A 23-year-old undergraduate student undergoing his industrial training has alleged that he was harassed and threatened by three police officers stationed at Iyana Oworo area of Lagos, who forced him to convert half of his cryptocurrency and collected N250,000 from him.
According to FIJ, The alleged victim who asked to not be named was in a cab heading to Lekki on Friday when police officers in blue black camouflage ordered the driver to stop when they looked into the vehicle and saw him.
They asked for my name, where I work and I told them. Then they asked me to open my phone which I did. One of them went through my notes and my apps, including Whatsapp, which was locked, but they forced me to use my face ID to open it,” the victim said
“They went through my Whatsapp and went to search for Cashapp and other keywords. So when they didn’t find anything on me, one said I should open my blockchain. I was reluctant so I kept on trying fake password so that it would lock but it didn’t.”
When his cryptocurrency app eventually opened, the policemen mocked him for having $1,200 worth of coin and ordered him to give them half of it or he would be taken to the police station and everything would be taken from him.
“I initially resisted, but they began collecting everything from me, such as my wristwatch, laptop and bag. They insisted that I should convert $600 (about N250,000) of crypto to them. Even when I told them that my ATM card was bad, they told a bike man to take me to a Point of Sale agent,” he said.
FIJ reports that the police officers successfully extorted him and threatened that if he made a fake fund transfer, they would find him.
Although he does not know the names of the policemen who extorted him, as they were on mufti, or the police station they came from, activists are helping him get justice.
“As all of this happened what was in my mind was for them not to shoot me or manhandle me. But it was obvious that they had been doing this. I could see as they were telling some other cars to park too,” the alleged victim said.
“I have not reported officially to the police because I didn’t know I could report to the same police that threatened my life.”
Muyiwa Adejobi, the Public Relations Officer of the Lagos Police Command while reacting said except in the course of investigation no policeman on road could randomly check peoples’ phones.
“The idea of policemen on the road to stop and search checking peoples phones on the road is illegal and highly unprofessional,” Adejobi said.