- By Rinu Oduala @RinuSavvy
Police extortion and Police brutality have been a trend in Nigeria, though a global issue, but in Nigeria, the issue keeps on getting worse everyday. This has led to the last year, #ENDSARS protest, which swept the country and was high jacked by hoodlums on 21st of October 2020.
While the protests lasted and was put to a halt after the protesters were allegedly shot at by the Nigerian army who claimed to have shot in the air to disperse protesters at Lekki Toll Gate.
A year after the protest, SARS (a police unit known as “Special Anti-Robbery Squad) was disbanded, however, the police extortion and brutality still continues.
One of the voices behind the protests, Rinu Oduala, an activist has dished out 15 Tips to avoid being extorted by the Nigerian Police. In a twitter thread, she called on Nigerians to be on guard, especially as Christmas Holiday is fast approaching.
The list contains names of Human Rights Activists, names of notorious Police units that specialize in extortion and brutality. She hinted that while putting the general public on guard, it’s important to note that the tips is for innocent Nigerian citizens and not for criminals.
15 Tips To Avoid Being Extorted By Nigerian Police
It’s important not to be scared as they feed on your fear, naivety & at times, ignorance of human rights.
1. Get a 2nd phone that will ALWAYS stay home. Put all your bank/crypto apps in it & only go out with the money you need.
2. If you smoke, don’t even take your lighter etc out.
3. Ask for their ID first whenever they stop you, take note of names and ID number (in case they end up extorting you).
4. Whenever they ask to search you, make sure they don’t have anything incriminating on them too
5. They will threaten you, to frame, to shoot, to kill. They will force you to write incriminating statements. Interact them calmly & confidently. Let them know you are not a criminal & they cannot intimidate you.
6. They will bargain extortion amounts starting from 10 million naira. They know you have the money, or you can call friends/family to pay. Never give in. Ask them to take you to the station so you can call your lawyer.
7. When they take you to the station, they may not book you in, as they are doing it unlawfully. They have an unofficial back station where they threaten, beat, torture, harass people there until they give in to extortion.
8. They can frame you up on all sorts. They can detain you for hours. Make sure you still face all this confidently & be aware of what’s going on.
- Note: It’s an extortion racket. Many of their superiors know about this as well, and that’s why the criminality is so rampant.
If you have a phone, dreads, tattoos, young, move around with friends, car, have “client, funds, crypto, wallet” etc in your chats, you are a target.
- Note: The Nigerian Police now collects cryptocurrency, USDT, BNB, BTC, e-naira, etc. They are advanced arm robbers.
- They work with thugs & POS agents too. You can be extorted in every possible way.
Pro-tip: Make sure you document whatever is happening/happened in anyway you can. It is important to document and keep documenting.
– Use Videos, pictures, text format.
– Date, Who, What, Where, How, Current Status.
– This is the proper way to document.
It is important you don’t just say “I have been arrested by the Nigerian Police or Police just extorted me”. Context is important. Make sure you are giving full information so people can know how to help you.
- Date, Who, Where, What, How, Status. This is extremely important.
9. You can be killed or tortured by these criminal police officers. It’s not a joke out there. They will do anything to get your money just like armed robbers.
They can drive you around town for hours, drive you into the bush, secluded places, just to extort you.
10. Make sure you know the station they come from or zone so that will help us in tracking them if you still end up being extorted.
11. Don’t let them blackmail you, rough handle or shout at you. Take a stance immediately you see them. They are not there to joke.
12. Send a text to loved ones, friends, a lawyer etc immediately before they take your phone (even if they are not allowed to).
13. Send a tweet out. Tweets works faster than IG or Facebook posts.
14. Have contacts of human rights defenders e.g Segalink, Yemie Fash, Jack, Harrison, Ridwan @HarrisonBbi18 @yemiefash @Letter_to_Jack @Ridwanullahii @AbdulMahmud01, etc.
15. Know Human Rights organizations/platforms like @HeadfortF @citizen_gavel @HubNGR etc.
- Fill this online form regarding police brutality/extortion.
However, in a case that you’ve been grabbed by the notoriuos officers, it’s important to make videos or take pictures safely, this can help the Human Rights Activists to solve your case.
But make sure you do it safely. Key word is “safely.”
If you still end up being extorted, the mentioned activists will try all possible means to get your money back.
So stay calm & contact resources above that can help.
Meanwhile, there are also human rights committees that defend the rights of young people, everyone is free to join as a lawyer or partner with the firm if you can, check them out on twitter.com/hubngr.
Names of Notorious Police Units that now harass/extort
1. “The Nigerian Police Force (IRT)
2. ”Anti Cultism Squad (ACS)
3. “IGP special unit
4. “Rapid Response Squad (RRS)
5. “Anti Kidnapping Squad (AKS)
And many more…
Notorious Police extortion points in Nigeria you should be aware of
1. Ojota Underbridge, Abiola Garden, Ogudu (Armed robbers in uniform)
2. First Gate, Apple Junction, Alakija, Ago Palace Way, Festac
3. Abraham Adesanya
4. Ahmadu Bello Way
5. Bode Thomas
6. Ikoyi Link Bridge
7. Iba Express – LASU Road, Iyana Iba – Festac
8. Adeniji Adele, Lagos Island
9. Sango Otta, Meiran, Ipaja (these ones are criminals)
10. Agric, Igbogbo, Itamaga, Ikorodu
11. Yaba axis.
12. Ikeja Ogba axis
13. Ijeshatedo – Badore axis.
14. Lagos – Ibadan Expressway
15. Lekki Conservation – Oniru.
Notorious police stations known for extortion
1. Area E, Festac
2. Ogudu Police Station
3. Area F, Panti
4. Ayobo Police Station
5. Pedro, Police Station, Bariga etc
1. Onikolobo-Panseke-Oluwo, Oke-Ilewo, Kuto, Abeokuta
3. Ijebu Ode
4. Oyo- Ibadan Express way
5. Mowe – Ibafo
6. Ojokoro etc
1. Iyanganku Police Station, Ibadan
2. Apata, Ibadan
3. Apete, Ido
4. Ibadan North
5. Oluyole etc
1. Ado Ekiti
3. Tanke, Alao Farm, Ilorin
4. Challenge Roundabout
5. Ilorin Express Road etc
1. Ikire, Osun
2. Aregbe, Osogbo
1. Ovia North East, Benin
1. Futa Ilaramokin Rd
2. Isinigbo Ikere Ado Rd
4. Akure Township
5. Ondo Town
6. Ore Ijebuode Rd etc
2. Ukwani etc
- Note, if you are ever extorted or harassed by the police in Delta state, call Harrison Gwamnishu – 09068773333 immediately.
1. Obirikwe/Ozuoba, PH
2. Sansu junction, Odili Rd
3. Opp. Ogbelu market, Ogelu/Ogbogoro Rd
4. Mile 1 flyover-Aba Rd
5. UTC Juctn
6. No 1 harbour Rd
7. Olu Obasanjo Rd/NAF Estate.
10. Chinda Rd by Ewofe
Police extortion points in Rivers, PortHarcourt
11. Rumuokoro Roundabout
13. Peter Odili road
14. Mile one
15. Mile three
- Once you approach these places, know what you are about to get into and take precautions
Police extortion points in Bayelsa State
1. Igbogene roundabout through welcome to Bayelsa.
2. Kaiama (Before Odi Junction) East/West road.
3. Isaac Boro Expressway.
4. Imiringi/Ogbia road
5. About 20 stops at the East West road before and after Zarama market.
The Nigerian Police extorts partly on their success/threats to frame you up.
– they can plant weed/cocaine on you.
– force you to write incriminating statements.
– threaten to kïll you & say you are a kïller herdsmen/armed robber.
– call your parents to claim you are into fraud.
- Note: Make sure in every way you get names and where the police officers came from.
This is very important as if you get extorted by unknown police men, there is almost nothing that can be done (and they know). Get names of the officers involved, Police stations, rank, ID no etc.
They will tell you if you post on social media e.g. Twitter, they will come after you. They can take your documents, phone etc for days to prevent you from posting.
Just know if you don’t post or expose them, they will keep you extorting you & one day, they wïll kïll you.