By Evelyn Usman & James Ogunnaike
A United States-based Nigerian, Mr. Bamidele Famose, has raised the alarm over alleged corrupt practices by some local government officials in Ogun State, parading themselves as task force officials to extort motorists.
He called on the Police to carry out a detailed investigation that would expose the perpetrators.
Bamidele, who is on a visit to Nigeria, narrated how the task force officials extorted N67,000 from him, last Wednesday, while he was travelling from Osun State to Lagos.
In a petition to Ogun State Commissioner of Police, he narrated: “I bring to the attention of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Ogun State Government, civil society organisations, Nigerian Diaspora Organisation, NIDO, and the anti-corruption agencies, a case of criminal extortion by officials of Ogun State Task Force in the most savage and terrorist manner.
“I came home to Nigeria last week to attend to some personal business. I usually stay in Osogbo, Osun State, whenever I am in Nigeria. On July 4, 2023, I received a phone call from my shipping agent that my goods had arrived from the US and that I must take possession before 12 noon on July 5, 2023.
“I left Osogbo the following day at 5.30am., for Lagos. I got to Ojodu Berger by 10.30am. There was heavy traffic, vehicles were taking a detour.
“Since I was not too familiar with the area, I decided to slow down my speed and drove slowly by the side of the road, during which I beckoned on one of the security personnel controlling the traffic, for assistance.
“A man in mufti with a tag on his neck with the inscription ‘TASK FORCE’ came to attend to me. I greeted him first and inquired from him if the detour would take me to Oshodi. He said yes and then gladly offered to personally escort me to a safe and easier route to Oshodi, on the condition that I would give him transportation fare back, which I agreed to do. I immediately gave him N1,000.
“He entered my car and introduced himself as Mr. Ajayi from Ilesa, Osun State. Coincidentally, I am also from Ilesa. We struck a rapport. I thought I had found a reliable companion.
“To my consternation, he turned out to be a scammer. He later asked where l was coming from. I told him Osogbo. Instantly, his body language changed, as he perceived me to be a soft target to be scammed.
“He pretended to show me the quicker route to Oshodi, but took advantage of my little knowledge of the area and innocent trust to take me to the VIO office at No 4. Odozi Street, Ojodu Abiodun, Ogun State.