News / Africa

Nigeria Sacks Policeman Caught Extorting Money on Camera

Reuters
 It was a crime so familiar to inhabitants of Nigeria's corruption-ridden main metropolis that few would have batted an eyelid had the victim not managed to record the whole incident on a secret camera.
 
 The outcome was much rarer - a policeman sacked for trying to extort money from a motorist over a supposed traffic offense.

It was a scene that happens every day. A policeman stops a car on a busy Lagos street and accuses the driver of flouting some traffic rule - one that may be real or imaginary in a vast, chaotic city of 21 million people where motorists often seem oblivious to any rules.
 
The policeman then opens the door to the passenger seat, enters and demands a large amount of money from the motorist - in this case 25,000 Nigerian naira ($160).

Nigeria's central police command confirmed overnight that Sergeant Chris Omeleze had been dismissed after being caught on camera trying to extort the bribe from a motorist who was leaving Lagos international airport.
 
"I want to gladly report that in less than 24 hours after we got wind of that story, the police officer was identified, arrested ...[and] dismissed from the police force,'' police spokesman Frank Mba said on Channels Television on Thursday.  Omeleze had been a policeman for 21 years, said Mba.
 
The video has received 117,500 hits on YouTube, been retweeted and replayed on all Nigeria's main TV channels.
 

Omeleze originally asks the driver for 25,000 naira but the man protests that 2,000 naira is all he has.
 
 The policeman says this is not enough, adding: "I am not working alone. Look, if you enter this compound [the police station], you will pay bigger money.''
 
 He then appears to notice the man has some dollars, but the driver says that he needs them for excess luggage.
 
After much argument, the policeman appears to make a phone call to a colleague and tells him the driver refuses to pay up. He then advises the driver that he had been instructed to book him for the traffic offense.
 
Analysts say corrupt police officers in Africa's mostbpopulous country do not work alone but are part of a mafia-like racketeering network going far up the chain of command.

It often worsens during election cycles when politicians, who wield influence over police, need more money for patronage.
 
Mba denied that the policeman had an accomplice in the precinct station, saying he made a pretend call in order to "blackmail'' the motorist he had pulled over.
 
"As a matter of fact he made no calls. He wanted to fool the citizen into believing there were some superior forces involved.''
 
It was not known whether the sacked policeman would be prosecuted, as Mba could not be reached for further comment. ($1 = 160 naira) 

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid