HURIWA tasks IGP on officers accused in N18 million extortion of Anambra businessmen
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, expressed disappointment and sadness at the lack of action by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba on police officers accused of kidnapping, blackmailing and extortion of N18 million from a businessman, Mr. John Elochukwu.
The group said there is a subsisting petition against Mr. Martin Ngoesina Okechukwu, Chile Ajani, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Patrick Agbazue, officer in charge of State Criminal and Investigation and the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) annex Awkuzu, the administrative officer, Mr. Osim and the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Mr. Uche Chukwudi, over the alleged offence.
HURIWA said it was reprehensible, despicable and thoroughly embarrassing for the Nigeria Police Force that such a weighty allegation of the kidnap of a citizen under the guise of ‘lawful’ arrest and his arbitrary detention in the same notorious Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) facility in Awkuzu, Anambra State.
According to the group, the extortion of N18 million, which was allegedly paid by the police hostage, even whilst still been locked up at the police detention facility was reported and such serious allegations are not being rapidly investigated by the Inspector-General of Police is a matter that President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Police Council should take action on.
In a statement by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA urged President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the IGP to expeditiously investigate these damaging allegations with the view to adopting a law-based approach to retrieve the allegedly stolen money of the businessman from the police officers as alleged.
The group also wants the President to direct the IGP to use the lawful means to bring the police officers to face the full weight of the law should the allegations be confirmed to be true as alleged by the victim.
HURIWA said if the embarrassing accusations are left unattended to as the Inspector-General of Police Alhaji Usman Alkali Baba is allegedly treating the issue, it will further be seen by members of the international community as another concrete evidence of the damaging report made about the Nigeria Police force by the United States Department of State in its most recent yearly human rights reports.
It stated: “ The Inspector-General of Police must immediately take open, transparent steps to probe the damaging allegations of the use of government security institution, facility, the Nigeria Police force Anambra State Police Command the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) annexe Awkuzu unit in Oyi Local Council in Anambra State, to kidnap, arrest, detain, intimidate and extort N18 million ransom from a citizen, Mr. John Elochukwu, which was withdrawn from UBA bank account No 2140743696, and allegedly paid into Mr. Ikechukwu Obiada’s account (Omaba Block industry) to secure his release from them.”
Contacted, spokesperson for Anambra State Police Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Toochukwu Ikenga, said the allegation is under investigation by the Police high command.
“Please let’s wait for the outcome of the investigation,” he said.