money while I stayed in the car with them. By then, they brought the money down from N400,000 to N200,000 after much pleading from me and my fiancé.
“Finally they stopped us along that Oji River bad road and asked us where we were travelling to, we told them Warri; then they asked us to take a bus there to Awka, from there we would find another bus going to Warri. Then, they all left smiling and excited that they had made a big catch for that day.”