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Police brutality

SWAT officers extort N100,000 from Abuja artiste, police order probe

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An Abuja-based music artiste, Eche Abraham, aka Soundboi, has accused personnel of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team of abduction and assault.

He alleged that the cops also extorted N100,000 from him.

It was gathered that the artiste was travelling to Kogi State for an event on Sunday when the bus conveying him was stopped by the policemen.

According to him, he was ordered by the SWAT officials to disembark from the bus. While the cops took him away, they reportedly instructed the bus driver to continue with his journey.

Narrating his ordeal, Abraham said, “On Sunday, March 13, I had a programme at Okene, Kogi State. So, I had to travel all the way from Abuja to Okene. On getting to the town of Okene at the Federal College of Education, our vehicle was overtaken by officials of SWAT (formerly known as Special Anti-Robbery Sqaud).

“Immediately, I was asked to come down from the vehicle and they asked me to get inside their navy blue Hilux vehicle with no plate number, without me committing any offence. I refused and immediately, one of them slapped me and forced me into their vehicle.

“They told my driver to go without me. They collected my phone from me and took me to an isolated area; that should be Nollywood at Nagazi. They kept me there while waiting for one of their colleagues.

“They refused to give me my phone. They also refused to take me to a police station. After the officer came, they made me open my phone forcefully and he went through it. He saw my Binance coin wallet; they threatened to take me to their headquarters if I did not give them money.”

He further alleged that the policemen demanded N100,000 to free him, adding that he had only N38,000 in his account.

Abraham said, “Later, the guy who invited me for his birthday called and I explained to him. He sent N20,000 to what I had. But they insisted that they were taking N100,000 last.

“I called a few friends to explain to them; my phone was in the hand of one of the officers without allowing me to take calls of my people. But I could take a call from anyone who wanted to give me money to complete their demand.

“They took me to a bush after Tafari Hotel going towards Kabba. It was all bushy and there was an unfinished filling station there too. They did a video of me and forcefully told me to say words I never wanted to say, like confessing that I was a fraudster. I had no option; it was just me and them in the middle of a silent place in the bushes of Kabba Road; I had to do what they wanted.”

Afterwards, he claimed he was taken to a point-of-sale shop for withdrawal.

“The first one had no money up to N100,000, so we left there and they took me to Inorere Junction, where they took me to another PoS and I made a withdrawal of N100,000 with the charges of 1,000,” he added.

The Police Public Relations Officer, William Aya, said the FCT Commissioner of Police, Sunday Babaji, had ordered an investigation into the incident.

He said, “I can confirm to you that the matter was reported at our Okene division. The Commissioner of Police has directed an investigation into the matter to know what actually transpired and bring the culprits to book.”

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