The failed portion on Ubulu-Uku/Issele-Uku road in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State has been converted to an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) of some sorts where policemen allegedly extort money from the road users.
While carrying out the illegal operation, the said police officers who usually conceal their name tag and numbers and perch by the cool shade of a bunch of bamboo trees from where to stop road users particularly motorists at gunpoint.
Locals in the area claimed that they are now very scared of using the road, lamenting however that there was no alternative route to their destinations.
A community leader in the area and the Ogwashi-Uku branch chairman of Ubulu-Uku Developed Union, Mr. Nwannebuife Memeh narrated his ordeal in the hands of the police officers, alleging that the officers planted a substance suspected to be hard drugs on him because of his refusal to part with money.
He stated that he became a victim when one of the officers “noticed I was carrying a bag of Nigeria rice, a carton of tomatoes and vegetable oil. He insisted I should park and before I knew what happened he came up with a tablet and asked me for the prescription.
“When I told him it was not in the car, he alleged that it was a hard drug and I was forced to enter their car at gun point and wait while they were busy making collections of cash ranging from N2,000 to N5,000 while bullying and threatening their victims.
“I was finally commanded to drive my car along when their pockets were fully loaded and was taken through Ubulu-Uku/Obior road to the new police station at Owerre-Olubor where I was asked to pull my clothes to enter their cell if I fail to give them the sum of N20,000.”
He alleged further that the same officer searched him “and saw some money in my bag insisted I must pay. I saw the danger of possible attack by the brutish and unfriendly police and after much ado, I was granted freedom after forcing me to part with N5,000.”
The community urged the state Commissioner of Police to call his men to order, insisting that they were complementing the efforts of the local vigilante with the alleged acts of extortion.
Contacted, the state Commission of Police, Mr. Adeyinka Adeleke told our correspondent that he was in touch with Mr. Memeh, adding that the matter will be investigated with a view to bringing the erring officers to book.