A human rights, good governance, social justice and civil liberty organisation, Youth Advocates For Peace Justice And Empowerment Network (YAPJEN), has asked the police in Anambra State to stop arresting university undergraduates carrying laptop computers as fraudsters (known in local parlance as Yahoo boys).
The group made the call in a press release signed by its leader, Mr Timothy Nwachukwu, which was made available in Awka. They called on the Anambra State commissioner of police, CP John Abang to look into the menace, with a view to curbing it.
The group, in the release, said it has come to its notice that policemen on stop-and-search operations, now harass innocent young people who carry laptops, and in most cases demanding receipts for them, and even for their phones and other gadgets.
It was gathered that most times, the laptops were turned on, and the students made to surrender their passwords for their emails to be checked to ensure they were not being used for fraudulent transmissions.
The group said, “We wish to use this medium to draw your attention to the activities of your men which has culminated to complaints YAPJEN have received from some Voiceless citizens especially Students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University who reside in ifite, Awka and motorist who ply the Ifite Aroma Axis.
“The Students are intermittently harassed, their phones, laptops seized and they demand for receipts from them and for fear of being arrested and whisked away, they are hoodwinked into parting with monies.”
The group also stated that the police checkpoint at Ifite road has become a means of enrichment for police officers manning it as they task buses and tricycles who ply the route to part with money, failure to comply, they are arrested and their passengers made to disembark.
“Motorists ranging from Keke, shuttle buses and conventional bus drivers who ply Ifite road allege that the men of NPF usually are stationed at Ifite by Ukwuaki bus stop every evening extort them of N100 per bus and N50 per tricycle,” Nwachukwu said.