The National Implementation Committee on the curtailment of Cattle Rustling and Special Squad committee on curbing multiple taxation on Nigerian highways, has arrested two police officers and seven hoodlums in Kuru, Plateau State, for extortion of money from commercial drivers on the highway.
Desk Officer of the committee, North Central Zone, Superintendent of Police Yahaya Usman, who confirmed the arrest, on Monday, during a stakeholder meeting of Nigeria Association of Agricultural Product Dealers in Plateau State, warned that any police officer found extorting money from the public would be arrested.
He said the arrested police officers were, on Saturday, transfer to Force Headquarters Abuja, for investigation and appropriate sanction to deter others from indulging into fraudulent activities.
Usman, who represented the Inspector General of Police at the meeting said constant harassment and multiple taxation on commercial drivers who convey agricultural product from one part of the country to another has led to hike in price of foodstuff.
“Police officers and seven hoodlums were arrested in Jos for harassment and extortion of money from commercial drivers who carry agricultural product from one point to another. They were taking to Abuja for appropriate action.
“The Inspector General of Police is a man of action and any police officer found on the highway, aiding fraudulent activities against the public would be arrested and sanction. I know that a lot of erring police officers have been sacked from work and any one who encourages multiple taxation on farmers will be equally sanction.”
North Central Coordinator of Nigeria Association of Agricultural Product Dealers, Dr. Jonah Ogbaji, lamented over multiple taxes and levies, intimidation and harassment of members and destruction, stealing of goods and maltreatment of drivers on the highway by hoodlums aided by security personnel.
He noted that activities such as multiple taxes and levies, unnecessary harassment of traders on the highway among others have hike the price of agricultural products in the country.
Dr. Agbaji recalled how a truck driver was beaten to coma and his wheel screen shattered in Benue State for refusing to give money to hoodlums who disguised themselves as revenue collectors in the state.
He said the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies in the state should take drastic action against those people in the North Central to guarantee food security in the country.