Mbe Nwaniga wrote:
Last night, someone in our forum complained bitterly about EFCC's recent culture of arresting several "Yahoo Boys" around Owerri, taking them to their office in Enugu and releasing them on bail only when they pay 3 million naira. He classified that as evidence of federal agencies persecution of his ethnic group.
I don't know how authentic the information is but we all know that all security agencies in Nigeria and government staff across institutions always find a way to extort money from members of the public before they would do their job.
The SARS team would mount a roadblock around Lagos-Benin road and arrest anyone they think can bail him or herself with 5,000 naira.
Custom officers would block the major highways leading to the East in December and wait for those driving good cars or carrying foreign rice to ask them for importation clearance papers.
It is the same with Immigration. Sometimes they use a pin to perforate your passport data page, then turn around to tell you the computer can't read your page. Then they ask you to settle before they stamp you in. These are all on-the-spot assessment and profiling.
This is how the Nigeria system work. The case of one Adaobi Udensi with Customs at Abuja airport recently is still boiling.
I don't believe they are targeting people based on their ethnic identity but they do profile people based on their potential to pay or their cultural traits.
For instance, Customs would figure out that most of you would return to your village for Christmas with the car you bought or a bag of foreign rice so they would naturally throw the bait where there are all sizes of fishes by waiting on your routes.
It is the same reason SARS chose the Lagos-Benin road. They know it is the road that carry passengers with "Roger" cash.
Now, the EFCC probably figured out that Owerri and Enugu are the best fishing spots. There would be students or Yahoo Boys willing to pay 3 million for their bail once you arrest and detain them for a day or two.
It is not about your ethnicity. It is about your potential to 'settle with a reasonable amount'. The solution is to stop paying for bail or giving "roger" cash to anyone that stops you.