Policemen who abducted and forced me to pay them N100,000, said they would kill me, nobody would know my whereabouts – Salesman
A salesman, Joshua Oghenekevwe, narrates his ordeal in the hands of policemen
Why were you trending on social media last week?
I am a sales coordinator with Rifugio Communications Limited, a partner of Samsung. I have been working with them since July last year and I am based in Ajah, Lagos State. My older brother was getting married in Warri so I took some days off work and embarked on my journey on October 1, 2020. I boarded a Muyi Line Bus at Ajah and we were going through Epe. On getting to Epe, we met a police roadblock. Some policemen wearing shirts bearing AKS asked me to come down from the vehicle alongside some others. I alighted and they asked for my phones. I gave them my phones and they asked me to go to their bus. They asked me to take my bag. I left one bag on the bus and then carried the other one. They searched my bag and then checked through my office phone. Then, they asked me to enter the password of my personal phone which I did. They started going through my chats and stumbled on a particular chat I had with a church member who is into different kinds of investments. He asked if I could bring clients that would invest with him. I suggested someone and that was the conversation they saw and they said I am intro fraud. They said I should read out the chat which I did. They said I am into fraud. They said I should enter their vehicle and pay N900,000. I disagreed because I had not done anything wrong. They said I was arguing with them and if they locked me up, I would be missing for two weeks and nobody would know where I was. They said they would knock me out and if I died, nobody would know about it. I kept asking what I had done but they refused to answer.
What happened next?
The commercial bus which was supposed to take me to Warri, drove away with my luggage, leaving me behind.
How much did you pay to the commercial bus?
I paid N7,000 before boarding.
Were you the only passenger affected?
No. We were three that were forced down from the bus. We were all young guys and there was no female among us. We were all within the same age range. I am 24.
Do you use an Iphone?
No, I use a Samsung phone. The company I work with is affiliated with Samsung.
Were you on dreadlocks?
No, I am on low cut. I work in a corporate environment.
How many policemen were they?
They were initially three but later increased to five. They were all in uniform.
Did you get their names?
They had no name tags on their uniforms. They also refused to use their real names. They used nicknames like scorpion etc.
So, what did you do after your bus had left?
I was handcuffed with another young guy. We were made to pass through bushy paths. I even had bruises on my left arm because the handcuffs were very tight. I complained several times but the policemen ignored me. I was carrying one bag. They took me to what looked like an abandoned police station known as Eredo Police Station. They kept on telling me that they would report me to the EFCC and once EFCC got involved, I would have to pay bail of N5m and the EFCC would give them a commission of N2.5m. I tried to make a telephone call but they prevented me from doing so. I said I had up to N100, 000 in my account. I had just been paid my salary the previous day which was September 30. I told them that I was a salary earner and the money was my salary but they refused to listen. I told them that my ATM was not connected to my salary account and asked them to let me do an electronic transfer to their account instead. They refused and insisted on cash. So, they led me to a POS machine and then returned my phone to me so that I could make a transfer to an account and then withdraw the money myself. It was while I was with my phone that I was able to take a few photographs and then uploaded them on Twitter.
After you transferred N100, 000 did they take you back to the spot where you were initially arrested?
No, they just told me to leave. I had to take a bus to the spot where they arrested me and then a second bus to Ijebu Ode, a third bus to Ore and then another one to Warri. I got to Warri at 10am despite the fact that I left home around 5am.
Do you remember the exact spot you were arrested?
That was my first time passing through Epe so I can’t remember the spot. I know I was arrested around 10.30am. I know that the policemen are attached to Lagos State.
What of the other guys that were arrested along with you?
They also settled the police but we parted ways. I don’t know how much they paid the police.
Have the police reached out to you since your viral post?
Yes, they have. Different people reached out to me including rapper, Ruggedman, and Segalink. I received a phone call from the Force Headquarters, Abuja. The officer gave me a phone number. I also received a call from the DPO of that station. He said the men were not under him but he had contacted them and asked when I would be back in Lagos. I told him Monday and he said I should please come back so that they could fix the issue.
So, you will be going back to Epe from work on Monday?
I have spent a lot on transportation already. I spent an initial N7,000 on transportation and then had to take different buses to Warri. Now, they want me to return to Epe on Monday. What did I do to deserve all this? I was seriously shocked by how the police treated me.
Would you describe your case as abduction?
It was abduction because we were moving through bush paths and they said they would lock me up and no one would know where I was for two weeks. Everything I did was under duress. So, yes, it was abduction.