How Abuja Police ‘Kidnapped’ Relationship Coach, Brother, Extorted N550,000, Tag Them IPOB
Solomon Buchi, a renowned relationship coach, has detailed how police officers in Abuja assaulted and extorted N550,000 from him and his younger brother at gunpoint.
Buchi said he and his brother were in a Bolt ride heading to their apartment in Utako, Abuja, at about 9 pm on Tuesday when some armed police officers around Wuse 2 double-crossed their car, brought their guns out, and asked them to enter a vehicle different from the usual police vehicles.
When they got in, the officers asked them about their origin, and Buchi and his brother identified themselves as Igbo people from Imo State. Immediately the officers learned of their tribe, he said they described them as members of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), a separatist group.
Afterwards, the officers handcuffed them and squeezed them into the boot of their car. Buchi asked them to give him water to use for his medications as he was ill before the officers began to quiz him.
“My kid brother and I were kidnapped by the Police in Abuja around Wuse 2 couple last night, after eating at Kilimanjaro at Ruby Center. They swiftly doubled-crossed our bolt ride, brought out guns and asked us to follow them into their car which wasn’t a police vehicle,” Buchi said in a thread on Twitter.
“On getting in, they asked where we’re from, I stated that were Igbos from Imo state, they immediately said that we’re members of IPOB, they squeezed us into their car, they were 5 police men! They started harassing us, at this point, I had a severe panic attack.
“I asked them to please give me water to take my medication (thankfully I was with it) they asked what I do for a living, I told them I’m a writer, and they stated that I’m a yahoo boy. They said we should get ready to get to the station, I told them that I wanted to call my lawyer. They were furious.”
Buchi said the policemen ransacked his phone and saw his conversation with his manager, which included how much he earned.
“They asked what I do for a living. I told them I was a writer, and they stated that I am a Yahoo boy. They said we should get ready to get to the station. I told them that I wanted to call my lawyer. They were furious,” he continued.
“They asked if I am based in Abuja but I told them I came for the holiday. They asked where I stayed and how much I was paying. I told them I stayed at a short-let apartment. They ransacked my phone and saw the conversation with my manager and saw how much I paid.”
Seeing that he had N617,000 in his account, the officers asked how he could afford such an amount. At this point, the officers had taken Buchi and his brother to the outskirts of Abuja in what he later said was a two-hour drive.
When they went through his younger brother’s phone, they figured he traded in cryptocurrency and began to call him an internet fraudster.
“They began asking how many accounts we had and how much was in there. They forced us to open our bank apps and told me to bring N1.5 million. I was already having severe panic attacks and needed to take my other medications at home. I told them I didn’t have that amount of money,” he said.
“Long story short, they took our ATMs and withdrew N500,000 out of the N617,000 that I had in my account. They withdrew my younger brother’s N50,000. I begged them that it was my upkeep money for my stay, but they went physical on me, slapped me and asked me to use the remaining N117,000 for myself.”
Narrating how the officers got the money off his account, Buchi said the officers stopped at a junction and one of them took off his police uniform and went to withdraw the money using a POS.
“They also wanted to transfer our crypto. I can’t even talk. I’m traumatized. After everything, they drove us back to town in Utako, where I stayed. They looked for a dark place, unlocked the handcuffs and gave us our phones and cards. They took my new Air Pods and valuables. This wasn’t the plan at all. I felt so invaded and highly abused,” he said
“N500,000 out of N617,000 in my account. Just like that? I was squeezed in the boot; I nearly passed out. They threatened to kill. They said they worked for the Inspector General of Police. When they dropped us off, all I saw was BWR 127Q0 as the plate number. I’m not sure of the last two letters though.”
Buchi, who described the incident as a kidnap, said he thought the incident was planned as the police officer and the Bolt driver may have been working together.
“I think it was planned because they paid my Bolt driver off and told him to go and kidnapped my kid brother and me. I have never experienced anything close to this. I’m shaking. I have no words. I need time to understand this. My hard-earned money. I was abused on all fronts,” he said.
When FIJ contacted Frank Mba, Force spokesman, he said: “They could be police officers operating as rogues. They could also be criminals claiming to be police officers.
“For now, I cannot say anything because I don’t know if they are police officers. For us to solve the problem, we must initiate an investigation. My office is open to the victims and the Abuja PPRO can also handle it.”