Commercial and private motorcyclists in Kaduna State have alleged extortion by security agencies, particularly the police, in enforcing the ban on motorcycle operations in the state.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, had on Wednesday announced the ban on the use of commercial and private motorcycles across the 23 local government areas as a part of measures to curb the activities of bandits in the state.
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Daily Trust gathered that some commercial and private motorcyclists that violated the state government ban alleged that policemen enforcing the law were extorting them before releasing their motorcycles.
A private motorcyclist, who didn’t want his name mentioned, told Daily Trust that the police charged between N5, 000 and N10, 000 before releasing seized motorcycles.
The Secretary of Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle, Tricycle and Riders (ACOMORAN), Idris Mohammed, said some policemen a few days back moved around the city to evacuate motorcycles parked in mosque premises.
“People are being harassed and intimidated as well as being extorted by some of the security men enforcing the law. But maybe the senior officers are not aware of what is happening which is why they need to monitor those working on the field,” he said.
He urged the state government to review the time for tricycle operators from 7pm to at least 9 or 10pm to ease difficulties on the masses.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Police Command has warned that any personnel caught extorting motorcycle users would be punished, urging members of the public to report erring policemen.
The Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mohammed Jalige, who gave the warning in a chat with Daily Trust, said only the courts could fine those arrested; not the police.
“What I Know is that we have sent signals to all DPOs telling them to give us the number of impounded motorcycles and those that violated the law in their divisions. It’s only the court that will decide how much the defaulters will pay as fine not police,” he said.