A Cyprus-based Nigerian, Ifeoluwa Lawal, has accused men of the Nigeria Police Force, Osun State Police Command, of extortion.
Lawal said he had visited his grandparents with his family and was returning to Abeokuta, Ogun State, when a policeman stopped his car around the Sekona Grammar School, Ede.
He explained that another policeman took his phone and saw a screenshot of a crypto transaction he recently had.
Speaking in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Monday, Lawal said the policemen later threatened to hand him over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
He said, “Last week, I decided to visit my grandparents with my family in Osun State. While coming back on Friday, we met the policemen on the road.
“They asked for my vehicle particulars, and driving licence and I said I was processing the licence. They asked me to bring what I have, and I gave it to them. They claimed it was not legit.
“Suddenly, I saw one of them flipping through my phone; he picked it up from where I kept it inside the car. I asked if that was not my phone and they started laughing.
“I told them that they had no right to take my phone, and that even though they needed it, they should have asked me to give it to them. They said I was rude.
“At the end of the day, he found a screenshot on my phone, perhaps I sent or received a screenshot or I kept it on the phone from my Binance app. They asked what I was doing with a Binance account. I was called a Yahoo boy because of the screenshot.
“They asked if I was unaware that Crypto had been banned in Nigeria. I told them I didn’t know and I was not based in Nigeria.
“I was threatened that I would be handed over to the EFCC. My dad was already scared. He was trying to talk to them. So, they demanded N50,000, which I refused to give them.
“They started saying I was going to their office and that they were not collecting any money again. I didn’t reply to them.
“From there, they started driving us from one place to another. They later asked how much I had on my app. I replied that I had some people’s funds and my school fees. They said I should give them $2,000 as a bribe.
“One with white beards said I should pay $500. Since we were tired and needed to get to Abeokuta on time, I offered them $100, but they said no and I said the highest I could give was $200. I told them if I were home already, my friend would have changed it into Euros for me to pay my school fees on Monday.
“They made a call and asked EFCC to bring a profiling form. I was unmoved. But I finally gave them $504 minus $1 for charges. They called someone for his wallet address. I scanned the barcode from my Binance app and made the payment. One good thing is that my brother managed to take a picture of their vehicle number plate.”
Asked if he suffered injuries during the encounter, he said, “They hit my brother. Although I was injured when they asked me to enter the van, one of them used the car door to hit me on the knee.”
The Osun State police spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola, said the command had commenced investigation into the incident.
She said, “We will inform you when we are done with our investigation.”
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