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15 policemen face TV trial: Over N20 extortion

Posted by MALACHY UZENDU, Abuja on 2005/01/28 | Views: 252 |

15 policemen face TV trial: Over N20 extortion


FIFTEEN policemen who were arrested last Wednesday night in Lagos over alleged extortion of N20 on highways are to be tried publicly.

FIFTEEN policemen who were arrested last Wednesday night in Lagos over alleged extortion of N20 on highways are to be tried publicly.

Television cameras and newsmen are to be allowed access to cover the trial.

Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Sunday Ehindero disclosed this to Police Affairs Minister, Alaowei Broderick Bozimo, when he visited the latter in his office in Abuja, yesterday.

He said, police escorts for businessmen and politicians are to be withdrawn.

Ehindero explained that the erring cops were picked up about 10.00 p.m by the Assistant Inspector-General (AIG) Zone Two, Mr. Gazali Lawal while monitoring police activities between Agbara and Nigeria’s borders with the Republic of Benin.

The 15 policemen, the acting IGP said, had mounted illegal checkpoints before being apprehended.

"I want to assure you the honourable minister that these 15 policemen will be publicly tried in full glare of television camera and pressmen. People do not even believe that policemen caught for corruption in the past were tried, not to talk of being dismissed from the force.

"If they are found guilty, we shall not only dismiss them from the police, we shall get them prosecuted.

"Also yesterday, I heard that a policeman shot an officer in Lagos. The policeman will be publicly tried and the same fate will befall him," the IGP stated.

Both the minister and the IGP regretted the circumstances that led to the beating up of journalists by policemen at the national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on January 4, while on official assignment.

They promised to enter into dialogue with the media and resolve all that led "to the unfortunate incident".

Mr. Ehindero, on his part, lamented that the MOPOL in particular were in the lead in giving the force bad public image, stressing that they would all be withdrawn for better training.

He expressed dismay at the attitude of Mobile policemen, particularly those posted to man checkpoints on the highways, pointing out that "the era of collection of "N20 by MOPOL on the roads would be a thing of the past".

While saying that internal corruption on the police far outweighed externally-noticed corruption, Mr. Ehindero promised to overhaul the MOPOL and the investigation arm of the police force.

Bozimo and Ehindero condemned what they described as misplanned deployment of policemen, especially the Mobile Force, to civilians and politicians who are not continually entitled to such privilege.

Bozimo in particular, informed the IGP that government was not particularly happy that such category of people go about with police convoys.

"I want to tell you that government would not want to see businessmen and politicians who go about in convoy of MOPOL shooting into the air.

"We hope that during your tenure as IGP, this anatema will be a thing of the past," Bozimo stated.

While calling on the IGP to strip such personalities of the policemen, he stated that public officers who are, however, entitled to police security, would have "senior and well-trained regular policemen deployed instead of the MOPOL to avoid accidental discharge associated with low-rank and ill-trained policemen."

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown