The Wuse Zone 3 Division of FCT police command has arrested eight members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) over extortion of motorists.
City News learnt that the division also recovered four vehicles which were impounded by the union members.
A police source at the division said the suspects were working in groups whereby one of them would flag down a vehicle and beg for lift and if the motorist obliged, the rest would rush out from where they were hiding and also board the vehicle.
The source explained that when that happened, they would accuse the driver of picking passengers and force him to drive to their office and demand that he paid union dues.
A victim, Christopher Johnson, said he was heading to Mararaba from Wuse Zone 4 when he was flagged down by one of the suspects. “He pleaded with me to give him lift to CBN Junction in the Central Business District, but I told him that I could only drop him off at Federal Secretariat as I was heading to a different direction.
“All of a sudden a man who seemed to be his cohort jumped into the passenger seat and introduced himself as a union task force belonging to NURTW. Before I could explain that I was not picking up passengers, he spoiled my front bumper and deflated my vehicle tyres and then demanded for N8,000 as fine,” he said.
He said luck, however ran out on them when a police patrol van arrived the scene and decided to take up the case.
When contacted, the FCT police command spokesman, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, confirmed the development, saying the eight suspects would be taken to court after a thorough investigation for extorting money from motorists and also impounding vehicles illegally.
He said the vehicles which had been recovered and taken to the Wuse police division during the operation would be handed over to their owners who had since appeared and lodged their complaints.
Manzah also stated that five other vehicles were traced to the base of the suspects’ in a garage near Wuse market.
He said the vehicles, which were grounded there for a long period, had been discovered and would be towed to the division after some arrangements.