SaharaReporters has learned of an outrageous case where police officers in Ota, Ogun State, demanded a bribe from a couple robbed days before their wedding.
With just three days before their wedding, Yeni and her fiancé, both of them residents of Ota, were robbed. “Our house was burgled on Tuesday, and the thieves went away with lots of valuables including our wedding rings and my fiancé’s laptop,” Yeni told our correspondent. “We reported immediately at the Police Divisional Headquarters in Onipanu-Ota, and we were assured that we would recover the stolen items, but that we had to ‘drop’ something before the police could start an investigation,” she added. "Drop something" is a code word for a bribe.
Our correspondent learned that one of the police officers assigned to the case has continually called Yeni’s fiancé, asking him ‘how far?’ “I have been wondering if the victims should be responsible for funds required for investigating a theft,” a troubled Yeni. She added, “At present, we are financially down, and our wedding is this weekend. And because we are yet to replace most of the things stolen, my fiancé tried to explain the situation of things to this particular police officer calling and asking for money, but she told us to call the IPO. We did only to discover that the IPO was so angry that we’ve not been able to ‘settle’ them since."
Several police officers at the Divisional Headquarters in Onipanu-Ota have reportedly threatened to put the investigation on hold until the victims ‘drop something.’ “Even to fill a police report here, I was told to pay N10, 000,” Yeni’s fiancé told our correspondent.
A few other residents told our reporter that the police station was notorious for extortion and demands for bribes. “When my passport and other documents were stolen, and I came here for a police report, I was told to drop something to buy paper and biro,’ one of the residents said.
SaharaReporters identified the IPO handling Yeni and her fiancé’s case as Inspector Nosa. We rang his mobile number, 08033252754, to ascertain why he and his colleagues have been demanding a bribe from robbery victims, but he did not respond.