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Security Forces Extort N100bn in Southeast in Three Years – Report



A report released on Monday has accused Nigerian security and law enforcement agencies of pocketing as much as N100 billion in roadside bribery and extortion in the South-eastern part of the country alone over the last three years.

In a Monday morning statement to PREMIUM TIMES, the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law said findings into the report began in August 2015. It accompanied the report with pictures that seemed to show officers receiving bribes at checkpoints.

A breakdown of the questionable operation showed that Nigeria Police Force pocketed N78.02 billion, the military (Army, Navy and Air Force) received N6 billion and paramilitary formations (Customs, Road Safety, NAFDAC and NDLEA) took N16 billion. These totalled N100.02 billion ($330 million).

The report reinforces fears that the controversial culture has worsened despite decades of condemnation even amongst top security chiefs. Successive police leadership over the last two decades have ordered the removal of checkpoints, but compliance is sparsely enforced and hardly are errant officers punished.

Emeka Umeagbalasi, a senior official at Intersociety who coordinated the report, said it was released to coincide with this year’s Yuletide, during which bribery and extortion by security agencies are said to be at their peak as millions embark on holiday trips to the Southeast.

“We hope this would help those travelling home to celebrate Christmas be aware of the tactics of security agencies, and the disastrous economic impact on the region,” Mr Umeagbalasi said.

The Nigerian Army and the Federal Road Safety Corps immediately dismissed the report, telling PREMIUM TIMES their respective personnel operate with strict ethical standards and those identified for misconduct are usually promptly disciplined.

Know Your Levy

The research for report, titled: Welcome to Southeast Region: Nigeria’s Headquarters of Official Highway Robbery; was conducted in all the South-east states and some parts of Delta State with predominantly residents of Igbo origin.

Intersociety found that the security agencies have designed specific levies for different categories of motorists across the South-east, and enforcement sometimes turns deadly.

“For every shuttle or Mitsubishi L300 bus loaded with passengers (only) in Anambra State, it is N50 at every police roadblock, and extra N200 is paid if loaded with goods and passengers,” the report said.

“For every commercial motorcycle or tricycle or Datsun or medium range truck loaded with goods, it is N200 at every police roadblock, and for every private vehicle owner accused of “incomplete” vehicle particulars, the least demanded sum is N4,000 or more, which must be paid randomly or on the spot to avoid being dragged to police station and have his or her vehicle impounded and indented as ‘stolen vehicle’,” the report said.

Some motorists are detained and bailed with illegal bail fees, ranging from N10,000 and above, the report found.

The questionable conduct, which has continued despite decades of condemnation even amongst top security chiefs, also differs from state to state in the region.

“Police extortions in Enugu and Ebonyi States, and to an extent, Imo State, are not as “lucrative” as those of Anambra and Abia States,” it said.

“Such extortions are majorly concentrated on critical federal and state roads as well as few commercial areas of the three states, such as Ogbete, Abakpa, and Nsukka in Enugu State; Abakiliki and Afikpo in Ebonyi State, Orlu and commercial parts of Owerri in Imo State.

“The same non-uniformity applies to many roadblocks in the five Southeast states, as well as those in Agbor, Asaba and their environs, all in Delta State,” which has estimated 40 per cent Igbo population, the report found.

Statistical Breakdown

According to the report, there were 250 police roadblocks in Anambra State between August 2015 and August 2016, and each made an estimated N40,000 per day. The 250 police roadblocks on Anambra roads between August 2015 and August 2016 illicitly collected N10 million per day, which translated to N300 million per month and N3.6 billion per year.

According to the report, at N40,000 per day, the 200 police roadblocks in Abia State during the period unlawfully milked the people of the South-east a total of N8 million per day, N240m per month and N2, 88 billion per year.

Also, at N30,000 per day for each of the 150 police roadblocks then in Imo State, a total of N4.5 million was reportedly realised per day, N135 million per month and N1, 62 billion per year.

Also with N25,000 per day for each of 100 police roadblocks in Enugu in the same period, N2.5 million was unlawfully collected per day, N75 million per month and N900 million per year, the report stated/

In Ebonyi, there were 50 police roadblocks, and each earned an average of N25,000 per day, totalling N1.25 million or N37.5 million per month and N450 million per year.

Between August 2016 and August 2017, at N40,000 per day, the 500 police roadblocks on Anambra roads collected N20 million per day, N600 million per month and N7, 2 billion per year.

At N40,000 per day, the 400 police roadblocks in Abia State received N16 million per day, N480 million per month and N5.76 billion per year.

With N30,000 per day for each of the 200 police roadblocks then in Imo State, a total of N6 billion was earned per day, N180 million per month and N2.16 billion per year.

Also with N25,000 per day for each of 200 police roadblocks in Enugu in the same period, N5 million was unlawfully collected per day, N150 million per month and N1.8 billion per year.

The 150 police roadblocks in Ebonyi State allegedly made N25,000 per day, totalling N3.75 million per day, N112.5 million per month and N1.35 billion per year.

Between August 2017 and December 2018, at N40,000 per day, the 800 police roadblocks on Anambra roads must have by the end of December 2018 collected N32 million per day, N960 million per month and N15.36 billion in sixteen months.

At N40,000 per day, the 700 police roadblocks in Abia State must have by the end of December 2018 unlawfully earned N28 million per day, N840 million per month and N13.44b in sixteen months.

In the same period, the 500 police roadblocks in Imo State earned N30,000 per day each, totalling N15 million per day, N450 million per month and N7.2 billion in sixteen months.

