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Numerous checkpoints along the Calabar Carnival routes will be investigated by police

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The Cross River State Police Command has said that it will look into complaints and appeals from drivers and locals regarding police extortion during the night along the Calabar Carnival routes.

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Irene Ugbo, a police public relations officer, said this while fielding calls from reporters.

“I will immediately begin an investigation into all of the concerns with my team. She emphasized that if it turned out to be true, the offenders would face consequences and the matter would be promptly resolved.

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This is occurring against the backdrop of motorist allegations of police extortion, particularly along Marian Road, a well-traveled and busy stretch of road in the center of the Calabar Municipality that is bustling with activity at night and is home to nightclubs, hotels, and restaurants.

Crowds have already started to gather at well-liked restaurants and public spaces, such as the Christmas Village on Marian Road, ahead of the upcoming carnival. The increase in population has accelerated economic activity and movement, leading to the need for police checkpoints for security purposes.

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Drivers in Calabar, however, have been complaining that a lot of the police checkpoints need N100 from each car owner, which they are forced to give up.

In several interviews, commercial drivers in particular informed Janescope  that while they are fine with police presence on Marian Road at night, they find the demands that the officers make to be onerous.

The drivers had requested that the police cut back on the number of checkpoints and assist in lowering the N100 extortion that occurs there.

“Marian Road is not a very long road, yet from Rabana Roundabout to Efioete Roundabout, you have about four different checkpoints and they all make demands from drivers on both lanes of the road,” expressed regrettedly by one of the commercial drivers, Akpan Udoh, to Janescope.

“They make you burn so much fuel before it’s your turn because they barricade a large portion of the road, leaving only a small portion for vehicular movement, resulting in very long traffic.”

Another commercial minibus driver, Asuquo Edet, described how a police officer stopped him at one of the checkpoints on Thursday at 8 o’clock at night and requested the customary N100.

He said he was told to park and pull out his car’s paperwork when he protested that he had lost N100 twice at two different checkpoints.

He claimed there are too many checkpoints.

“We would have spent between N800 and N1,000 for settling the police for a trip if we gave N100 at each checkpoint going and did the same coming,” he added.

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