By David Royal
Bolt Nigeria on Sunday reacted to a viral video and a statement by a Nigerian man alleging that its driver connived with SARS officers to harass and extort him of N100k.
In the statement, Bolt denied knowledge of the said connivance and pledged to support the passenger in any investigation with all information it can gather from its digital platform.
SARS, which has come under fire due to the several narratives of harassment, threats and extortion, was alleged to have forcefully arrested the young man in Lagos and extorted about 100,000 naira from him on September 25th.
The video was posted on Twitter and has since received over a thousand retweets.
In the video, men not wearing uniforms were seen hustling a young man into a car, while another man in a blue shirt, identified as the Bolt driver, watches. The driver, after the victim has been successfully stuffed into the car, enters and drives off.
According to the victim, identified as @yourmydad on Twitter, the incident occurred while on his way to pick up some items at Yaba with his friend.
“I’m the one in this video
“On 25th September 2020 My friend and I were on our way to yaba, to pick up some items which we had to deliver for “daddythebrand on ig” when our bolt got stopped by men without uniforms who claimed to be sars officer.i refused to open the doors because they had no i.d
“My friend who accompanied me was asleep so I turned around to wake him up, when I noticed the @Boltapp_ng driver unlocked the doors and they forced their way in. One sat in front while the other at the back sit with us. They asked for our phones which we gave them.
“After checking our phones and finding nothing they told my friend to get down from the car and get into their bus. He complied. Then he looked to me and asked me to do the same, I refused asking what I had done.. I further asked for his ID card to be sure he is an officer and not
“The video above. In the car they started to threaten me. Telling me how they lol lock me up.. chain me and no one would do anything about it. My bolt driver didn’t mention one word throughout all this. We drove to some bridge where they put my in handcuffs
“And told me that if I tried to call out for help again, they’ll shoot me and throw my body down and no one would find me. These guys are real demons.i got into their bus then they said they are taking me to SFU division ikoyi. That’s their station.. after driving around
“After driving for about 30 minutes to one hour they asked us(me and my guy) to pay them 1 million and I asked why ? Are they no longer taking us to the station to let us know our crime. The one who sat in front who seems to be their boss got angry at my statement which led to Further threats from the guy who sat in front who appears to be their boss
“Seeing that we weren’t about to give them that money they ended up bringing it down to 100k which they drove us to zenith bank along osolo way, opposite sos home. Where they made my guy get down from they bus to withdraw the money from the atm at zenith bank
“After they got the money they let us go. Till now I still do not know my crime. I called the bolt driver to return the things I left in his car and I found out he has blocked my number. Contacted @Boltapp_ng and they said there’s nothing they can do as their Drivers are independent contractors. I have involved my solicitors and I’ll be suing bolt for damages as well as Lagos state, for not employing rogues as officer who’s aim is to kill and loot innocent people.”
Below is a statement issued by Bolt Nigeria on Sunday:
Recall that due to the recent extrajudicial killings by operatives of Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Sunday banned the personnel of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad from routine patrols.
He also banned other tactical squads of the force, including the Special Tactical Squad, Intelligence Response Team, Anti-Cultism Squad, and other squads operating at the Federal, Zonal, and Command levels, from carrying out routine patrols.