Alleged Extortion: Lawyer petitions I-G, demands sack, prosecution of officers

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A Legal Practitioner, Mr Chibuzor Obiajunwa has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr Olukayode Egbetokun, demanding the sack and prosecution of three police officers allegedly involved in extortion in Abuja.

Obiajunwa in the petition dated May 18 and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja, said the demotion of the officers was not enough.

He said the trio had intercepted an unregistered Mercedes Benz at Gwarimpa, Abuja and forced its occupants to part with the l sum of N29.4 million.

According to him, this was established in the Orderly Room Trial convened by the police for the purpose of the investigation of the conduct of the police officers.

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He said the petition was to remind the I-G that keeping officers, found guilty of extortion by the police internal investigations to remain in the force was not healthy.

Obiajunwa said keeping such extortionists in the police would amount to self-sabotage in trying to repair its battered image and regain the confidence of Nigerians.

He said the first duty of the police was to safeguard the lives and property of the public.

“I cannot resist the temptation to remind you at this juncture that this is exactly the type of apathy and aloofness that resulted in the ‘end-SARS’ protests.

“I hope you realise the gravity of men using the toga and colours of the Nigerian Police to intimidate citizens into parting with their monies,” he said.

He said demoting the officers as punishment for a serious offence like extortion would negatively dampen the morale of honest policemen within rank and file.

Obiajunwa said failure of the police to arraign the officers in court, in spite of the fact that extortion was a crime under Nigerian law would worsen the situation and public suspicion established.

NAN reports that the Nigeria Police Force, on May 17 announced the demotion of the three officers to their previous ranks over the alleged extortion.

The police said the officers attached to the Special Tactical Squad (STS), were demoted to their previous rank of Sergeant after thorough investigations that confirmed their involvement in various the act.

The report said, when reported by Harrison Gwamnishu (@HarrisonBBi18), via the social media platform – ‘X’, the matter was taken up and properly investigated.

The report said the monies had been returned to the complainants, while the officers were subjected to orderly room trial, in line with extant laws and had been demoted. (NAN)

By Monday Ijeh

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