A Nigerian man who was allegedly arrested and extorted by policemen for using Google Map on his phone while driving on Lagos road has taken to social media to cry out for help.
The man narrated the story of how he was arrested around Ojota area of Lagos via his Twitter handle @Viva_jc.
He alleged that he was on his way to the office and was trying to reach out for his ID card and a calculator in his car when he was accosted by one of the police officers who claimed he had flouted the traffic law by using a phone while driving.
He said while he was still explaining himself to the officer standing in front of his car, his two other colleagues joined him and jumped into his car, asked him to sit at the back as they drove him around Lagos negotiating his bail from N120,000 to N45,000.
The man alleged that the officers drove him to an ATM point where he withdrew N45,000 and gave it to them before he was released.
He cried out to Nigerians and human rights advocates on social media to help him get justice.
“I was harassed by some policemen on my way to work this morning at Ojota around 08:10. I was in traffic. I had reached for my id card and calculator(needed at work) from the armrest of my car only for this unarmed policeman to jump in front of my car claiming that I was using the phone whilst driving. Of course, I argued with him showing him the stuffs I had reached for but he kept shouting.
“My reporting time was 9am today and I didnt want to get there late, so I rolled down and kept talking to him only for his other colleagues (2 in uniform and 1 not in uniform) to also join in the whole mess.
“The two guys in uniform got my keys and sat in front whilst the other two asked me to go to the back for us to go to the station. I was sandwiched in between the two not in uniform. Inside the car, they saw my phone,
“I was using google map to get the best route to work and one of them kept saying its an offense to use google map whilst driving.
“These policemen said they were going to charge me N120,000 for “my offense”. I had to resort to begging them eventually when I noticed that arguing with them wasnt going to lead me anywhere and I didnt want to get late to work.
“One of them asked for my license, he took a picture of it on his phone and he started “negotiating” on how much they would collect whilst they were driving me around feigning that they were taking me to the station.
“Throughout the “negotiation” process, they took turns shouting at me whilst also playing good cop bad cop in their mind. When they discovered I needed to get to work ASAP, they kept saying the best they could do was to collect N50,000.
“After several pleas, the “good cop” said they would do N45,000 last. By this time we had reached Maryland and turned back (opposite direction of my office which I had told them).
“At the end of the whole “negotiation” , they took me back to Maryland and parked by the roadside for me to go and withdraw money at Wema bank ATM( they had asked for the money to be withdrawn at the ATM).
“One of them went with me whilst the other 3 stayed back in the car. I was able to get a short video of the 2 guys that sat in the front whilst getting my car back. These policemen collected my hard earned N45,000 for no reason and I still got late to work! This is injustice.”
See his tweet: