James Ojo, Abuja
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arrested 42 highway extortionists, made up of 37 officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and their accomplices.
The ICPC spokesperson, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, in a statement, said the arrest was made possible by a team of undercover agents drawn from the ICPC, FRSC and the Department of State Services (DSS).
She said the anti graft agency was contacted by the management of the FRSC after it received several petitions alleging that its personnel were extorting money from motorists on Nigerian highways.
In the sting operation carried out simultaneously in the six geo political zones, the other five persons arrested, apart from the FRSC officials, were said to be agents of the corps officials.
According to her, the team struck on Friday, August16, 2019, following the receipt of a complaint from the management of the Corps about massive extortion of money from motorists on the highways by its patrol teams.
“The FRSC management had, in the complaints to the Commission, observed that incidents of extortion were rife in the six states of Kaduna, Bauchi, Abia, Rivers, Kogi and Ogun.
“Based on this, the ICPC swung into action and identified the notorious spots in each of the aforementioned states to include Aba in Abia State; Ahoada, Ajaokuta, Itori, Torro and Gwantu in Rivers, Kogi, Ogun, Bauchi and Kaduna States respectively.
“Thirteen FRSC officials and two civilians were arrested in Aba in the South East, while 24 other FRSC officials and three civilians were arrested from various spots on roads spread across the other geo-political zones.
She alleged that various sums of money were found on the arrested corps officials during the sting operations before they were taken into ICPC custody.
However, she noted that all the officials arrested and three civilian accomplices have been granted administrative bail, and would be prosecuted by the commission at the conclusion of investigations.