Wilfred Akpan and Justine Wilson, two attorneys from Cross Rivers State, have taken on the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), claiming that they harass drivers on highways owned by various levels of government.

In separate interviews, they expressed their belief that the FRSC’s behavior was a blatant violation of the ruling from the Appeal Court on July 19, 2023, which prohibited them from standing along state roadways.

The attorneys also demanded that the federal government look into why getting a driver’s license costs more than the federal minimum wage.

Reportedly, corps officials closed the popular Marian Road in Calabar Municipality and harassed cars.

Drivers were allegedly held at gunpoint by FRSC officers and armed Civil Defence Corps agents who searched their vehicles illegally and falsely accused them of things like having their license plates defaced, having expired paperwork, or having not updated their license.

“The issue of whether they should operate on state roads has lingered,” responded Istsafa Ibrahim, the state’s FRSC sector commander.

Is the general public in Nigeria arguing that we shouldn’t respond to accidents on these roads in order to save lives? The number of federal highways in the state is what? The two paths meet and merge with one another. Preserving lives is our utmost priority.

Regarding the matter of tax collection and extortion, Ibrahim scowled and made it clear that FRSC is not authorized to do so.

His primary point was that they are there to make sure cars are in good shape and to police traffic laws.

We have systems in place to deal with employees who may be engaging in disruptive behavior, such as harassment, intimidation, or incivility. He stated that a thorough investigation should be conducted if the claimed harassment occurred when the law was being enforced.

Among the victims, Madam Rose Okokon expressed her dismay at the violent treatment she received from an FRSC official. Okokon suffered physical injuries in the incident.

Seeing the FRSC personnel on a state government route like Marian astonished and surprised Madam Okokon, who relived the unpleasant event. Typically, they may be seen standing on the Murtala Mohammed Highway.

When they flagged me down, I halted; the man’s name tag read C. E. Ejim, and I am a devoted citizen of this nation. I gave him the information he needed about my car. The world was a perfect place.

However, I had no idea that the man had made off with my original driver’s license until much later. Asserting that its expiration date has passed.

Meanwhile, my current license is valid for five years and will expire in 2025. Well, that was questionable. I alerted him that he cannot take my current driver’s license away, so he started making up stories about how my tires were expired, even though they were only four months old.

Since he was unable to discover any grounds to indict me, he persisted in refusing to deliver my documents. Prior to releasing my legitimate documents, he insisted on seeing my spare tire and fire extinguisher, going so far as to tell me to unfasten the tire and bring it to him. My body was hurt when I was doing it. “I am genuinely traumatized,” she expressed.

A road safety officer who requested anonymity told our reporter that they were working with the administration of Cross River State to collect road taxes and enforce them.

While investigating a visit to the Cross River State Internal Revenue Service (CRIRS), it was observed that road safety officials were purportedly registering vehicle owners under a tree beside the CRIRS building. Additionally, staff from the CRIRS were busy collecting revenue and documenting seizures of car keys.

She informed our reporter, “Something is not right here,” according to Madam Okokon. Instead of having the state government deposit funds into an account, these individuals are taking cash.

Not only that, but the amount they demand is different from what’s really on the receipt. After collecting N20,000, they would write off $15,000.

This is a hoax, and they are taking advantage of the public by resorting to extreme violence. That’s poor. This kind of blatant fraud cannot be tolerated by the state administration, she said.

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