Labour petitions IG over alleged Police abuses in A-Ibom

UYO—ORGANISED Labour has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr. Solomon Arase, over alleged increasing illegal activities by officers and men of Nigerian Police Force, NPF, in Akwa Ibom State.

A suspected offender being forcefully arrested  by policemen attached to a task force team.
File photo: A suspected offender being forcefully arrested by policemen attached to a task force team.
Operating on the platform of National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees, NUCFRLANMPE, the union specifically identified Ikot Ekpene Local Government Council, as the major area where the police perpetuated illegal activities that might lead to chaos in the state in this period of fragile security situation in Nigeria.

President of NUCFRLANMPE, Mr. Boniface Akpan Isok, in the petition claimed the police in Ikot Ekpene had been harassing, extorting money from commercial motor cycle operators (Okada riders) and arresting them without cause in their homes.

Isok lamented that the poor commercial motorcycle operators in the affected area had complained severally to him and others to intervene on their behalf, threatening to resort to self help. He said that he pleaded with them to sheath their swords for him to try and sort the matter out with higher police authorities.

“For more than a year now, the police have been seizing the motorcycles of these citizens not for violating any traffic regulations but out of sheer wickedness and greed to the detriment of these poor citizens trying to earn a living for the sustenance of their families,” he said.

These unscrupulous policemen will seize any parked motorcycle whether rightly or wrongly parked. The annoying thing is that the policemen move around with their Hilux vans to people’s compounds to seize parked motorcycles, take them to their stations and compel their owners to part with huge sums of money before the motorcycles are released to the owners or the commercial motorcycle operators. In most cases, the operators are detained and extorted.

“Going to people’s homes to seize their means of livelihood in this period of mass unemployment cannot be acceptable to our people. Hence, we solicit for your intervention to avoid a breakdown of law and order in the local government. Also, the Ikot Ekpene/Umuahia road boundary between Ikot Ekpene and Obot Akara is now a no go area for Okada riders because of the same police harassment and extortion.

The police in this area mount their Hilus vans at this particular boundary point from 6pm to 8pm in the evening and any motorcyclist that approaches this check point must be detained unless he parts with N200 ransom. Sir, please, carry out a discreet investigation into this.”

Isok however, commended the IGP for the good job his men had been doing in the area of general security and maintenance of peace in the community, insisting few bad elements in the force could not rubbish the police.