Operatives of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Nasarawa Command, have allegedly beaten up an Africa Independent Television reporter, Ibrahim Ibrahim, for allegedly taking their photographs while extorting money from commercial motorcyclists.
The incident, which occurred along Jos road by the Nasarawa State Polytechnic gate in Lafia at about 10.15am on Saturday, attracted the Emir of Lafia, Alhaji Mustapher Agwei 1, and other individuals who were passing by.
Narrating his ordeals to Northern City News shortly after the incident, Ibrahim said he took the pictures of the men while extorting the money from the motorcyclists.
He said, “I was driving when I got to a point in front of the Polytechnic where the FRSC officials usually carry out their routine checks. Right there, I saw them collecting money from okada riders who were in their numbers.”
Ibrahim explained that he was taking the pictures of the men when one of them accosted him and attempted to confiscate his camera.
He said, “I decided to take a snapshot this time around to strengthen my report because I have met them extorting money from motorists on several occasions, when suddenly one of the Road Safety officers pounced on me and began to drag my camera.”
But following his refusal to surrender his camera, Ibrahim explained that the official snatched his handset prompting the intervention of the Emir of Lafia who was passing by at the time.
“When I refused to surrender the camera, they started molesting me and in the process they snatched my phone. It took the intervention of the Emir of Lafia who stopped over when he noticed I was the one they were brutalizing,” he added.
The reporter further narrated that the angry FRSC officers insisted that he must delete their pictures or they would ask the police to arrest him.
As the issue degenerated further, Ibrahim stated that the Nasarawa State Sector Commander, Faustina Alegbe, was asked to intervene on the phone, but she too insisted that the reporter should delete the pictures and also write an apology letter for taking the pictures.
Alegbe in her reaction to the incident said Ibrahim was wrong for snapping the officers while on duty and insisted that he should write “an apology letter for breaking the law.”