The leadership of the Abia State Police Command says it has arrested 15 police personnel under its command for allegedly extorting money from motorists and other members of the public, The Nation reports.
The police officers, it was learnt are standing orderly room trial at the command’s Headquarters in Umuahia, the state capital.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Ene Okon who disclosed this in Aba said that the command would not shield any corrupt person within its workforce that is trying to tarnish its good image.
The CP who was reacting to the calls made by some traditional rulers during a Town Hall Meeting in Aba, asking him to call some of his extortionist officers to order, assured that the Nigeria Police does not shield anyone with criminal behaviour.
Okon pointed out that the command is determined to get rid of bad eggs among its personnel, stressing that it was why it declared one Sergeant Collins Akpugo wanted for killing Mr. Christian Onuoha in Umuahia.
He further disclosed that a reward of N500, 000 will be given to whoever has information on his way about.
Okon who maintained that bail is free, however, urged the members of the public to resist the urge of giving money to any officers who tried to extort them, stressing that every citizen ought to know his right and stand on it.
“We are the only organization that when you err, we punish. All of you must have heard about a policeman that shot somebody and killed on the 4th of June in Afara Umuahia?
“After killing, he ran away and disappeared. We have declared him wanted and we have placed N500,000 on his head. Anybody that will give us Information on his arrest collects N500,000 cash from me,” the CP said.
Speaking on bribery and extortion by police officers, Okon said “It takes two to tangle. If you don’t give the police will not take. It starts with you. If you know that you’ve not done anything wrong, if you know that you’re operating your joint according to rules, if a policeman comes, you prove to him that you know you’re right.
“I don’t know that policeman that will not be afraid to even tell you to bring knowing that you know your right. Insist that you know your right. Let me be very frank to you, I am not supporting police collecting any money.
“As I’m talking to you, I have 15 policemen in my cell. 7 were arrested here at Opobo Junction when I heard the information that they were collecting money. I sent out my monitoring unit and my monitoring unit went there and met them in the act and arrested them.
“I subjected them to investigation and we have completed investigation and they’re undergoing ‘orderly room trials’. Let God be with them if they’ll escape. At the end of the day, they’ll turn to civilians and be giving money too and see how painful it is.
“I have monitoring unit. We are not sleeping on it. I don’t like it, but you too must stop giving. If you don’t give, they’ll not take. Insist on your right. My phone number is here, call me, give me the information and see what will happen.”