Police launch probe into alleged extortion at Calabar Carnival checkpoints

The Cross River State Police Command has announced its intention to investigate numerous complaints and petitions received from motorists and residents regarding alleged forcible extortions by police officers along the Calabar Carnival routes during the night.

Responding to inquiries from journalists, Police Public Relations Officer Irene Ugbo assured that an immediate investigation would be conducted, and if the allegations were substantiated, appropriate measures would be taken against the perpetrators.

The concerns arise from reports of police extortion, particularly along Marian Road, a bustling area in the heart of Calabar Municipality known for its nightclubs, hotels, and eateries.

As the city gears up for the Calabar Carnival, which has already started attracting crowds to popular public spots, including the Christmas Village on Marian Road, security checkpoints have been established.

However, local drivers have raised grievances about frequent demands for N100 at many police checkpoints along Marian Road.

Commercial drivers, in particular, expressed their frustration, acknowledging the necessity of police presence for security but urging authorities to reduce the number of checkpoints and address the financial burden placed on them.

Akpan Udoh, a commercial driver, highlighted the inefficiency of multiple checkpoints, causing prolonged traffic congestion and increased fuel consumption.

Asuquo Edet, another driver, shared an incident where he was stopped at a checkpoint, demanded N100, and was subsequently asked to produce vehicle documents when he complained about paying at two different checkpoints.

The police authorities’ commitment to investigating and addressing these allegations underscores the importance of maintaining public trust and ensuring a smoother experience for residents and visitors during the Calabar Carnival.