A police officer has been accused of allegedly forcefully collecting N120,000 from a woman suspected to have violated the COVID-19 lockdown order in the Delta State.
The Delta State governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, had imposed a total lockdown across the state since April 1 amid four recorded positive cases of COVID-19 including one fatality.
Since the lockdown started, too, there have been cases of extortion, brutality and killing of innocent citizens of the state levelled against security forces, especially the Nigeria Police who were largely empowered to enforce the lockdown.
It was gathered that the erring police Inspector, simply identified as Inspector Okosun, is attached to the Quick Response Unit of the Delta State Police Command.
He allegedly extorted N120,000 from one Mrs Nwabuabo Obiajulu on Friday, April 17 at about 12noon at Asagba Police Station near Ogwashi-Uku in Delta.
Mrs Obiajulu told newsmen that she had sent her son, Utulu Chukwuweiki, with her ash colour Lexus Ex300 with registration, number ABJ306JY to buy premium motor spirit (petrol) from a filling station to power their generating set.
Chukwuweiki was on his way to deliver the errand when a team of the police patrol team, led by Mr Okosun in a blue Toyota Hilux and a Range Rover, blocked him at NEPA junction.
Unsure of the identity of his assailants, whom she said were not in uniform, the young man manoeuvred his way out of the junction while the occupants of the Hilux and the Rang Rover gave him a hot chase.
Mrs Obiajulu further narrated that while being pursued, her son speedily drove into safety at Ogwa Spot at Ikeleke Quarters in Ogwashi-Uku.
But the policemen, on sighting the vehicle in the compound, allegedly shot twice at the direction, dashed into the quarters in a rage and attempted to forcefully jack up and tow the vehicle away.
The woman, said having ensured her son was safe, approached the policemen and began to plead with than before she was arrested with the Lexus Ex300 and driven to Asagba Police Station.
According to Mrs Obiajulu, the offence for which she was arrested and “charged” was that her son broke the lockdown order of the state government of which she was asked to cough up N300,000 for bail.
She added that the police team, led by Inspector Okosun, after much pleas, eventually collected N120,000 before she was let off the hook.
When asked the mode of payment, the victim said she made a transfer to another arrested boy’s bank account at the police station who then used POS to cash the money and gave it to Inspector Okosun.
It will, however, be recalled that in his statewide broadcast on April 14 to extend the lockdown, Governor Okowa had directed the Commissioner of Police, Delta State Command, Mr Hafiz Mohammed Inuwa, to ensure strict enforcement of the extended lockdown.
Reacting to the allegation, Commissioner of Police, Delta State Police Command, Mr Muhammed Inuwa, promised to investigate and flush out such bag eggs in his command.
CP Inuwa, who was contacted via a text message because his line was busy, said; “Good afternoon. Honestly, I am just hearing about it. But pls could you help by bringing her and her son to my office by 2:00 Pm so that I can immediately act on the matter?
“I will be very happy to see you all so that I can deal decisively with such bad eggs within our midst, pls.”