Condemnations have trailed the harassment of an Enyimba player, Stephen Chukwude, by police officers over claims that he was involved in internet fraud, popularly called Yahoo Yahoo for driving a Mercedes Benz.
A video uploaded by the player on Monday showed him being challenged by police officers while in a Mercedes Benz with Lagos plate number LSR 84 AZ.
Despite the player’s display of his identity card and presence of football paraphernalia in the car, the unidentified police officers insisted on taking the footballer to the station.
The video also showed one of the police officers saying “everybody who has a Mercedes Benz is an internet fraudster.”
The incident happened on Monday at Ugwuoba, a border town .
However, the 24-year-old player said he was later released unharmed by the police officers, who attempted to stop him from doing a live recording.
While describing his harassment by the police officer as strange, he said, “After explaining to the police that I am a professional footballer, he said he suspected that I am doing another business, which is internet fraud. It is strange after showing my identity card and football boots. He still insisted on taking me to the office.”
Reacting to the incident, Nigerians faulted the police officers, wondering how owning a Mercedes Benz would translate to being involved in internet fraud.
The Nigeria Police Force said the case was under investigation, urging Nigerians with necessary information to assist.
“The attention of the NPF has been drawn to this clip on social media, the Inspector General of Police implores anyone with credible information concerning this video to avail the Force to aid investigations and appropriate disciplinary measures,” the NPF said in a tweet on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, coach Usman Abdallah of Enyimba came to the defence of Chukwude, saying, “He is one of the most disciplined players I have met since my years in Enyimba. He is a quiet, nice and gentle boy, I haven’t seen anything wrong with the boy. He has never posed any problem with the team and he is an extremely good player, so I don’t think he is a Yahoo boy. I think they are mistaking him for something like that,” he said.