KAI officials caught on tape extorting street traders

KAI Official forcing a man inside a Black Maria, for crossing the Ketu Expressway. Photo: Sylvester Okoruwa

Officials of Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) (names withheld), have been caught on tape extorting street traders who violated the law banning street hawking in Lagos State.

The two officers who conducted a raid around Alapere, Ketu, 7up, Ojota axis last Friday, were recorded on tape, demanding and receiving various sums of money as bribe from street hawkers after arresting them for contravening the ban.

The audio-taped bribe drama happened metres away from the Alapere police station, Alapere, Lagos State. At the negotiation point, the officers eventually agreed to collect N4,000 from some traders and N2,500 from others, as the minimum negotiation bribe.

There were about 20 arrested traders being negotiated with, by the unscrupulous officers, when the rowdy scene was captured. The officials were recorded as calling the bribe monies “money for recharge card and phones.”

One of such “regular customers” told Lagos Metro that he didn’t know what to do about the sustained extortion, adding that he wasn’t also ready to quit hawking his ware. The bribe is always meant to shield the offenders from prosecution by the mobile court.

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, had recently placed a ban on street trading during a television broadcast.

As of press time, the agency’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Tunde Olusesi, had neither responded to calls made to his mobile phone nor to SMS sent him.