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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Anambra Police Officers Accused of Illegally Arresting, Extorting ₦20,000 Each from Residents


By Izunna Okafor, Awka

Some officers of the Anambra State Police Command have been accused of indulging in illegal arrest and extortion of residents of the State.

A concerned citizen of the State, Mr. Paschal Candle raised the alam in a piece that went viral on the social media on Monday, in which he alleged that four of the persons he knows were illegally arrested (together with other people) on their way home, at about 8.30pm, by the police officers who took them to the station and told each of them to pay the sum ₦20,000 to be released, without being told what their offences were.

Candle said the illegal arrest and extortion were being perpetrated by the officers attached to the B Division, Awka, led by their Divisional Police Officer. He also alleged that the illegality had become a routine source of money to the DPO and his boys who always come out as early as about 8.pm to look for people to arrest and extort, even when there is no curfew or movement restriction declared by the government.

While calling on the Inspector-General of Police and the Anambra the State Commissioner of Police to urgently do something about the said illegality; he further assured that he was ready to present and provide more information, evidences, and some of the victims, to buttress his claim.

His piece read: “Please I wish to draw the attention of Police Heads in this forum of the Criminal activities and extortion of Divisional Police Officer of ‘B’ Divison Awka opposite Secretariat Complex Awka Anambra State.

“The DPO and some officers of His Divison have turned B Divison Awka into Market Station, cash and carry.

“The DPO and his team harasses and arrest innocent Citizens most especially around Aroma Axis and Extort money as bail from them.

“Latest of this was what happened on 7th July, 2023. As many Residents were on the way home as at 8:30pm. The DPO and his team came to Aroma and started arresting innocent residents. Even those who have already entered Keke to go home were arrested and taken to B Divison.

“At the Station, they were asked to pay N20,000.00 so that they will be released. Those who couldn’t pay, slept at the Station till the next day. This arrest came when there was no official restriction of movement in the state or Curfew of any sort. Some were released when calls were put to some senior Police Officers from Higher places.

“This act has been going on for sometime at the Station. I am not alleging. I am stating the fact that is happening at the Station and what the DPO has been doing to innocent residents of that axis. If you come to Aroma junction by Peez Supermarket, the whole place look deserted once it is 8pm because residents are afraid of being arrested and taken to B Divison for no just cause.

“The Attention of Inspector General of Police, Anambra State Commissioner of Police and all relevant bodies in Nigeria Police force is needed at B Divison. The extortion is becoming annoying and unbearable at this very hard conditions of the country.

“Like I said, I am not alleging. This is real truth of what is going on at the Aroma Junction spot. I am ready to present 4 victims of this extortions who paid N20,000.00 each on Saturday morning being 8th July so that they can regain their freedom. Anywhere I am called for this, I am ready to give the details. One of my friends, who is the owner of Studio 24 is already taking a legal action for illegal detention by the DPO.”

All the efforts made by this reporter, Izunna Okafor, to get the reactions of the Public Relations Officer of the Anambra State Police Command, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu, on the allegation, proved abortive, as he did not respond to his calls or respond to messages sent to him on the issue.

However, the Zonal Public Relations Officer, Zone 13 Ukpo, SP Josephine Ihunwo, said the Command was investigating the allegation.

“Thank you for this observation. Be rest assured that action will be taken immediately. The Command is investigating this, as fast as possible now, please,” she said.

Culled from 247ureports

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