From Osakhare Erese Asaba
Travellers on the Asaba/Onitsha expressway have condemned alleged extortion of motorists by security men.
Our correspondent who travelled on the road during the week said the activities of security men and their alleged extortion of money from drivers caused a lot of traffic gridlock on the road by the Onitsha head bridge.
One of the respondents who spoke with expressed grievance at the waste of time by drivers and passengers allegedly as a result of the security men carrying out checks on vehicles.
Some of the drivers, who spoke to our reporter alleged that the extortion of motorists by the security men was a daily routine on the road and they do it with impunity.
While lamenting the situation, the drivers said, the extortion had led to increase in fares and road accidents on the road as most drivers, in an attempt to escape the snare of the officers risk the lives of innocent travellers.
The respondents who didn’t want their names in print for fear of the unknown said they have suffered untold extortion from the policemen especially during night fall.
But one of them, Paul Osuji who spoke to our reporter said: “every day, the policemen on the road collect N100, 00 from each of us, if we drive through six times, we will pay N600, 00, the act is becoming too unbecoming, we want the Police Commissioner to look into it”.
For heavy trucks, investigation revealed that the policemen allegedly collect between N200, 00 and N250, 00, while in most cases, they subject drivers who refused to comply to hard punishment for several minutes before they are let off the hook.
As reoccurring decimal, motorists including passengers have vowed to petition President Mohammadu Buhari, the IGP to come to their aid, especially the increasing manners of the alleged extortion.
But the State Police Commissioner, Mustafa Mohammad who spoke to our reporter in a swift reaction, said: “we are investigating the allegation, any of our policeman found wanting would be dismissed, the investigations are ongoing upon protests, and petitions we have received, no policeman is allowed to extort money from motorists.”