At N25, 000 per day for each of 400 police roadblocks in Enugu in the named period, N10 million must have been unlawfully collected per day, N300 million per month and N4.8 billion in sixteen months.

Finally, at N25, 000 for each of the 400 police roadblocks in Ebonyi State, a total of N10 million was illegally collected per day, N300 million per month and N4.8b in sixteen months.

Intersociety estimated 3,000 police roadblocks, including about 200 in different Igbo parts of Delta State (from Agbor to Asaba) as well as those manned by “police-stop-and-move” teams using Hilux or other pick-up vans usually manned by police special anti-robbery squad.

At an average of N20,000 per “police-stop-and-move” roadblock since August 2015, N4 million was realised per day, N120 million per month and N4.8 billion in 40 months, August 2015 to December 2018.

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Economic Hardship: Sanwo-Olu Slashes Transport by 25%, Approves 3-Day Work Week




Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced a 25 per cent slash in transport fares for government-owned transport schemes.

Sanwo-Olu, who made this announcement during a live media chat tagged: ‘Sanwo Speaks,’ on Thursday, said that civil servants from levels 1–14 will begin to work three days a week as part of measures to ease the economic challenges.

He explained that the forum was meant to intimate residents of measures adopted to reduce the economic burden on Lagosians.

The governor noted that workers in the teaching sector will, however, maintain the five-day-a-week work schedule, while the government will ensure additional transportation support for them.

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Hardship Caused by APC under Buhari, Reason Tinubu’s Unable to Speak Out, Says Gbenga Daniel




The Senator representing Ogun East senatorial district, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has expressed his wish that President Bola Tinubu should speak on the already failed economy he inherited from former President Muhammadu Buhari, detailing the efforts he has put in to strengthen the economy since assuming office.

Senator Daniel added that Tinubu has refrained from speaking because the same party he is standing for, was largely responsible for the misdeeds in the past.

The former Governor of Ogun State noted that Tinubu could not talk about the realities at the moment, pleading with Nigerians to persevere and show understanding and cooperation with the present administration as it remains committed to a more prosperous nation.

He further appealed to Nigerians to encourage the president, emphasising that he has done a lot in salvaging the country.

Daniel, who admitted hardship in the country, hinted that the menace was caused by the past government but hoped for better days.

“Our President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has done a lot. I wish he could talk now but he can’t talk because this is the same party he stood for, so he can’t; but from what I know we just have to praise his courage. We know things are very difficult but we need to encourage Mr. President, we urge our people to be patient, by the special grace of God everything will be alright.”

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Atiku’s Aide Accuses Tinubu’s Govt of Diverting Funds Through Fake Petrol Subsidy




Phrank Shaibu, a Special Assistant on Public Communication to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has alleged that the refusal of the Federal government to react to recent reports on the return of petrol subsidy shows that public funds have started going into private pockets.

Shaibu made the allegation through a statement while reacting to reports by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the Nigerian government has begun paying petrol subsidy again.

According to media reports, monthly subsidy payment is nearly N1 trillion, far in excess of exceeds the amount paid monthly by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Reacting to the allegation, Shaibu said it has become clear that one of the reasons the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has not been paying the required amount of money into the government’s account is because monies are being diverted under an opaque and secret subsidy regime.

He alleged: “Tinubu has been boasting at every economic forum that he deserves to be in the Guinness Book of records for removing petrol subsidy.

“He even said before ringing the closing bell at NASDAQ in New York last September that the ‘corrupt subsidy’ regime and FX issues had been resolved.

“But as every other thing relating to Tinubu, this has turned out to be another lie from the pit of hell. Currently, the exchange rate based on what the Central Bank of Nigeria recommended to the Nigeria Customs Service is N1515/$1.

“Hence diesel price is now over N1,200 but petrol is still selling for between N600 and N700.

“Nigeria is the only country in the world where such disparity between diesel and petrol exists. It has become obvious that petrol subsidy has returned through the backdoor.

“With the return of petrol subsidy, oil marketers have opted out and that is why the NNPC has returned to being the sole importer of petrol once more and has the temerity to be announcing that it will not increase petrol cost regardless of the international price of crude oil and the exchange rate.

“To be clear, petrol subsidy in itself is not a bad thing when it is done transparently.”

Shaibu added: “Former CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi, expressed shock last month that NNPC was still not remitting FX into government’s accounts.

“It is now obvious why this has been happening. Subsidy has returned but it is now being done in a corrupt and secret manner as funds are now being diverted into private pockets even worse than under Buhari. This is the Tinubu Lagos legacy from Lagos State.”

Shaibu said it was disappointing that the Finance Minister, Wale Edun; and CBN Governor, Yemi Cardoso, who both claimed to have gotten their appointments based on their expertise had failed to speak up but had continued to cover up the petrol subsidy.

He also alleged that the Tinubu government had continued to frustrate the takeoff of the Dangote refinery which would have at least reduced Nigeria’s FX demands.

“The media reported last week that lingering regulatory approvals have stalled Dangote Petrochemical Refinery’s plan to release aviation fuel (Jet A1) and diesel for sale in the Nigerian market.

“At the same time, Dangote refinery has been struggling to get the needed crude oil and has decided to import from the United States while the NNPC which has no business with monetary policy, committed Nigeria’s crude oil for a $3.3 billion Afreximbank loan ostensibly to stabilise the naira.

“It is obvious that Tinubu and his so-called economic team are quacks, charlatans who put their personal interest ahead of that of the country. With such Lilliputians at the helm of affairs, Nigeria’s economic woes are about to go from bad to worse,” Shaibu added.

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