Princewill Jumbo, a 300-level student of Rivers State University of Science and Technology, and his friends got into trouble with the Nigerian Police, while they were returning to Port Harcourt from a burial in the Buguma area of the state on Saturday.
They were arrested by the Anti-Cultism Squad of the state police command at a park in Buguma, where they wanted to board a bus en route to their residence in Port Harcourt that day. The chairman of a motorcycle riders’ association had called the policemen on the telephone after an argument ensued between the victims and one of the riders who conveyed them to the park.
Princewill said, “Franklin (Ordu) gave the rider N500 and requested N300 change, but the rider said he did not have change. His co-riders volunteered to split it but he refused. He said Franklin must find N200. That was how the argument started. As we were arguing, a man, who called himself the park manager, wanted to slap Franklin. We cautioned him and the next thing he did was to call the policemen on the telephone that cult members were disturbing the community.
“The policemen removed our clothes. We were left with only our boxers. They told us to lie on the floor and they started flogging us with the sides of cutlasses. They beat us up as we made our statements. When the beating persisted Franklin told them that he was a cultist. They later took us to the Swift Operation Squad office in Port Harcourt.
He said, “The policemen asked me to pay N20,000 or else they would send a letter to my son’s school that he was a cult member. That was the threat they used to extort the money from me. As a father, I had to succumb to their threat. Why should I allow my son to be rusticated for no reason?”