A Netherland-based Nigerian IT expert, simply identified as Femi has alleged that he was extorted by men of the Nigerian police for being with a laptop.
According to Femi who took to Twitter to recount the incident he was stopped by the policemen while on the way to the airport to catch a flight, after several searches they insisted he followed them to the station for carrying two laptops.
Giving a detailed account of what transpired he wrote,
“Earlier today, officers of @PoliceNG robbed me of 100k in the presence of my wife. My only crime was having my official laptop with me. They couldn’t pin any crime on me so they insisted I follow them to station or pay 500k. I was running late for my flight, so I had to be diplomatic with them. We had a lot of back and forth and I finally had to settle for 100k (payment for being a Nigerian). I know nothing will be done, but I’m just putting my story out here for people to know our fight is far from over.
I tweeted this just before my flight took off, so I didn’t see the replies until now that I’m home. A few people have reached out to me about the issue and I will reply once I settle in. I appreciate the support from everyone
For the sake of transparency, I will drop details about the event including payment methods and receipts. I also want to categorically state that I was very cooperative and engaging. My communication was totally aimed at de-escalation.
I’ve seen comments insinuating that I tweeted half truth, some are blaming me for paying while others think I had a skeleton in my cupboard. Omo mo phor o. This is how typical Nigerians think: We choose to blame victims of unfortunate situations rather than give them justice.
First of all, I’m a software engineer previously with @Andela and now with @BrightComputing in Netherlands. I AM NOT A YAHOO BOY AND I WILL NEVER BE ONE. I only came home for Christmas and was returning to my base and I know better than to let Nigerian police delay me.
When the police stopped us at 7/8 bus top, they first accused my wife and I of not wearing nose masks. Indeed we didn’t, but that was only because we were in a rush. I explained this and even showed them a pack of masks and a bottle of sanitizer.
They proceeded to check my luggage, then asked what I was doing with two laptops. I explained that one was my personal computer and the other was official. They demanded to see my company id, and I further explained my company does not issue id since it’s almost irrelevant.
However, I showed them my NL residential permit as a proof that I live and work over there. It was at this point that they stopped talking and got into the Bolt ride with me. Then two others got into their rickety korope bus and we followed.
After about 300m, we drove into a street opposite Ajao Estate junction and drove for about 150m. All while asking me to pay 500k. I told them I needed to catch a flight but my words fell on deaf ears. They kept yelling and at a point stopped my ride and asked me to get in their bus. I knew getting in the bus would fuck me up – on a good day, I drag with police but I didn’t have the luxury of time – so I had to find a solution quick.
We started negotiating my release. I went as low as 50k but they would rather bundle me in their bus than take a measly 50k. After we agreed on 100, they took me on a bike me to an access bank ATM – a few meters from where we parked – where I withdrew 80k. Because I had earlier made some withdrawals, I couldn’t go pass 80k, so I was taken to a Paga shop – also within the axis – where I withdrew the last 20,400 (400 being the charge for paga transaction). Now that they had the money, they started acting all nice and brotherly. One even asked for my complementary card, while another jokingly remarked “Guy, your wife dey panick o”
I cannot identify these officers by name, neither can I identify their vehicle (a silly mistake on my part), however, I recognize the faces of the two that really engaged me. This is my submission.”
“They asked what I was doing with two laptops” – Nigerian IT expert recounts how police allegedly extorted him after seeing him with a laptop