Group Expresses Concerns over Police Harassment and Bribery at Check Points in Kwara

_Urges Police Commissioner to take action_

Leading Pro-democracy group in Kwara state, Kwara Must Change has expressed concern over the rate of police harassment of motorists and other road users in Kwara State.

The group also called on police commissioner to curb bribery among officers on highway, particularly among SARS and mobile police officers (Operation Harmony), which it described as endemic and embarrassing.

In a statement issued by Kwara Must Change state coordinator, Comrade Yusuf Olatunji on Wednesday, the group said police harassment of motorists and citizens on kwara roads has become too worrisome and unbearable, adding that the daring nature of bribe seeking officers in Kwara is unrivalled in any closeby states.

According to Kwara Must Change, most police check points between Omuaran in Irepodun local government and Ilorin metropolis have been turned to harassment centres and bribery collection spots.

The group explained that, the 4 SARS officers mounting check point at Eleyin road in Omuaran, apart from defying directives of inspector general of police, which ordered sars officers to always be on uniform, with their names clearly showing, they go about harassing motorists and their passengers without regards to the law of the country, usually threatening to shoot citizens who refuse to comply with their bribe demands.

They often order messengers down from their vehicle, seizing their goods until bribes are paid, even though receipts of such goods were presented.

Kwara Must Change also added that, contrary to the directives of IG that no police officer should violate citizens right to privacy by collecting their phones on highway, several police check points, particularly those mounted by operation harmony, at araromi in Ifelodun local government is reputed for forcefully collecting mobile phones from citizens, intrude their privacy and coerce them to pay bribes.

Comrade Yusuf also stated that, “there are several reports of police abuse going across the state and he urged the kwara state police commissioner to take action.

Kwara Must Change concluded that, more is expected from the police.

“Forcefully collecting bribe from citizens is dangerous, openly collecting bribe damage public psyque and incessant harassment and threat by officers employed to protect the people is unbefiting of Kwara police,it said.

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