Group petitions IGP over threats, alleged misconduct of officers
A Human rights group, the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) has charged the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, to investigate alleged misconduct of some officers attached to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT Police Command, Abuja, led by Sunday Agboji.
In a statement issued by its Executive Director, Okechukwu Nwanguma, it alleged that the conduct of the officers portrayed them as people hired by criminal suspects to help them settle scores and evade justice.
He recalled that in April 2021, President-General of Itu Autonomous Community in Ezinihite Mbaise Council, Imo State, Clifford Chukwunonyerem, approached RULAAC with a complaint concerning a petition he sent to Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Zone 9 Police Headquarters, Umuahia, Abia State.
He explained that the petition, dated April 20, 2021, bordered on alleged criminal conspiracy, attempted murder, terrorism financing, unlawful possession of firearms, arson and breach of public order against a suspected criminal gang allegedly sponsored by Oliver Osuagwu and Alex Eberendu from Itu.
“Clifford informed RULAAC about his suspicion that the investigating team at Zone 9, Umuahia, by their conduct and posture, may have been compromised by the accused persons, especially the alleged wealthy sponsors with a view to derailing investigation and evading justice,” the statement reads.
He, therefore, sought RULAAC’s intervention to ensure that the investigation was diligently conducted and concluded without interference and manipulation and the accused persons prosecuted, if found culpable.
“Based on the complaint and request, RULAAC sent another petition to the AIG Zone 9, Umuahia attaching Clifford’s previous petition and requested his intervention to ensure that the investigation was fair, concluded and appropriate actions taken to ensure justice,” it said.
RULAAC specifically urged the Zone 9 Police Command to expeditiously prosecute all suspects in the matter, having interviewed witnesses and gathered substantial evidence.
“We deemed it necessary to have this petition published as part of our strategy of promoting transparency.
“The AIG promptly intervened, invited the petitioner and the investigating team and having found that the team was delaying despite having gathered evidence, reprimanded the head of the team in the presence of the petitioner and directed that the Officer in Charge of Legal took over the case for further necessary action,” it added.
The group, however, lamented that between the AIG’s intervention and when the O/C Legal filed five-count charge, the suspects had approached the complainant through some proxies to bribe him with a view to discontinuing the case.
“They threatened him at some point when their moves did not yield expected results. But instead of facing their trial in court with their threats to file a defamation action against RULAAC, the suspects resorted to intimidating the complainant, the traditional ruler of Itu autonomous community and Nwanguma,” the statement added.