Newspaper Vendors Allege Extortion By FCT Police


Newspaper vendors have accused the police in Abuja of harassment, illegal detention and extortion.

The Chairman, Abuja Newspapers Vendors Association, Etim Iwara, stated on Wednesday that five of his members were arrested by policemen from the Garki Divisional Police station while going about their legitimate business on Tuesday.

He explained that a police team arrested the vendors on the pretext that they were street hawkers.

Iwara added that the vendors were picked up at the Rita Lori Junction and Olusegun Obasanjo Way, Garki, noting that they were not allowed to sell newspapers as they were held for over seven hours.

He said, “The surveillance unit of Garki police station arrested and detained five vendors from 11am till 6pm.

“We had to pay N15,000 to the police before they were released on bail and they threatened that they would continue harassing the vendors, but we informed the police that vendors were not street hawkers and should not be intimidated or arrested.”

The vendors’ association’s chairman stated that against his pleas, the head of the station, who is a female police officer, remained adamant and refused to release the vendors until the coughed out some money.

The Federal Capital Territory Police spokesman, Anjuguri Manzah, said he was not aware of the alleged arrest and extortion of the vendors.